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  #1  
Old 07-21-2011
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Mooring Pickup in waves

I was going to go for a sail this PM. The wind was only 7knots max 10 and the bow of the Catalina 25 (boat on the left) was going up and down maybe 6 to 8 feet.
My tender will sink if swamped so I didn't' go out.
It got me to thinking though. If you had to pick up the mooring in those conditions how would you do it. I've got a couple of untested ideas but I would like to hear what you think.
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Old 07-21-2011
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Auxiliary buoy

Most of the mooring balls here in Long Island Sound are equipped with Mast Buoys, attached to the end of the pennant(s) from the main mooring ball with a lightweight line.

Easier to grab. Especially from the safety of the cockpit, where another line led from the bow can be slipped through the main pennants' eyes, then walked forward after things settle down.
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Old 07-21-2011
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Several folks have mentioned picking the stick up from the cockpit. Assuming you have two pendents one with the pickup stick attached and the other with the dinghy painter attached exactly how does one get the back of the boat next to the stick without running over the dinghy a pendant or painter and getting it stuck on the keel or fouled in the prop.

Lots of folks talk about it so it must be possible.
I think it would be easier if there was no dinghy involved.
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Old 07-22-2011
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I can't see how picking up a mooring fom the cockpit in waves (using either a stick or a boathook - not much difference really) would be easier. You still have to get the thing to the bow somehow, and if the bow is bouncing 6-8 feet, the longer someone is hanging onto the (largely fixed vertically) mooring carrying it forward, the longer they're at risk of injury.

The only system I've seen used in waves is the boat-hook from the bow, roughly as follows:

1. Wait for bow to get near lowest point on the way down.
2. Grab float with boat-hook and hook it behind pulpit, toerail, samson post, cleat, whathaveyou whilst the boat goes up again. Hold on tight!
3. Cleat off on the downward stroke.

In some ways it's easier than picking up in no waves, since the bow-man can get closer to the float (hence is less likely to miss) than in flat water when it might be 6' reach straight down... but timing is everything.
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Old 07-22-2011
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I still go to the bow and still use a boat hook as it gives me more range or "pick up" than a fiberglass whip that you need to be spot on in order to grab it.

Of course I have been picking up moorings for over 35 years and used to actually moor my commercial lobster boat on the open ocean so it is pretty much second nature.. I also used to pick up over 300 buoys per day when lobstering..

In rough stuff, over 30 knots, I still miss it every now and then but nothing another pass won't fix. With a fin keel the bow can get blown off. A good trick is once you've grabbed the pendants drop one eye over a cleat as fast as you can and ignore the chock if it slows you down. Then, using the other pendant thread it though the chock and secure it and repeat with the second one. You do run dual pendants..?

If you run pendants of varying lengths, one short and one long, and the winds are to high, you can use a sheet winch to pull the boat forward on the other pendant to get the shorter one secured. Once the shorter one is well secured simply secure the lazy pendant.. This is usually required in winds over about 35 knots on boats over 30 feet or so.

When going forward in rough stuff stay low and use a long boat hook (three extensions +) and you'll do fine. You just need to practice and to know the "inertia" and how you boat glides in varying wind conditions once in neutral.

An alternate solution to "pinched fingers" is to secure a heavy dock line through your cleat and chock and bring it up and over the pulpit. Now when you grab the pendant you only need the thread the bow line through the eye and back to the cleat. With this line being longer it gives you time to secure it before you're going to lose a finger. From this point you can use the winch trick to secure the pendants properly.
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 07-22-2011 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 07-22-2011
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Zoinks! With wave action like that, I imagine there are a lot of failed mooring gear. Then the skipper could just step from the beach directly onto his boat.
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Old 07-22-2011
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Mainsail that is exactly what I had figured out but not tried yet.
Doing it a few hundred times in one day would probably work out the kinks in the system.
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Old 07-23-2011
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I was on a boat where the owner had a big honking carabiner on the end of a dockline to make the first attachment - It wasnt intended to be the final solution but just a way to get control of the mooring pendant so he could then thread the "real" mooring lines through it and then unhook the carabiner. i was thinking of doing this since it is very quick to clip on and then you have time to sort it all out.
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Old 07-24-2011
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That's not a bad idea.
I saw something smiler on a race boat that had no bow cleats but only an eye in the bow. We used a large carabiner to attach the mooring pendants to the eye.

Last edited by davidpm; 07-24-2011 at 08:35 PM.
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