Parts of a Mooring

Below are estimates of how long mooring equipment will last based upon our experience over the last 25 years in Marblehead. Please keep in mind that these are estimates and many outside factors can lead to premature wear. Because of this we can make no guarantee on the useful life of our equipment.


Top Chain will generally last for two seasons although in rare cases can last as little as one season or as many as three. We inspect all top chains in the fall and mark warn out chains for replacement in the spring.

Bottom Chain can last anywhere from 4 to 10 years depending on the size of the chain as well as the type of bottom it rests on. Rocky or sandy locations tend to make the chain wear out sooner where as a muddy bottom tends to make the chain last the longest. We no longer use 1/2" bottom chains due to the fact that they simply wear out too quickly.

The top and middle Connection Shackles are replaced along with the top chain, generally every 2 years although may be replaced sooner if they show significant wear during one of our two yearly inspections. Bottom shackles are replaced with the bottom chain unless yearly inspections show that they need replacement sooner.

Mooring Pennants generally last anywhere from 5 to 10 years if used properly with chaffing gear in place. UV light as well as wear and tear from storms and everyday use eventually break down the rope and it can loose strength. The metal thimbles also begin to wear out and when they become too thin, cause chaffing and failure of the rope. Because of this we thoroughly inspect each set of pennants in the fall before they are put away for the winter and replace or repair them if necessary.

How long a Mooring Buoy lasts depends on a large number of factors. While they can generally last anywhere from 4 to 10 years, this can be cut short due to storm damage.

Concrete Blocks generally last at least 15 years or more depending on bottom conditions.