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Guest Moorage Availability Verses Boat Length

If cruising the US west coast to Panama, how much of a factor is boat length for finding guest moorage? Irrespective of cost, how much harder is it finding moorage for 55 feet compared to 37 and 42?

Is length of stay much of a factor?

What about in other areas of the world?

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Re: Guest Moorage Availability Verses Boat Length

Only since you ask about other parts of the world, I’d say most the availability around here is sub-45ft. We aren’t shut out too much at 54ft, but are often relegated to the minority of slips or mooring balls designed for the LOA and weight. Finding a seasonal slip over 50ft around here can be a challenge. The best locations are often sold out, with waiting lists, but you can always find something. Not to exaggerate, the wait is rarely more than a season. If you’re going to anchor, I’d say draft is a bigger limiter than LOA.
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Re: Guest Moorage Availability Verses Boat Length

I must admit that I have only looked for places to anchor or tie up on the the US east coast and Bahamas, but as a general rule, the smaller the boat and the shallower the boat, the more likely it is that you can find a place to anchor or a slip to tie up in. There certainly are places where draft does not matter, but often when you have a few feet less draft, it allows a boat to anchor closer to shore or in a spot that no one else who is deeper dares to anchor. Most places that I have been there is a big jump in scarceness going from 37 feet to 42 feet and an even bigger jump from 42 feet to 55 feet with many smaller harbors having no place for a 55 footer to anchor or tie up. I understand that the situation is much worse for a bigger boat on the US West Coast.

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Re: Guest Moorage Availability Verses Boat Length

When I was out cruising years ago...moorings in the tropics were virtually unknown.... cruisers anchored. There were very few marinas. But all this may have changed.

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
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Re: Guest Moorage Availability Verses Boat Length

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Originally Posted by David Hardin View Post
If cruising the US west coast to Panama, how much of a factor is boat length for finding guest moorage? Irrespective of cost, how much harder is it finding moorage for 55 feet compared to 37 and 42?
I would have thought that south of the USA it's mainly anchoring.

In Panama City there's plenty of either morning balls for large boats, a marina and anchoring.

Where there's a dollar to be made someone will be supplying the service.

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Re: Guest Moorage Availability Verses Boat Length

Last boat was 52'. Up in Maine that could sometimes be problematic in some harbors. Some are organized, some are not. For example, NE Harbor in Mt Desert has moorings coded by size, great system. Other little places there are perhaps 2 or 3 moorings that have the swing room, and many times no one to direct you to them, so you need to use your eyeballs and figure it out, assuming they are available.

We found ourselves anchoring more often in the 52 than the 38 we are sailing now. Also found ourselves avoiding some harbors where we knew mooring swing room was too small and there was no real room to anchor.

I definitely agree that around here, less than 40' gives you more options than more than 50', but I wouldn't let that factor drive your decisions about how big a boat to get. Plenty of other reasons like operating cost, comfort, passage making speed, complexity of systems, etc. would override where I could "park it." YMMV.
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Re: Guest Moorage Availability Verses Boat Length

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Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
I must admit that I have only looked for places to anchor or tie up on the the US east coast and Bahamas, but as a general rule, the smaller the boat and the shallower the boat, the more likely it is that you can find a place to anchor or a slip to tie up in. There certainly are places where draft does not matter, but often when you have a few feet less draft, it allows a boat to anchor closer to shore or in a spot that no one else who is deeper dares to anchor. Most places that I have been there is a big jump in scarceness going from 37 feet to 42 feet and an even bigger jump from 42 feet to 55 feet with many smaller harbors having no place for a 55 footer to anchor or tie up. I understand that the situation is much worse for a bigger boat on the US West Coast.

Jeff
Right on, Jeff! I’ve found that shallow draft is a bigger deal than length in crowded harbors. Perhaps because my 35’ Clearwater can retract its “landing gear to draw about 2’, I’ve been able to anchor in the shallow water edges of crowded anchorages when no moorings were available (e.g. Nantucket and Block Island).

Length matters, of course, in a crowded anchorage, but it has become very useful to anchor at the edges—particularly at the east end of the main anchorage at Nantucket, or at Block Island, in <4’ MLW—particularly if it allows some breathing room from the nearest anchored boats—99% of which have a deeper draft than mine.

P.S. When you are cutting things close on depth, it is imperative to check the tide charts!
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Re: Guest Moorage Availability Verses Boat Length

Not being one who uses rental moorings often, I've found that improving our anchoring techniques and tackle so that 3:1 scope is more than sufficient, has afforded us many more anchoring options than we had in the old days, when 5 or even 7:1 was our norm.
We did this by dumping (literally giving it away) the genuine CQR (65#) for a Rocna (88#) and moving up from 3/8" chain to 1/2". It did cost a lot of money (new gypsy, new chain, new shackles and new snub line tackle), and even though we have reduced our scope dramatically, we haven't dragged once since we made the change. But hey, it's still cheap if I can sleep soundly through a squally night, knowing our anchor tackle is doing it's job.
Actually, with less scope I have a lot less worries about other boats anchored near us swinging into us or fouling our gear, and can even anchor closer to boats on moorings without any problems. As an added plus, should another boat be dragging down on us, 3:1 scope will come up a lot more quickly than 5 or 7:1, possibly avoiding a costly situation caused by someone else's incompetence. A win/win all the way around, as I see it.
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Re: Guest Moorage Availability Verses Boat Length

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
If you’re going to anchor, I’d say draft is a bigger limiter than LOA.
The information contents of this sentence seems close to zero.

Just sayin'
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Re: Guest Moorage Availability Verses Boat Length

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Originally Posted by capta View Post
......I've found that improving our anchoring techniques and tackle so that 3:1 scope is more than sufficient......
What depths do you typically anchor in? Some say that deeper depths can safely hold on less scope too. Nothing like a good sand seabed too.


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