Cape Cod Mooring Waiting Lists

One can wait years … and years for a mooring permit on Cape Cod. Since the boom years of the 1980s the towns have had to institute mooring permits to keep the harbors from being choked with wall-to-wall Fiberglas.  Gone are the good old days when one would load up the mushroom and chain, drive it to the beach, row it out into the bay and drop it over the side. Now the things need to be inspected, serviced by a licensed mooring agent, and renewed each and every year.

I take my mooring permits more seriously than my income taxes.

The Cape Cod Times compiled a database of the waiting lists in case you are ever curious as to who is waiting for what and where.

I’m looking into a new mooring technology called the “Helical Screw” (sounds like something Watson & Crick would do after one too many after a late night in the lab). Actually,it’s called a Helix Mooring. Basically a big mud screw.

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

6 thoughts on “Cape Cod Mooring Waiting Lists”

  1. I’ve seen these used many times to reinforce soil under building foundations (usually many of them in a matrix), I wonder how well a single one would work in Cotuit mud?

  2. dave,

    i’m pretty sure that’s what Burr Brothers uses here in Sippican Harbor. Moorings stay in forever I think–they use winter sticks. I’m sure it saves space, and they pack the boats in tight as Tokyo trains.

    1. Apparently they have 10X the holding ability of a traditional mushroom, and when equipped with a super special stretchy elastic mooring pennant are pretty much hurricane proof. Not a lot installed in Barnstable though. I’m waiting for a call from the local distributor for a quote.

      I also like the idea of not disturbing the bottom over-and-over when the harbor master needs to inspect the tackle.

  3. This is a great technology. You don’t need as much scope, and therefore more moorings per unit of area. I seem to recall hearing they were being used in Falmouth harbor. Sandy and muddy bottom would seem to be ideal for this.

  4. Those helical moorings have been in use in Mattapoissett and Sippican Harbors since the early ’90s and have had good success there. Years ago I went on a mission to Mattapoisett Boatyard to look at them for possible use in Red Brook Harbor where I was working at the time. As I recall a special rig is required to install them. For some reason the town of Bourne wouldn’t allow them at the time. I’m not sure if our holding ground here is right for them. I recall they require less scope than a mushroom or block, which I have mixed feelings about. Is someone rigged to install them in Cotuit?

  5. I contacted the company who in turn said they would pass along my request to their local installer — who that is, is unclear.

    I know there is one helical mooring in Hyannis harbor. I’ll check with Joe Gibbs the Barnstable mooring office and see what I can learn.

    As for holding ground — not sure what is optimal. Is Marion that different than Cotuit than Bourne?

    Also, in the unintended consequences department, I do believe their offer denser mooring fields, especially if mandated across the field and laid out precisely in parallel rows and columns. Does Cotuit Bay need more hulls? Not sure.

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