A Stiff Leg Mooring on an Inland River

by Richard Howie 2017

Stiff Leg

The Wanda Sue Berthed on a Stiff Leg Mooring (Photo from the Rick Howie collection.)

Owners of the sternwheeler Wanda Sue berth the vessel at a mooring on the South Thompson River next to their house in Kamloops, B.C. They employ a temporary, configuration called a "stiff leg mooring" which may be seen in situations where it is necessary to prevent floats from drifting against the shore but pilings are not feasible for whatever reason.

The photo shows how the stiff leg works. There is a float against which the Wanda Sue is moored, but the pilings that normally connect to the float were lost due to ice pressure during the winter of 2016. Large timbers project across the rocks at right angles to the shore. They are butted to the tires on the float and also linked to the pilings supporting the elevated shed. You can see cables running from both corners of the stiff leg. The boat is moored by cables at both the stern and bow which connect to steel anchors driven into the bank.

The theory is that as the water levels rise, the float and the stiff leg rise in unison while the stiff leg keeps the float away from the rip rap shore. I can envision the forces of the current which should enable this to work, but it will be interesting to see how well it functions through the freshet of 2017. River flow is from right to left in the photo. The plan is to replace the piling once water levels allow for suitable positioning of the pile driving barge.

Life on an interior river bank is a constant battle with erosion and dramatic changes in water level with the ebb and flow of the freshet during the "once a year high tide" so to speak.

Wanda Sue

The Wanda Sue (Photo from the Rick Howie collection.)

In 1983 the Wanda Sue was built by George A. Slack in Kamloops BC. 19.39m x 6.52m x 1.52m steel hull 108.35gt 80.67rt She is a sternwheeler powered by a 180bhp diesel engine. In 1983–2017 she was owned by Wanda-Sue Navigation Inc., Kamloops BC.

To quote from this article please cite:

Howie, Richard R. (2017) A Stiff Leg Mooring on an Inland River. Nauticapedia.ca 2017. http://nauticapedia.ca/Gallery/Stiff_Leg.php

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