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Old 08-30-2013
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Maine Sail Maine Sail is offline
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Re: Dock vs. mooring

I think a lot depends upon where you are and how it is done locally. Personally you could not pay me to be in a marina, er, trailer park on the water... I work in them every week. Last week at one I had to endure 6 hours of the thud, thud, thud, thud of a subwoofer (could not hear the rest of the music just the thud, thud) 8 boats over and the "dude" on the back deck drinking PBR tall boys at 9:30 am in his wife beater..... His buddies then showed up and they proceeded to block the entire dock with lawn chairs so no one could get by without waiting for them to move. Lovely place......

I've had boats on moorings for my entire life and have also been on boats and worked on boats full time that lived in marinas. I was a commercial lobsterman in my younger days and kept my boat on a mooring even then. I fished 6 days per week and never missed a single day (except for Hurricane Gloria) even dragging my dinghy to the water.

Much of the North East is comprised of moorings and perhaps 85 -90% of the boats in Maine are on moorings. We don't have waiting lists at many marinas up in Maine, lots of vacant dock space, but do have a number of anchorages with mooring wait lists..

The idea that you will sail less on a mooring is a complete falacy unless you are simply lazy. If you want to sail you will sail.

We have both a dinghy dock and launch service for access and it could not be easier. If we have piles of gear to load there is our clubs dock or the town dock, but it is rarely necessary.. I can be under sail, without running the motor, just as fast as I can get away from any dock but I don't have to short run the motor to do so. I also never have to tie spring lines and deploy fenders just drop the pendant and we're off. I simply walk down the ramp, step into the launch and am on our boat in about a 50-60 second launch ride. Could not be any easier.

The main reason I prefer moorings is for storm safety and hull protection. Nothing worse than chronic fender rash or shark bites out of your boat in storms.. I would rather have my boat on our well engineered and designed mooring than on any dock or on the hard in a big storm....

Our boat rode out the storm that did this without so much as a scratch and suffered zero chafe on the mooring pendants. Our mooring was specifically designed to handle severe storms.




This was some video footage at another anchorage of the same storm that sank all those docked boats above.. Unfortunately it was taken well after the peak of the storm and well after the wind had died off. The seas were still pretty good though.. You can see why moorings are preferred up here during our Nor'Easters. Not a single boat on a mooring in this cove sank or broke free... Pretty typical for folks who actually take care of their mooring system and design them well.


If I was a full time live aboard then I'd likely want to be at a slip, does not mean I'd like it, but if not living aboard, there's no way I would choose a marina over a mooring here in Maine... Just my .02, based on where I sail......
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 08-30-2013 at 08:25 AM.
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