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Old 07-14-2008
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Mooring to a piling

I'm new to sailing, so please forgive me if I'm not even using the correct terms, etc. I recently purchased a sailboat and it is going in the water this week. I recently found out that my 'mooring' at the marina will be a piling. The marina manager told me to 'just throw a rope over'. I'm concerned with a few things, the first being whether or not I will be smashed up against the piling, especially in tough weather. My second concern is if I do get a rope around the piling and tie it to the cleat on my bow, how do I retreive it when I come back in from sailing? Do I need to put a float on the end of it? Should I put TWO ropes around the piling in case one breaks? And I Have soo many more questions! Help!
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Old 07-14-2008
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A piling or pile is usually a large wooden pole (like a telephone pole) that is rammed into the bottom that comes above the surface of the water. This would not be considered a proper 'mooring' which consists of a large anchor (usually a mushroom type anchor) and chain that attaches to a float or ball that you tie the boat up to (with pennants - lines).
If you are expected to tie up to a piling (and you are not in a slip - eg., at a dock) your main concerns will be tides and currents (if any), chafing of lines (pennants) and your boat banging into it in light weather. In any kind of breeze your boat should trail behind the piling in the direction the wind is blowing unless currents dictate otherwise.
It might help to know what body of water you are on.
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Old 07-14-2008
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Adcurium,
I guess I am a bit confused. Are you in a slip made with pillings?
Are you saying that you have one single pilling out in the middle of a sea bed that you are supposed to attach to? I have never heard of that.

The marina where we are slipped uses pillings exclusevly. All of the docks are made from wooden pillings. There are no cleats anywhere. What we do, is attach our mooring lines to the pillings using round turns, clove hitch and half hitches (at the proper length). These lines stay attached to the pillings are are carefully left on the docks when we leave to go sailing. When we return from sailing, they are simply slipped over the deck cleats of the boat and made secure.
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Old 07-14-2008
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If it is a single piling (telephone pole in the middle of nowhere) the first time the wind or tide reverses you will be pushed up against the piling - and that will cause damage unless the piling is suitably fendered to keep you off (and even then it's not good).
I can't think of any marina I've ever been at that would consider this a proper mooring.

If that is all you have you could consider dropping and setting a anchor off the bow and backing to the piling then loop a a stern line to the piling. Even that is just not a good practice; wind from 90 degrees (on your beam) could make your anchor become unset, and then you'd just blow all over.

I'd find somewhere else.
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Old 07-14-2008
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If what you have is a single pile to attach to, like a mooring ball, it doesn't sound like a good situation for your boat. I would look for somewhere else to keep your boat. But until you can do that go out and look at what the other people with the same configuration are doing. Look at what type of bumpers they use and how they tie their boats off. If yours is the only boat that has to do this then find another marina immediately.
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Old 07-14-2008
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I don't consider a single piling a proper mooring, especially if you're paying money to be at it. Two pilings, with a space for the boat between is workable, but a single piling is generally not.

While you could set an anchor off the stern, that requires a lot of additional work on your part as well as puts a lot of extra wear and tear on your ground tackle.

IMHO, I'd recommend going elsewhere if at all possible.
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Old 07-14-2008
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One place where I've seen piling moorings in use is Cuttyhunk inner harbor, I suspect they use pilings where the water is shallow and they don't want to allow for a lot of swing room. Anyway I spent any numnber of visits tied to a piling in my 23', run a dockline from a cleat thru the port chock around the piling thru the starboard chock and back to a cleat. Securing in this manner allows the boat to swing and to rise/fall with the tide. I guess if I was leaving the boat on a piling, I'd use two lines...For a small boat in a well protected setting, i'd live with a piling.


Somewhere I have a photo I took of a note pinned to a bulletin board by the Cuttyhunk dingy dock, it went "Piling for sale...".
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Umm... if you're going to be leaving a line looped around a piling... you will probably want to put parrel beads on the line, so the piling doesn't eat the line. Chafe is a serious problem.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Chafe is a serious problem.
I see a lot of problems with this.
Never heard of it. Never seen it done.
Doesn't mean it can't be done, in fact, for a light lunch or place to rest for a couple of hours, I could see it. But as a permanent mooring, I just don't think its a good idea.
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Old 07-14-2008
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??? What is a problem? Using a piling for a mooring?? or chafe??

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailortjk1 View Post
I see a lot of problems with this.
Never heard of it. Never seen it done.
Doesn't mean it can't be done, in fact, for a light lunch or place to rest for a couple of hours, I could see it. But as a permanent mooring, I just don't think its a good idea.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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