Avoid the hassle and frustration of constantly entering port and mooring to a pier. If you have liquid cargo servicing a regular route, single point moorings may be your best convenience. A single point mooring is a floating buoy, secured outside the harbor. These are commonly used for crude oil carriers.
The tanker is then free to weathervane around the SPM and remains secured, all without the trouble of entering harbor and risking collision in congested harbor traffic. But the best part is what happens next.
The SPM is also an oil terminal! Risers connect to a pipeline on the seabed, near the SPM location. These risers travel up to the SPM, allowing sufficient slack for SPM motions in waves. The SPM then provides a set of floating hoses which attach to the vessel manifold. The vessel connects and can completely discharge its cargo, all in the free maneuvering area of the open ocean. Neat!
This video provides a wonderful montage of the entire SPM mooring operation.
Want to learn more about SPM’s? Marine Insight published a useful introductory article.
Care for a more detailed education. You can find a FREE BOOK on single point moorings! The PDF version is free. You can also get a printed version.
Dr. Ir. Johan Wichers. Guide to Single Point Moorings