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  #11  
Old 07-03-2014
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Re: Don't be so hard on the new guys

I'm the new guy too.. I've not had to lasso a mooring (ever).. so you probably did better than me! Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger (and a better sailor too)...

Anyone who stares at you like you have 3 heads taking 3 shots to grab a mooring, smile and hand them a beer... DONE.

I'll never forget one of our bob-and-bake races... one of the other racers was windward, and was steering down on me to keep wind, wasn't malicious, but steering was pretty gone... when he got within 3 feet, I said... You know it's OK to foul me in light air cause you can't steer in a race and all, but you ought to at least offer me a beer when you do... best race ever... They did and we laughed about it all the way to the finish. Sometimes its best to accept defeat gracefully, take a bow, laugh at yourself, and move on.

Gotta learn it somehow! That includes myself.
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  #12  
Old 07-03-2014
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Re: Don't be so hard on the new guys

Most of us have had ****-ups small or large, what's important is to be able to learn from it.
The last thing you need is a "blame game"

Disclaimer:
I was not there so I will make wrong asumptions

I will make some comments in your text in bold

Quote:
Originally Posted by ltgoshen View Post
My wife and I have been sailing the Eastern US in our 30' C&C for 3 years now.
We decided to charter a 36' mono-hull this past April. We ended up here on Friday the 18th "Good Friday" The mooring field was, as some have mentioned almost full.
There was other charter boats racing each other to the few available balls left.
Letting circumstances like this lead you into doing any things before the ship is ready is asking for trouble

The other couple with us had the job of shorting the dinghy line at all stops.
You can write as many standing orders you like in the captains order book (or give them verbally).
But at the end it is the captains duty to confirm the the ship is ready for the planned operation


“Well” We missed the ball twice and were blown off by the wind. 25kts and had to circle around.
On my 3rd attempt he still missed the ball with the hook. I had a lot of on lookers by this point and became one of the people you guys are talking about.
It's not easy to catch and hold on to a mooring ball with a boat hook and secure a rope when it's blowing 25 knots (I'm assuming that there was no rope attached to the ball)
I know that the text book says approach the ball directly up-wind but here is another idea:
Approach the ball at a small angle to the wind and aim at the windward side of the ball and let the boat drift towards the ball.
It might be better to catch the ball mid ship (more room on the deck to work on & closer to the water make it easier to thread a line through)


The Noobie! Sorry. It gets worse. I backed up on the last miss in hopes of giving my first mate a second chance.
Well the long dinghy line was sucked into the prop and cut the line.
Backing up can work and can be useful if the boat has a sugar scoop / swim platform.
But again the skipper and the crew missed the danger of the dingy
On a sailboat there are always ropes that can get into the water, if the whole crew is aware of this and take action immediately you reduce the risks.


I shut the engine down and we began the emergency procedure to stop us from colliding into other yachts.
We got the finders out and deployed. I jumped into the dinghy and wedged it between the two boats.
The yacht we eased up against were home and deployed there finders as well.
After we were tied securely to their yacht, I jumped into dive mode to free the furled line from the prop and shaft.
I had done this over and over at home to make sure I had the skills I needed on the charter.
I learned a great deal and came back home alive. I did not mean any harm and thought I had the skill set needed to moor the yacht.
It’s different in heavy wind and sea. Your crew has to know what to do in a crisis. Try to remember when you were learning the ropes.
You made mistakes too I’m sure. All ended we’ll no damage to either yacht or people. My Pride will be forever damaged.
You did the right things here
It is always wise to do a debrief after a sail, even more important after an experience like you had.
It's important that the debrief is done in civil setting w/o finding the offender.
When things go wrong it's in most cases a chain of events.

Planning before executing is always a good thing, have a contingency plan (if the engine stops where would we need fenders..)

Even if my wife & I have sailed together for more than 30 years, we will talk through the plan before executing if is anything out of the ordinary.
With novice crew explain why and how.

A Mooring hook like this is nice to have to make fast (rope tied on to the closed loop and the boat) Nawa ® Safe & Easy Boating
This hook is not used permanent but to hook on to the ball - afterwards we tie on to the mooring (mine is 1 meter long)
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  #13  
Old 07-03-2014
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Re: Don't be so hard on the new guys

Hey, I pulled in to the Staniel Cay fuel dock one time, and the opposing wind and tide, just made a complete idiot out of me. I didn't hit anything or anybody (although I came close) but I have no doubt that people watching (and there were a lot that day, of course) were taking bets on whether I had five minutes, or ten minutes, boating experience.
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Last edited by Group9; 07-05-2014 at 10:51 AM.
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  #14  
Old 07-04-2014
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Re: Don't be so hard on the new guys

agree there are many mistakes to be made, and we have made many of them.

also agree with poster who suggested picking up from the stern. if chop/swell is not too bad we (a couple) always do it this way with one on the helm and one with a boat hook. as alex_sauvage mentioned, no problem with bow falling off since wind now working in your favour. both people within feet of each other so no yelling and no communications problems and both people have excellent (and virtually the same) visibility. if you have a swim platform, hardly any reaching and pulling compared to hauling up from the bow. dead slow and when the ball is hooked, puff of forward to prevent running over it (which has never been an issue). tie off to a stern cleat, take a rest, and when convenient, walk the line forward to a bow cleat when necessary with a bit of forward throttle to help). have never missed one and never run over one and best of all, no yelling.

that said, we're not comfortable doing it in big swell (unlikely in an anchorage, especially in BC where we sail, but have encountered a couple of times in the leewards and picked up conventionally from the bow to avoid shenanigans) or when current and wind are completely opposite.

