Picking Up a Mooring in Naptown - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast > Chesapeake Bay
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  #1  
Old 04-05-2007
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Picking Up a Mooring in Naptown

I hate to admit it but I've been sailing for about 18 years off and on and have never picked up a mooring...ever! In a couple of months I will be going down to Annapolis and will either tie up in ego alley or pick up a mooring. I know the moorings are first come, first serve; however, what is the procedure for the actual picking up of a mooring?

Dave
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Old 04-05-2007
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Here's a link for the harbormaster:
Harbor Master's Office

If you are talking about the physical act of picking up an empty mooring:
1. Approach the mooring from a downwind position.
2. Station a bow-person with boathook on the pointy end of the boat.
3. Head straight for the mooring ball at dead slow and arrange stop/left/right signals in advance with bow person.
4. Goal is not to run past the ball but to put your bow at dead stop right on it so that the bow man can hook the mooring line and affix it to a bow cleat. Be prepared to give a short burst of forward power if the boat starts to drift backwards before the line is secured.

If the bowman cannot get the line on board tell him to release it and simply let the boat drift backwards until clear and circle for another go at it. You don't want to try to force things and you don't want to run over the mooring line with your prop...so let it drift back.

Once secure, if the mooring line has an eye in it, I generally make a couple of docklines into a bridle through the loop leaving one a bit loose and ready to take up the load should the primary line chafe through in a blow.
If the line does NOT have a loop I generally take a dockline to the ring on the mooring ball from the other bow cleat...again as backup.

Hope that is clear!
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Old 04-05-2007
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Just to re-iterate what Cam is saying... sloooooow to the mooring and park your bow on it. Heading into the wind will keep you slow and keep your bow from knocking off the heading. As Cam mentioned, be ready to give a little nudge forward if needed, but also be ready to hit a little reverse to slow yourself. Make sure the person on the bow holds their hands high in the air to signal left, right, stop and distance otherwise you won't be able to see them from behind the dodger. A hands free radio works wonders. It's really easy once you get the hang of it.


I haven't moored in Annapolis, but I know that in some places (like Rockland Harbor, ME) they have different sized moorings for different sized boats. You might want to check with the harbormaster in advance to make sure you pick up an appropriate one so you don't drag (as we learned in Rockland). Also, if you are able to hook up the mooring line as a bridle and center it off the bow you'll swing much better than having it come in over the side.

Have fun!
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Old 04-06-2007
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Naptown Mooring Tips

I've picked up moorings in Annapolis many times -- at least 2-4 times a year -- because I love it down there, and it's an easy sail from where I keep my boat. The moorings are laid out pretty well in a grid, and there is only one size. The mooring penant is a heavy line about 6 ft long with an eyesplice at the end, and it has chafe protection as well. So follow what the above folks have suggested and you'll be fine. I do it single-handed all the time.

The first mooring field you come too, the one right at the mouth to Ego Alley, can be rough with a north breeze. It's fairly open to the N and NE, plus all the chop from the MANY boats going in and out. There's another mooring area above the Spa Creek bridge that is more protected. Both areas have water taxi service if you need it, and a pumpout boat patrols the area as well. There are several dinghy docks scattered around if you need those.

Also, the harbormaster will be there in a jiffy to get your money.

Both the moorings and the slips on Ego Alley itself are first come first served. In my experience there, more people use the moorings because they are much cheaper than the slips. Annapolis is redoing the slips right now to make them wider, but that should be finished soon from what I hear. They have been a tight fit even for my 33 footer.

You can get a 10 lb. bag of ice for $2.50 from Storm Brothers Ice Cream Parlor. Look for the red and white striped awning. Have breakfast at Chick and Ruth's about 8:30 during the week, or I think 9:30 on weekends, when the owner leads everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance. During the week you may likely see former Gov. Mandel having breakfast in the booth that normally is roped off. There's more generous seating up the stairs in the back. You may know all this already, but here it is just in case.
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Old 04-06-2007
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Ahhh.. Chick and Ruth's... I love that place!
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Old 04-11-2007
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Thanks for the information...especially about where to have breakfast! I hope to put the information to good use at least twice this summer!

Dave
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Old 04-23-2007
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or do what the "frugal" among us do ... anchor off the Naval Academy seawall just before you get to the mooring field, then spend the $25/night you'd pay for a mooring having a nice dinner in town.
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....or drop the hook up spa creek and do the same with less windage/chop/wakes.
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No way Cam, you miss all the action if you're way back in there. ... <*grin*>

Last edited by eryka; 04-23-2007 at 02:25 PM.
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Yes, off the seawall is choppy as hell -- much worse than the first mooring field you come to. Wide open there. Plus, by that seawall the mids will wake you at 6AM every day fur shur.
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I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging the future but by the past.-- Patrick Henry.
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