Sealite Synthetic Mooring: A Sustainable Solution


Corporations with a sense of responsibility are striving to make better business choices. The products they use long term have a significant impact on the environment and surrounding ecosystems.

This is of particular concern in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), where the marine environment is subject to extreme conditions.

According to North West Marine, Sealite’s authorised distribution partner for the UAE and Oman region, water temperatures in Dubai can reach as high as 38°C in the summer and drop to a low of 20°C in winter. It is something they are familiar with, having over 30 years’ experience in the Middle East.

The temperature, combined with high water salinity, can create an issue when designing project solutions.

The salinity is expected to get worse in the future due to global warming and an increase in desalination. For these reasons, it is important to ensure products have a long-life expectancy when exposed to these harsh conditions.



Historically, steel chain has been used in the marine industry for mooring navigational buoys. It is an integral component that ensures floating aids are kept in place in all kinds of weather and sea conditions.

However, there are some major issues with using steel mooring chains. These include:

  • Corrosion due to high water salinity and link-chain wear
  • A significant upfront material cost
  • A large footprint that increases OH&S risk
  • Needing heavy lifting equipment to install and maintain
  • Environmental damage to the sea bed, sea grasses and reefs
  • Because of this, North West Marine sought a better long-term solution.


Sealite first started looking into providing an environmentally sustainable alternative to mooring chain in 2011. Through R&D, unique manufacturing methods and significant field trials, Sealite synthetic mooring was introduced to market.

North West Marine was the first Sealite distributor to take up the synthetic mooring option. They have been supplying and installing synthetic moorings in the UAE since 2014 with outstanding results.

Synthetic mooring has extensive benefits, such as:

  • A much longer lifespan than chain
  • A minimal impact on ecosystems (due to buoyancy and use of eco-friendly materials)
  • A high strength due to its nylon core, which is protected by an abrasion-resistant rubber coating
  • Durability due to its use of stainless steel or galvanized thimble eyelets embedded in the rubber casing
  • Reduced wear and tear as there are no links
  • Having a smaller footprint and significantly less weight than chain
  • Being more cost effective to deploy with smaller vessel requirements
  • Virtually no maintenance
  • Being able to be used in combination with chain to secure buoys of any size


Sealite Synthetic Mooring has now been accepted for use by governments, ports and harbours, consultants and Aids to Navigation service providers throughout the world.

North West Marine said they deployed synthetics on 340 buoys almost five years ago. These were recently inspected and passed favourably.

“The client is so happy they have purchased more to replace all their remaining traditional steel chain moorings,” said Mohamad Darwish, General Manager of North West Marine.

He said the company had been recently involved in the commissioning of AtoNs using synthetic mooring for the Dubai Harbour Project Approach channel. Using a synthetic solution over chain had made things much easier on the client.

“Had our client chosen to use chain on the Dubai Harbour Project, they would have needed 45 pallets at a total weight of 21 tonnes. The decision to use synthetic mooring reduced it down to just two pallets and total weight of 700kgs.”

The approach channel and Sealite AtoNs will be used to guide the world’s largest cruise lines safely into the Dubai Harbour cruise terminal berth. This significant project forms part of the 20 million square foot Dubai Harbour precinct, due for completion by October 2020.


Sealite offers advice on mooring solutions in line with IALA recommendations. Over fifty different types and sizes of synthetic mooring are available. They are perfect for use in rivers, lakes, estuaries, harbours, bays and oceans. Mooring lines range from 300mm upwards, with break strengths from four to 100 tonnes.


“North West Marine was pleased to report that synthetics deployed almost five years ago on 340 buoys they commissioned were recently inspected and passed favourably. The client is so happy they have purchased more to replace all their remaining traditional steel chain moorings.”

Mohammed Darwish, General Manager – North West Marine