Last edited by ArgleBargle; 07-04-2014 at 08:37 PM.
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  #15  
Old 07-04-2014
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Re: Don't be so hard on the new guys

For close to 10 years now just like my other club members we have boats on the river and the current + wind are often running the same direction which makes the quick pick up and tie off, very necessary. Most times I can do solo, it but a few times I've had a problem, one time nearly broke my arm when the wind moved the boat to starboard. It does take time to know the inertia of one's own boat. I don't know how one would learn it on a charter. Caring or knowing if people are watching no longer affects my judgment on things like this.

ltgoshen you did fine!
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  #16  
Old 07-05-2014
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Re: Don't be so hard on the new guys

There's an old saying "show me someone that never makes a mistake and I'll show you someone that never does anything". Learn from it and move on. Use it to be more sympathetic to someone else when you see them have trouble. I've found that attitude makes more friends than mocking or heckling ever has.
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  #17  
Old 07-05-2014
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Re: Don't be so hard on the new guys

Quote:
Originally Posted by ltgoshen View Post
My Pride will be forever damaged.
I don't give a rats bum how many times I miss a mooring ball, or drag when trying to set.

I just go do it again from the very beginning. I go way back out and line it up again slowly and try again.

Once I miss theres no chance the boat will go near the mooring ball if I reverse or try some trick.

Yes it can be a pain if the last mooring ball is being descended upon by a whole fleet. Thats where one always needs to be happy to anchor instead.

With 3 years experience you are not a learner so stop feeling like you are a learner. Look at an old timer... they never kick the cat because they mess up, they just lick the salt off their lips and do it again


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  #18  
Old 07-05-2014
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Re: Don't be so hard on the new guys

Quote:
Originally Posted by ltgoshen View Post
Your crew has to know what to do in a crisis.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sal Paradise View Post
As for crew training - I would love to read a thread on that. Seems like a big subject. The person with the boat hook is , for a brief moment - the most important person.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHNOOL View Post
I'm the new guy too.. I've not had to lasso a mooring (ever).. so you probably did better than me!
Crew, or their absence, can make a big difference in how well things go. Very often a particular evolution goes better if inexperienced crew sit down and stay put. *grin* Unfortunately inexperienced crew never become experienced without training, coaching, and practice. Often that means the most experienced person should be freed up to coach. On a boat with plenty of people, ltgoshen could have put someone else on the wheel and coached that person while also coaching the bowman. Now I wasn't there and I don't know the skills and personalities aboard so I'm NOT saying he should have done as I describe, only that it is an alternative approach.

A story:

Janet and I were hanging on a mooring at Cooper Island in the BVI when a boat comes into the mooring field. There was plenty of room and they weren't doing anything obviously wrong but since they were the only thing moving we watched. After they failed to pick up the mooring five times (!) I got in the dinghy to go help. The moorings all have pendants so it is usually pretty easy to hook up. In the time it took me to dinghy over they had shifted their attention to another ball and failed to pick it up a couple of times; I guess they thought the first ball was somehow "broken." *grin* They were just shifting to a third ball when I reached them, grabbed the pendant from the water and handed it up to them. At that point it became clear they didn't know what to do with it, so I hooked the float behind the bow cleat until they dug out a dock line to run through the thimble (too small to fit over the cleat). It turned out the six guys aboard were from the Annapolis Yacht Club celebrating CBYRA high point honors for the year with a boy's cruise charter in the BVI! First rate sailors and racers but no meaningful experience with mooring or anchoring. They learned fast though - we saw them around the islands over the next couple of weeks and they got pretty good.

Something I see among people new to mooring is holding the boat hook too high. Keep it down just inches from the water as you approach the ball. Swinging or stabbing at the pendant from high above is hard. Small movements are quicker and easier.

For mooring balls without a pendant I use a mooring clip ( http://www.bosunsupplies.com/Stainle...0182-K120.html ) attached to a snubber. I like the mooring hook pictured earlier in the thread - I can see that coming in handy for lots of things.
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  #19  
Old 07-05-2014
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Re: Don't be so hard on the new guys

Quote:
Originally Posted by alex_sauvage View Post
I am wondering if in this situation it would be better to back up to the mooring ball? It would prevent the bow being blown sideways and will make it easier to pickup the line, since you can do it from the water level on the swimming platform. That approach has been discussed a number of time here, but I don't recall what was the consensus.
Seriously, back a sailboat with a square stern into 20 knots in a straight line
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Old 07-05-2014
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Re: Don't be so hard on the new guys

Quote:
Originally Posted by alex_sauvage View Post
I am wondering if in this situation it would be better to back up to the mooring ball? It would prevent the bow being blown sideways and will make it easier to pickup the line, since you can do it from the water level on the swimming platform. That approach has been discussed a number of time here, but I don't recall what was the consensus.
Seriously, back a sailboat with a square stern into 20 knots in a straight line

LT you add this to your learning curve. Dave's answer and advice is a good one. Anyone who "catches" mooring balls learns as you do it more often. Just when you think you have it down or are good.....Murphy shows up
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