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Old 14-07-2008, 06:15   #1
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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 14-07-2008, 06:27   #2
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WELCOME aboard, Adcurium.
Will you be mooring between two pilings, or to a single pile (dolphin) ?

Install an anti-chaffing sleeve over your mooring line.
Secure one end of mooring line to a cleat, loop rope over piling, and secure other end to cleat. Depart by undoing one end of line, and retrieving.

If mooring to a single dolphin, a stern anchor can be set, preventing your boat from riding up on the piling.
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Old 14-07-2008, 07:01   #3
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I don't think I could say it any better than this...

So I won't - LOL

Sailtrain: Anchoring and mooring, Pile moorings.
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Old 14-07-2008, 07:03   #4
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Thank you for the reply. I do believe it will be to a single piling (dolphin, as you say). I've read how sailboats 'hunt' or face into the wind when on a ball mooring. Will the anchor off the back prevent me from turning into the wind?

One of the lines I have has an eye loop braided into the end. Can I put the bitter end through the eyeloop forming a 'lasso' of sorts, put that end over the piling, then put the bitter end onto a cleat on the bow? Then set the enchor out the back?

I'm sorry for the ridiculous questions or for not 'getting it'. I'm new to this and just want to be safe.
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Old 14-07-2008, 08:02   #5
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On any piling, you want to make sure your line will not "drop", particularly if your going to leave it unattended a while.

While many have sufficient surface resistance to keep a line from slipping, you may be well advised to make sure in a lull it does not drop below the surface possibly all the way to the bottom, which could cause you significant difficulty and potentially increase your chance of developing pilling rash or getting holed.

You will want to make sure your rear anchor is set a sufficient distance and is infact holding... unlikely you can do this if you first tie on the piling unless your line has sufficient scope to allow you to back off to set the rear anchor with something in the 5:1 to 7:1 ratio in typical conditions or 10:1 in harsh weather/ seas.... and you may want to consider setting up a mooring ball for the rear anchor and make it more or less permanent rather than using the on board anchors.... if your going to be around sailing much.

Just some thoughts...
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Old 14-07-2008, 08:30   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adcurium View Post
...I recently found out that my 'mooring' at the marina will be a piling...
Gosh, is that what you signed up for? You've gotten some responses on how to go about mooring to a single piling, but I have to ask, can't you press the marina manager to treat you a little better?

Frankly, I wouldn't want to be moored like that. The anchor rode could foul someone's prop, the boat will end up beam to the wind and waves, the anchor could break free, it's a PITA to have to deal with every time you want to go sailing, etc., etc., etc.

I hope you can get a better deal!
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Old 14-07-2008, 08:35   #7
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Well, I didn't realize it was a piling. I went with that marina b/c it was $450 cheaper than all the other moorings in the area. It wasn't until I stopped by the marina to scope it out that I found it was a piling. They don't have any 'conventional' moorings. Just three pilings. There is already one sailboat already mooring on one piling, one piling seperating us, and I will hook up with the third. It looked to me as if the other sailboat has an anchor out back also. The marina owner made it seem like it was nohing to be alarmed about. But of course now I'm worried!
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Old 14-07-2008, 09:45   #8
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I wasn't going to comment but I am with Hud3 - given a choice I would prefer a "normal" swing mooring. I might consider a dual piling. But for a "permanent" thing I would not prefer to be on a single piling.

To be honest, casting and retrieving the anchor evertime you want to sail is going to be a PITA. A permanent ball would make it a little better but not much.

The reason we have so much fun with our boat is that we are off and on the mooring in 5 minutes flat. The easier it is the more you will do it...
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Old 14-07-2008, 10:26   #9
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You might want to check things out a bit closer. If you are in a tidal flow, there's nothing wrong with two boats being moored to three pilings, with one piling being shared between them, and each boat being morred fore-and-aft between two of them.

But just swinging around ONE piling, would seem like a recipe for disaster. Take a closer look and ask them if they really intend to put three boats on the three pilings, or if something more conventional (mooring fore and aft between two pilings) is what will be done.
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Old 14-07-2008, 11:08   #10
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Hi Adcurium,

Post moorings are not so uncommon in the upper Chesapeake, where in past years watermen had them scattered all over the back creeks. The watermen just threw a bight of hefty line over one and their boats swung to the wind and current. But they checked their boats every day, too.

I first used one over twenty years ago, first for a cat, later for a tri. It's easy to keep a multihull from chewing on the post by adjusting a snug bridle to keep the post centered between the bows. Not so easy for a monohull.

Currently I use a ring of chain about 3" larger in diameter than the post, and I hook up with a large locking snaphook on arrival. At departure, I boat-hook the chain, pull it up and hang it on a nail at the top of the piling. For this to work, the post must be good and smooth so the chain can slide around it. Winding the bridle around the post is a no-no.

However, keeping your monohull away from the post is a different challenge. Perhaps you'll need to configure a standoff, or rubber guard? Also be sure that the post is high enough for your highest water. The last hurricane here carried a storm surge of 6' and if that happened again, I would want to weight my chain heavily to keep it at the bottom of the post, and let go some bridle.

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 14-07-2008, 11:33   #11
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Hi there!

Are you new to sailing or new to boating in general? I would think that that mooring system is a pretty steep starting lesson and you might want to try forking out for a slip or jetty for a month or two while you have a load of other things to worry about! Best of luck though with whatever you decide and welcome to the forum!

-Tom
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Old 14-07-2008, 12:12   #12
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You know, the more I think about this the more I think Hellosailor is right. They must be expecting you to moor bow and stern between two of the pilings. How far apart are they?
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Old 14-07-2008, 12:17   #13
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Actually at this point, I have no idea how far apart they are. I called the marina and was only able to talk to a clerk. I had her take a 'WTF" message,a nd she called back and told me I will only need 'two good lines', which makes me think HUD3 is correct, that they want me go bow to stern. CatsPaw... what is a standoff or rubberguard?
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Old 14-07-2008, 12:36   #14
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For a monohull, I think bow and stern posts would make a good tie, given proper distance between them.

Standoff - just a generic term to suggest some way to keep your bow or pulpit or stemhead from contacting the post.

One boat's owner (the boat had nothing but the very bow exposed up forward) wrapped some white rubber dock guard around the top of his low post. It looked a bit odd, but kept his gelcoat intact.

Go well.
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Old 15-07-2008, 11:43   #15
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In the past two days I've had a number of conversations with the locals regarding the piling mooring. It turns out these types of moorings are rather common here and particularly in the Vineyard. A number of people have told me not to worry about beings bagged into the piling b/c the boat will spin around the piling to face into the wind (provided I have enough line). And interesting piece of advice: many people buy pvc pipe from home depot, cut it into sections a few inches long, then thread it onto the rope. This way, the line will 'roll' up and down the piling and the splinters from the pilings won't bite into the line.

I feel a lot better about my situation now.
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