Mooring checks

What keeps us awake at night, when the storms of winter are blowing, is what's happening 25ft down on the seabed.

The problem of getting regular mooring checks has never been easy and seems to be getting harder. The gallant and often unpaid efforts of friends and divers has kept our boats safe for years. But it's a thankless and unrewarding job.

The Loch Broom Mooring Owners' Association by its own admission is primarily a tax collecting body, and while it insists owners check their gear, insure their boats (almost impossible for a boat left to overwinter, by the way) and register the mooring's position, it does not, despite what the name implies, actively help owners keep their moorings safe, or even regulate where they are laid. That is up to the reps in the various mooring locations, Loggie, Ardmair, Ullapool. The £40 we pay every year is cheap, but for what? A plastic tag giving us the right to lay a mooring; not the ownership of the sea bed, or the radius of the swing. Failure to pay risks having the right to the mooring rescinded and the mooring removed.

No one is suggesting this as an alternative; we are legally obliged to register and pay for the right to moor a boat, and membership of the LBMOA is obligatory and also gives us a welcome discount.

What has been suggested is that mooring owners in the three locations form separate bodies, perhaps paying a nominal sum each year which will go towards paying for regular inspections.

It is in everyone's interest that their neighbours' boats are well moored, so a communal fund would be used to ensure every mooring is fit for purpose.

The ad hoc arrangement has worked up until now, but is it not time to put things on a better basis?

This year we were offered the services of a professional diver to check our gear and clean our risers. That was an improvement, albeit a pricey one, as the fee did not include any remedial work.

Something to discuss over a pint or two at The Royal perhaps?

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