Scottish buoy specialist, Mara Engineering for the Sea (Mara EFS), showcased a range of innovative new mooring buoys for yachts and small commercial vessels at Seawork International.

One of Mara's new buoys on trial with the Royal Naval Sailing Association

One of Mara's new buoys on trial with the Royal Naval Sailing Association

The buoys, which are designed by George Smith and now on test with the Royal Naval Sailing Association, have a number of features said to revolutionise current mooring systems.

The new design is said to offer improvement in terms of longevity, safety, ease of use, reliability, maintenance and night-time visibility and can be personalised to include yacht name, logo or artwork.

There are three versions of the buoy: the original Mara Buoy 1500 Dynamic (Tall) and the Mara Buoy 1500 Dynamic (Short) which is suitable for smaller vessels. Additionally there is the Mara Buoy 1500 Static which has most of the features of the Dynamic buoy, but with fewer moving parts, making it more suitable for commercial applications.

The mooring line pick up point is at deck level and the mooring line ‘gives’ upon pick up allowing the deckhand time to make fast. The Mara Buoy 1500 Dynamic (Tall) features a galvanised steel backbone through which the mooring force is transmitted from the mooring line to the mooring chain. Reliability is increased by the fact that the mooring line runs over radiused surfaces, which reduces chaff. An underwater swivel is eliminated by allowing the line to swivel inside the galvanised steel backbone.

To make maintenance easier, inspection of the mooring line and swivel are carried out through a window in the backbone. Underwater connection is by way of a shackle to the mooring chain, which gives a simple, strong connection. Reflective surfaces help to improve night-time visibility and close quarters navigation.

By Rebecca Strong