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  • Mooring Solutions!

    Well, folks, I have finally gone and done it ... I bought a seaplane!

    Yep, a Daytona Super Cub on Clamar amphibs. We have her hangared
    right now, but want to get docked soon at our lake house in east Texas.

    My question to the group is this: What is the best mooring system for
    a situation like ours, in which there are pretty close quarters between docks?

    We like the looks of the mooring arms from Moor-King, but cannot get them
    to answer calls or emails. Are they still in business?

    The Wake Watchers look like they might work as well, but we have quite a bit of wave action and wonder how stout they are.

    Also, we are considering an anchored buoy for use in higher wind situations
    when we ought not be near a dock!

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    ~~ Johnny

  • #2
    Mooring:

    I have a 1958 Cessna 175 on straight 2000's and I keep it at my cottage where there is no one around to watch it. I have one fixed dock, and one floating dock, and I tie the airplane between them so it can't touch either side. This way I can also tie the wings down to the docks. This system works well, and I never put any marks on the floats, and it has sat through some very windy storms. There are about 4 trees that are close enough to hit the airplane if they fell, so I got about 2/3 of the way up them and put 1/4" wire rope around and tied them off. That was my biggest fear that a tree might fall on it. I live about 50 miles from the cottage, and when a windy storm comes up, I can sleep without worrying about the airplane. I hope this is some help ... John Dingman

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    • #3
      Hey John!

      I have a considered a similar setup in which I tie one float to the dock and the other one to an anchored buoy. Might not be as solid as yours ... oh, well, at least the trees can't reach it! :-)

      Thanks for the helpful info!

      ~~ Johnny

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      • #4
        John,

        If those are real trees you have created an unnatural node in the bending characteristics of the trees. Now in a strong wind first bending will look more like a second bending vibration and they will most likely break at the new node. Will the remaining one third make it to the plane if the tops break off?

        Gary

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        • #5
          Gary: I think I understand the point you are making about tying the trees. I actually leave a loop around the tree with a fair amount of slack, then the cable itsself has a foot or so of slack, so the trees can bend. Only if the tree was coming down would the cable tighten up and hold them. These are cedar trees about 30 feet tall. Cedar trees have shallow roots and the ones growing right at the shore line will sometimes just tip over, roots and all in a heavy wind. I do not insure the airplane for anything other than liability, so I hope this keeps working.

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          • #6
            John,

            Ahh yes. Since I am in Alaska surrounded by tall and flexible spruce, I just pictured tight wires on limber trees.

            Gary

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            • #7
              Hey Johhny, which lake in east Texas will you be based at? I see you list Bullard, Tx. We have a winter place on Lake Hawkins and a hangar up at Holly Lake Ranch 16TE. Starting this January will be spending winters in Texas and summers in Minnesota. Will pop the floats off this fall and will come down on wheels this year but next year plan to come down on floats (Glastar Sportsman with Montana straight floats). I have a dock in place but need to put in a lift or ramp or standoffs like you are considering. So am both interested in your solution and also interested in some local knowledge of east Texas lakes.

              Randi

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              • #8
                Hey Randi!

                We are on Lake Palestine and are on the south end. I am about to give up on Moor-King, since they won't return my calls. Overton's has the Wake Watchers and I may try them. If I go that route, I'll post the results on the forum. I'm a little hesitant though, since our wave action can be pretty exciting down south on the "big water" ;-). Happy Flying! Johnny

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                • #9
                  A floating dock/ramp works great. Mine is a U shaped dock with a 14' wide ramped in the middle, hinged with a 12 volt winch and cable system to raise and lower the plane. It's very easy to dock on windy days, hit the ramp with a little bow wave and it sticks on the ramp, then raise quickly. A remote system can be used on the winch too.

                  P1010295.JPG

                  P1010292.JPG

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                  • #10
                    Your ramp looks really good. I have been thinking about building something like that. Is it difficult to get the airplane off the ramp? How far down does the ramp go? I would like to see a few more detailed pictures of how you did that. John Dingman

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                    • #11
                      Hey SeaCub!

                      That looks great! Do you have any floatation under the dock at all
                      or is it just the decking? It looks like the cable attachment point is right
                      under the plane ... am I seeing it correctly?

                      Thanks for your help!

                      ~~ Johnny

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                      • #12
                        It's very easy to launch the plane. You can control how low the ramp goes into the water, I let it down until the float step is about at water level, then give it a push from the nose. I usually hang onto a line from the rear of one float, when the plane is clear I pull the tail around and back up to the ramp or along side the floating dock, depending on wether I have it next to a dock or up near shore with no fixed dock around it. It's easy to move the whole ramp/dock to wherever it works best, and adjust to changing water levels.

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                        • #13
                          The three sections of dock that form the U, all have floatation. The square wooden box on the forward corner (you can see it best in the photo of the plane facing left), closest to the stationary dock, is where the winch is located, with a solar panel on top to charge the battery. The cable goes out through a slot in the box, along the top of the side dock, through a pulley and under the ramp to the other side and then back. The winch pulls the ramp up and lets it down by just pulling through the pulley system. The ramp has a steel plate bolted to the outer end to make it sink when lowered. There are no cables or anything on the ramp itself, so no worrys when bringing the plane in under power to push up the ramp a bit. In the Cubs, I'm able to hit the ramp, get out and have the plane raised out of the water in about two minutes. Then I have tie down lines secured to the ramp under each wing and the tail. I park the plane either nose in or tail in, and preflights are much easier than when it's in the water.

                          This shot is with my J3 on the ramp along the shoreline instead of having the ramp tied off to a fixed dock.

                          Seaplanes on Shoreline at Oak Harbor_2.JPG

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                          • #14
                            Very cool! Looks like something I might actually be able to do! :-)

                            My only reservation would be the wave action on my lake ... it gets wicked when those
                            "blue northers" blow through ...

                            Thanks again for the help!

                            ~~ Johnny

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                            • #15
                              do you have any detailed plans on how to build this?

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