Originally Posted by TrueBlue
I've picked moorings up when singlehanded, by steering the boat alongside the mooring - reversing enough to counter current, wind and boat momentum, then snagging with my boat hook. It's simple, but as with everything sail related, just takes a little practice.
Very true. When the new boat went to the dock, the old boat went to a mooring in a mooring field...a first for us...and it took some co-ordination between foredeck and crew...plus a good sense of exactly where "head to wind" was, in order to grab the mooring line.
I actually found it easier to employ True Blue's solo method, because you can maneuver the boat and actually *see* the mooring if you run alongside (and upwind) of it.
A good practice if you have crew hooking on is to learn how far your boat will go at dead slow or in neutral (coasting) in a given wind. Then you can visualize somewhat where the mooring is as if your boat is transparent. This will shortly get you nearly stationary within arm's reach of your crew, and will lead to less shouting...unheard shouting as you are back near the engine and the crew is shouting at the mooring. Unless you have the wit to use family band walkie-talkies (anchoring and mooring are the best use for these devices, in my opinion).
Finally, we have learned how to saill OFF the mooring (not quite ON yet) and I must say that hoisting the main and ghosting off until you can turn out of a harbour or a basin is a very pleasant way to start a sail.