So once you have your mooring assembled. It is ready to place. We would have it on the hard at Stone Sailing Club. The placing is carried out using the launch “ Courier”, owned by Sam Longley & the cruiser class captain, Jeremy Sanderson. There will be a launch fee, which is a contribution towards the cost of the airbags that we use. The service of Courier is provided free of charge. The air bag fee, to existing owners, is currently £ 40-00. To new owners it is £ 75-00.
We invite owners to be on board Courier during the operation, but in any event, we insist on them signing a disclaimer prior to the operation. Without this disclaimer & payment of the fee in full we cannot place the mooring.
We take Courier to the proposed site & establish the exact position by sighting up points on the shore as leading marks. We use points on Osea Island & other moorings to align the distance offshore. If the owner is with us, he can now agree & discuss the final position. Failing that, the harbour master will decide.
We place the sinker & the airbag at low water near the waters edge & attach a release mechanism. As the tide rises it lifts the airbag & then the sinker. At this point Courier is bought inshore to collect the setup & tow the airbag complete with mooring to the mooring spot. Once owner & harbour master is happy the release mechanism is operated & the sinker is dropped to the seabed. Once dropped, we cannot move the sinker, so it has to be placed in the correct position first time!!!!.
We cannot use the airbag to raise moorings, so we have decided on a cycle of raising every mooring every 3 years, as the most economical way, using a commercially operated tug. Unfortunately, if a mooring has only been down 1 year it will still get lifted. Then it will get placed again for another 3 years. Lifting currently costs £ 100-00.
During the 3 years that a mooring is in situ it needs to be serviced. To do this we have another work boat, Puffin, which is equipped to raise the top portion of moorings, change shackles etc. & check the condition of the chains & multiplait. This should be done at least once every season & a nominal donation (I R O £ 25 is typical, but at owners discretion) is usually offered by owners. We are unable to make definite charges due to insurance restrictions. Hence, we rely on the goodwill of owners to support the operation.