Join Date: Apr 2001
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I sail almost exclusively single handed and have found a rather easy way to pick up a mooring. This is what works for me especially in heavy wind ( last time it was 30+kts) and or current.
First I determine if the ball has a pennant. If it does or on my own mooring I approach the ball as usual but run up so that I can reach the pennant at the ball from the cockpit. I cleat it to the stern cleat as close to the ball as possible. This stops the boat and I now can take my time to walk the end of the pennant up to and cleat it off on the bow. I then go back and release the stern and the boat swings around. Home free.
If there is no pennant or I want to use my own line, I start with a line ceated first to the bow run outside and cleated to the stern with sufficient left over to secure it to the ball.When it stops the boat, uncleat the stern and let the boat swing and settle in.
One of the advantages to this approach is that you are no further than one boat length from the ball, a real advantage in a crowded anchorage.You also have stopped the boat quickly and it is stable, a real relief to anyone close by.