all these confusing ropes
Join Date: Aug 2006
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I routinely single hand a 54' sailboat and it can be a handfull when its windy or strong current to moor.
What I do, is I made up the docklines extra long, so that they can be tied together. When I leave for a day of sailing I tie the ends of the docklines together, but run them outside the lifelines, etc. so all I have to do is untie each at their cleats and the boat is loose. I bought some little fenders which I attach to these docklines to keep them afloat. So, when I leave I have a pickup line with floats along it.
When I come in at the end of the sailing day, I head into the wind aiming toward the forward mooring buoy, putting the engine in neutral so that I coast up to the forward buoy. I take my boat hook forward with me, pick up the line and wrap it around the bow cleat. Its not important that I get it perfectly in the right distance from the forward buoy, I just want to hold the bow pointing into the wind.
I take the line in my hands behind the cleat, and pull on the line as I walk astern. By the time I get all the way back I have pulled the stern close to the stern mooring buoy, wrap the line around the stern cleat, and then take my time to tie both lines off right.
I agree that a pickup buoy is easier to use, but I don't like my mooring lines to be in the water all the time because they get slimy, so if I used pickup buoys I would have to keep them on the deck when the boat is moored. My mooring lines look pretty all the time and I don't need to wash gunk off my hands or wear gloves.
Sometimes I have to make a second attempt if I don't gauge the wind right but this works for me.