Johnson’s Barge Service Ltd offer a full mooring installation, audit, maintenance and repair service for swing moorings in the Marlborough Sounds, D’Urville Island, Croiselles Harbour and Nelson areas.  

We have been building this service for over 20 years and now have over 1000 moorings on our list. 

We are happy to try and answer any queries or questions you may have.


Servicing System

When servicing moorings, we lift the whole mooring out of the water to allow us to measure all components, (chain, shackles, swivels etc) for wear. Components must be replaced when they have worn by 20% from their original size.

We clean the whole length of rope of any mussel and weed growth, scrub the float and re-name and number it with the owners name and registration number. All components are recorded and the wear is recorded at each subsequent service.

If any repairs are required we are able to do them on the spot as we carry all chains, ropes, shackles, swivels, floats etc with us, along with gas cutting and welding equipment. All shackle pins are welded in place.

We use locally made mooring blocks, the design of which has been engineer certified, and Graeme Smith of Town and Country Builders has been making concrete blocks for moorings and the mussel industry for over 30 years – that’s over 8000 blocks!!


Moorings are required to be lifted and serviced every two years but often become very heavily fouled with weed and mussel growth well before their service is due. We now offer a “Float and Rope” clean-only around the 12 month mark in between the biennial service. This can help keep your mooring floating by removing the weight of growth from the rope and can help prevent lost moorings, which then require the additional cost of a diving service to locate them.


We operate a system for our mooring clients where we send out a ‘courtesy reminder of service due’ when your mooring requires its biennial service inspection.


All new builds and repairs are carried out in accordance with the Marlborough District Council’s minimum construction guidelines. We also issue a Mooring Inspection Record for your files, and a copy of this is sent directly to the MDC so they know that your mooring has been serviced.

Mooring RC Consultation and Advice Service

      • Applying for a new mooring consent? 
      • Lodging a variation to your current consent conditions?
      • Coastal Permit Renewal?

Contact Kim at the office for help and guidance with all aspects of mooring ownership.

Care and Maintenance Tips


Floats and the top section of the mooring rope are inclined to grow mussels, barnacles and weed very quickly.  As often as possible you should scrape the mussels and weed off the float with the backside of a knife blade and clean as far down the main rope as you can. This is most easily done at low tide so you can pull more of the mooring rope onto your boat. We also offer a Float and Rope Cleaning Service (see Cleaning Services above).


Keep a close check on the integrity of your float rope as this can become chaffed from sharp shells or if it gets tangled around a propeller. Floats also need to be checked for cracks and leaks which let in water etc. Anything that causes your float to sit low in the water makes it more vulnerable to being run over by other boats and chopped up.  Then your mooring would require diving to refind it.


Some boats are very hard on their mooring ropes where the rope goes over the fairlead.  You should regularly inspect the main mooring rope for any sort of chaffing and protect the rope from sharp fairleads, bollards etc, if possible.  In a storm, boats can wear out their mooring ropes very quickly if there is a chaffing problem.
You should never leave the boats anchor sitting in the fairlead when your boat is on the mooring.  Anchors and their chains can cause major chaffing of the mooring rope.  We have seen several boats go ashore when the mooring rope has been cut through by an anchor in the fairlead.