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PBzeer 03-26-2007 09:44 AM

Using a temporary mooring
Since I've always been docked or on the hook, I've never had occasion to use a mooring, which I will probably end up having to do as I go around Florida and up the Coast. So, the question is, do I need anything special to use a mooring, and what are some hints on procedure.


TrueBlue 03-26-2007 09:51 AM

Unless the mooring ball has a pick-up pennant attached to the mooring line, a boat hook is essentially all you need to snag a mooring. It certainly helps to have crew at the foredeck, guiding you with hand signals until right upon it - at which time, you reverse the engine, or luff the sails.

I've picked moorings up when singlehanded, by steering the boat alongside the mooring - reversing enough to counter current, wind and boat momentum, then snagging with my boat hook. It's simple, but as with everything sail related, just takes a little practice.

PBzeer 03-26-2007 09:58 AM

Since I'm usually singlehanding, I'll probably motor to it. One thing you don't mention though is how do you attach to it? Should you have a dedicated line to use? And if so, sized like anchor rode and with a hook or shackle spliced in to hook on to the ball?

TrueBlue 03-26-2007 10:05 AM

You will find that the pick-up line with looped end, will be a nasty mess of slime and critters - which will surely make a mess of your foredeck when attaching to the bow cleat. For this reason, we always have a dedicated line made fast to the port cleat, the bitter end threaded through the mooring line loop, which is then cleated off to the starboard cleat.

Having a dedicated line keeps the deck clean and allows length adjustments to clear our anchor pulpit and bobstay.

When singlehanding, bring the line aft to the cockpit before snagging with your boat hook.

PBzeer 03-26-2007 10:11 AM

I see, so, a length of 1/2" rode would probably suffice then?

TrueBlue 03-26-2007 10:17 AM

We use a 30 ft, 5/8" braided dock line, which is rinsed off after use. But you might decide to use a longer line if managing the line from the cockpit. Since our boat's displacement is 9 tons, we also double up the line if high winds are expected.

PBzeer 03-26-2007 10:20 AM

I'm at 6 tons, and am using 1/4" hi-test chain and 1/2" rode for my ground tackle. Probably wouldn't hurt though to go with the 5/8" as a mooring line. Thanks for the info.

TrueBlue 03-26-2007 10:32 AM

Here's a shot from last year during a raft-up with friends. A single 5/8" three strand is used for holding both our boats for the night. When they left first the next day, we decided to stay a while longer - so we threaded another line from our bow - in silmilar fashion, before detaching their line.

sailortjk1 03-26-2007 11:07 AM

Just be careful if you are the mooring for an extended period of time or if conditions deteriorate. When on the mooring for extended periods it is best to have a special mooring rig made. It consists of a swivel shackle and usually two mooring lines. The lines have thimbles spliced into the eyes, which are permanently spliced onto the shackle. The shackle is than attached to the mooring ball with a large clevis pin.
Like I said, short periods of time are ok, but any length of time or heavy weather and the simple line through the ball will chafe and break. Overnight in calm conditions, you’ll be just fine.

PBzeer 03-26-2007 11:22 AM

Should just be doing the odd overnight stay, where dockage is not available, and I need to reprovision, take on fuel or propane, etc. Mostly, I just want to be prepared, since I was unfamilar with using a mooring. Thanks again for the info, can never have too much!

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