When picking up a mooring, always use the top ring to pick the buoy up with a boat hook. Then shackle the mooring pennant to the mooring chain shackle, rather than to the buoy itself. This puts all the strain on the anchor chain, rather than the buoy.
A buoy's size is determined by the weight of the line or chain it must support. Calculate the weight of your line, plus a 25% safety margin, then consult the buoyancy chart on the individual buoy information page.
Always use chafing gear where mooring lines run through bow chocks or are likely to contact deck hardware. A thimble on the shackled end will prevent chafe at the buoy.
To find the right size fender for your boat, review the Fender Sizing Guide. Common sense, as well as an understanding of your boat and mooring conditions, must be considered in selecting the right fender.
In a hard blow, the holding power of the mooring can be increased by lengthening the mooring pennant. This increases the scope of the mooring, providing greater holding power - just be sure to check other boats in the moorage first to ensure you won't foul another moored boat.
In adverse conditions, a second mooring pennant can be run to the top eye as a safety in case the primary pennant chafes through or fails.
All shackles should be moused to prevent opening. Electrician's plastic tie wraps are an excellent means of securing a shackle.