Mooring springs are used to help reduce tension within the mooring lines. Mooring springs or as they are also called, nautical shock absorbers help to decrease the rocking of a boat when berthed at a marina, consequently creating a more stable and comfortable environment for the end user. Along with ensuring safety, they dampen the tension within the mooring lines and greatly diminish the forces acting upon the cleats at the stern.
Below are a few DO’s and DONT’s related to mooring springs as advised by Sider Marine an Italian mooring spring manufacturer represented in Malta by Gauci Borda Co. Ltd.:
- DO protect the mooring springs from the elements by spraying with a protective spray such as TotalCote by Lewmar. Although mooring springs are made from stainless steel and are highly resistant to corrosion, spraying them will help to increase the lifespan of the spring.
- DO ensure that the mooring spring is right for the size and weight of the boat. Having a mooring spring that is too small will create forces that are too large for the shock absorber to cope with and will risk snapping the spring. On the other hand, having a spring too large will not act as a damping mechanism as the tensile forces will not be large enough to prompt a change in the stiffness coefficient of the spring.
- DON’T leave the spring submerged in the water, despite being made out of stainless steel the spring is meant to function in dry circumstances. It is no cause for alarm if the spring enters the water as it is expected to get wet from time to time, however the spring should not be left underwater to operate.
- DON’T use chain, contrary to popular belief chain is not recommended to be used as safety when attached to both shackles at each end of the mooring springs. Securing chain acts as a catalyst to the oxidisation process by promoting electrolysis throughout the metals, thus resulting in a shorter lifespan of the shock absorber. However, if peace of mind is to be ensured, it is recommended to use a length of rope spliced or tied between the two shackles.