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From the Bilge

Moorings and Pens

Category: General

So much has been written and talked about lately when it comes to the topic of boat pens - or more to the point, the lack of them in the metro area - that I thought I would bring up another form of securing your vessel when not in use - THE RIVER SWING MOORING.

The Swan and Canning River systems hold a multitude of moorings to suit vessels from as small as 5 - 6 meters upto around 20 meters in length. These mooring sites are leased off the Dept. of Planning and Infrastructure for a reasonable fee, with all costs of the upkeep of the mooring tackle being met by the mooring lease holder.

River moorings are a very cost effective way of securing your vessel in comparison to a river pen, but let's look at some of the other pros and cons.

There are a range of river moorings available now, to suit various length vessels. Pens are very scarce, and usually involve years of sitting on waiting lists at various boat clubs, or buying a boat with an existing pen. ( Perth is not the only part of the world to have a shortage of pens. Boating meccas like Sydney and parts of Florida all rely heavily on the use of moorings to secure thousands and thousands of vessels.)

ACCESS - Pens win this one every time. Walk up and jump on. Moorings usually involve a dinghy, some oars, some rowing ( exercise! ), possibly even teaching the kids to row in the process (bonus ! )

FACILITIES - Pens win this one too. Shore power and fresh water a neccessity -right ? For some modern, high power use boats for sure, but for a big number of boats, a couple of good solar panels and a regulator will keep the batteries topped up and ready to go. A bonus is that  at Rotto the solar panels will reduce the need to " fire up the generator" to keep the batteries charged.  

With water shortages, isn't it time for boaters to reduce their fresh water useage too ? A couple of buckets of fresh water will rinse off the saltwater in no time.

COST - Moorings win here. Mooring lease holders will generally outlay less than $ 1000 per year to lease and service their river mooring. Pens - well - anywhere from $ 250 per meter per year upto $ 1,000 per meter per year and beyond !

SUNSET DRINKS - Picture this- it's a balmy autumn arvo, the breeze is dropping, and the kids are bored. Time to pack a drink or two and some nibbles, and head down to the boat. Have the kids to row you all out to the boat and relax...... Watch the sun go down, drop a line or a crab pot, spot some dolphins, polish the stainless, order some delivery pizza,   you could be in another country.

It's too easy to say "If I don't have a pen, I won't buy a boat", but if you buy that boat and put it on a river mooring, you can start boating NOW, and really enjoy our unique boating lifestyle.

You might actually find another bonus for boating in our beautiful part of the world - the river swing mooring.

Lach ( mooring leasee of 12 years-coudn't you guess) and Chris.