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Old 08-30-2013
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Re: Dock vs. mooring

I have a mooring because it is cheap but I did ave to drop $1k for a dinghy because I got sick of the balancing act and multiple trips to load. Now if we could just get te dogs to climb on we will be set.
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Old 08-30-2013
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Re: Dock vs. mooring

For me, a mooring with good launch service is the best of both worlds. Less expensive than a slip. Easy access and on/off via the launch, even if you have lots of provisions to bring along. For a daysail, we're underway within 10 minutes of arriving at the marina. Having the boat on the mooring offers way more privacy and comfort (always nose to wind) as we do dine and overnight on the mooring occasionally.

For when we do take a multi-day cruise and want the dinghy, I can remove my dinghy from the rack, drop it in the water and install the 3 HP outboard in 3 minutes; then another 5 minutes putt-putting out to the boat.

My own observations confirm another's observation that the slips can at times resemble a floating trailer park; not my idea of a good time.
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Old 08-30-2013
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Re: Dock vs. mooring

Obviously, having easy, efficient means to get to your boat is essential to enjoying the benefits of a mooring. From where I park my truck it is about 100 feet to my dinghy tied to a dock and maybe 100 yards out to my boat. I can be on the boat within 5 minutes and sailing within minutes thereafter. I can easily sail off the mooring, though I usually leave the mooring with the main up and the motor at idle speed. I'm sure quicker than many could untie and stow fenders/lines and maneuver through a maze of docks to get to open water.

For us, we use the boat more than if we were on a dock. If there's no wind, we'll still go out after work and have dinner on the boat, swim, and relax, spend the night if it's a weekend. I wouldn't have any desire to just hang out on a boat tied to a dock, and obviously forget about swimming. (I'm sure some mooring fields you would not want to swim in, ours is nice and clean with only about a dozen moorings in all.)

I guess we really don't bring that much with us, as I've never thought twice about loading the dinghy and then transferring onto the boat. We usually pack a soft cooler with food/drinks and a change of clothes. We also have very minimal power needs. Basically charge our phones and use a light for a few hours at night, sometimes a bit of music.

We're the white sailboat in the center.

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Old 08-30-2013
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Re: Dock vs. mooring

Hi all. For me, this was an interesting read. It is funny how one's mind gets set in a certain way. From my personal experience this is what got stuck into my mind:

Dock equals:
  • power boats
  • plugged in for TV, fridge, power stuff
  • very social, people sitting on the dock in their deck chairs "socializing"
  • (or) the elderly who have trouble getting in and out of a dingy
Mooring equals:
  • sailors
  • people who like to visit one-on-one with others
  • people who spend more time "out on the water"
Pretty silly. There were some really good reasons people chose docks that I had never thought of.

We have always had a mooring. Having read all these posts, maybe when I get old, buy a power boat and want TV I might get a slip on a dock (JUST KIDDING!!!!)

We mostly all do it differently for our own reasons.

To the original poster - in most cases you are not chained to either for life, so, you could try both.

This is our mooring.


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Old 08-30-2013
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Re: Dock vs. mooring

I enjoyed this thread, My situation is a little different as Where I sail is located on a large lake. I leave my boat at a dock for several days at a time and have had very few problems. I have found as there are only about 5 sailboats on the lake people want to look at the boat. Most people are very nice and ask if they can come on board and look it over. This is fine with me as I live alone now and enjoy some company. I keep drinks, snacks and such ready for visitors. Many people will say" I have never been sailing" We fix that in a hurry.I have returned to the boat to find people taking family pictures on the boat and thats ok as everything is locked and secured when I leave. The dock makes a lot of noise at night and the slap of the waves sounds wike a steel drum at times. You also deal with people fishing and walking around the boat. The nights I spend on the boat are a little different as I find a nice quiet cove and back into it laying out 100/150 foot of chain and anchorline.The lake is surrounded by heavy woods and I run ropes on both sides to my winches. This is the perfect way to spend the night and love doing this every chance I can.I am trying to get permission to install heavy mooring with balls for myself and others from the city at this time.

Last edited by Griffinroydonald; 08-30-2013 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 08-30-2013
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Re: Dock vs. mooring

Lots of good input so far.

A couple of things I would add:

In the summer it's much cooler on my mooring than at the dock. Even in a heat wave, at night I sleep under covers.

My mooring is a couple hundred yards out in the bay. NO BUGS. None. So I don't need screens at night.

In nice conditions sail on and off my mooring.If the weather turns to stink and you miss judge your mooring ball you simply come around again for another try... Not so easy to back into that slip when it's blowing 30 and raining. Oh, and if you want to sail, you WILL be single handing at times.

As others have said, water and power are something to think about. If you are renting a mooring, most places have a place to tie up, get a charge, fill up your tanks and wash the boat, do some repairs, etc.

In general, as all things in life, you get what you pay for:
A more expensive marina will have a launch, nice dingy dock, a place to tie up for a few hours if need be, etc.
A town mooring with no access might be a few bucks a year for the permit and you buy/maintain the gear.

There are often local "secrets" for mooring access if you start looking around.

If you have your own mooring and are on a budget, all you need is a kayak, a roof rack and a place to park your car.
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Last edited by RobGallagher; 08-30-2013 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 08-30-2013
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Re: Dock vs. mooring

With the exception of cost, the reasons most of you prefer a mooring make me appreciate my marina even more.

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Old 08-30-2013
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Re: Dock vs. mooring

So it seems mostly based around what the marinas in your area are like. Where I am docked there are virtually no liveaboards, no big powerboats, no generators, no noise, no-one sitting on the docks at 9am in a wifebeater suppin on a Colt45. It' very quiet and very sheltered. I don't live on the boat either, so the view, or having neighbours makes no difference to me, the view is out on the water a few minutes away. In my particular situation, I'd take the slip anyday.
So the summary to whole thread, is docking is better. Unless you prefer mooring, in which case that one is better.
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Old 08-30-2013
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Re: Dock vs. mooring

Thanks everyone for the input. I think I'm going with a mooring when the time is right.
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Old 08-30-2013
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Re: Dock vs. mooring

There are pros and cons to each. It is considerably more private on a mooring, and its cooler in the heat of summer, and far fewer bugs. Slips do have electric power and water near at hand, and it is easier to load your boat for an outing, but it does cost a good deal more. Also at the slip you don't get to choose your neighbor who is much closer than would be the case out on the mooring ball. As to weather and getting wet? boating is after all a water sport. For me motoring out to the boat from the dinghy dock is no big deal, in fact for me and the Admiral it is part of our adventures. It could be in the future we go the slip route, but for the present, while i am well intrenched in my mid youth (54) the mooring ball is what works for me.

It really comes down to this: to each his/her own.
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