A basic rule followed by honest, respectful people is, "If it is not yours, leave it alone." If you can't deploy an anchor stay of the water. Because a mooring isn't "marked" makes it available is the kind of scary rationalization making lots of our freedoms feel at risk. If it is there it belongs to someone!
I leave my oars in my Avon. I leave the keys in my car (not the ignition). I don't lock the doors on my houses unless I am leaving for weeks and then leave a key under the mat. Am I inviting trouble? Not so far. Will someone steal my stuff? I hope not. There isn't much worth the effort. I have earned the respect I need from people who know me. I guess I live in a fairly safe part of the country. If you pick up my mooring we will talk.
The only problems I have are bears in the hives and racoons in the corn. The deer in the gardens end up in the freezer.
I guess my reasoning does have some holes in it. I never considered the fact that I quite often leave my dinghy, which has no markings on it' at the dock unattended.
My personal mooring is very well marked, and I don't use other peoples moorings regardless of if they are marked or not.
I didn't, explain my original statement/thoughts very well. I was thinking along the lines of someone arriving at an anchorage very late at night, finding it to be full. This person sees a few empty moorings in between all the boats, motors over, sees that there are no numbers or any identification on them. In this situation if said skipper feels that the safest option is to tie up to the mooring, why not. I'm not arguing that he can claim ownership of the mooring until the end of time, but in that situation I see no issue with him using the mooring. At the same time he would also assume all risks/liability assotiated with using a mooring of indeterminate quality.
My ideas on this is influenced by the fact that here in BC there is no liscencing/approval needed to put a mooring down.
I currently have a mooring in Cowichan Bay. Its what allows me to afford my boat. At the same time Cowichan Bay is an anchorage that in my opinion is being/has been over run by moorings. Quite a few of these moorings sit empty, permanently. On two mooring other then mine, I have seen numbers to call to use the mooring if they are not in use at the moment. The rest of the moorings that sit empty are effectively denying that space to anyone else.
I feel that because moorings are essentially free to place in BC and it in essences lets you claim a piece of public space for yourself at zero cost and no benefit to the public at large they should be considered a shared resource, with the person who provided the resources to set up the mooring getting first dibbs, and if they are not currently using it anyone else who comes along can do so at their own risk.
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