Twenty-one mooring balls were recently installed and are visible from the two waterfront piers on Daniel Island’s Wando River coastline. The devices were permitted and funded by the Daniel Island Yacht Club
According to club representative Jeff Jarrard, a total of 144 mooring balls have been approved by the Army Corps of Engineers, SC Department of Health and Environmental Control and Ocean Resource Management.
Mooring balls are used to safely secure a vessel for a temporary stay.
The mooring balls off of Waterfront Park consist of a helical anchor that is driven into the seabed and attached to an elastic rope, known as a pennant.
These are not the mooring balls of old that were configured with a slab of concrete and a chain. The rope on modern mooring balls, like the ones installed off of Daniel Island, is flexible and stretches during tidal changes or storm surges.
Jarrard explained that the system is designed so as not to disrupt sea life or the ecosystem. He further noted that the balls do not impede the navigable waters because all of the moorings are located inside the channel.
The plan is to install a total of 73 mooring balls, Jarrard said, which is about half of the approved amount. Twenty-one out of a planned 28 have been installed north of the piers and another 45 are expected to be installed south of the piers, Jarrard said.
There are three types of moorings available: One that can sustain up to a 25-foot boat, one up to 35 feet and another up to 45 feet. Mooring balls for the smaller vessels will be closer to shore for depth reasons.
Although the mooring balls are engineered to have vessels attached during storm events, Jarrard said that the Daniel Island Yacht Club’s policy is that vessels cannot be moored during a storm.
Hazelett Marine is in charge of installation. Currently stationed in Panama, Hazelett is expected to return in two to three weeks to finish the remainder of the mooring field.
When the operation is complete, there will be two mooring fields and a main channel in and out of the facility between the two docks. The North Dock will be home to the Daniel Island Yacht Club and the Daniel Island Ferry. The South Dock is where the Carefree Boat Club resides, offering day docking and by the hour.
On the North Dock, there will be public restrooms and an administrative office for booking and launching charters and cocktail cruises. Construction has been delayed due to material supply issues but should be completed in the next few months.
There are currently no bridals or pendants on the mooring balls, rendering them unusable. Future usage will be permitted only for DI Yacht Club members or sponsored guests on a monthly or annual basis.
The Daniel Island Yacht Club has not opened up its membership yet. Its sailing program will be full steam ahead by the spring of 2022. Food and beverage services on the North Dock will be ready by early summer of 2022.
“Starting a yacht club is a different animal,” Jarrard said. “It takes a lot of preparation and discussion ... It’s a process ... We’re going to take our time and do it right.”