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Old 14-09-2007, 16:07   #1
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Mooring?

Hi guys,

I've never been on a boat that has picked up a mooring ball. What is the procedure for attaching the boat to the ball?

Thanks

Zach
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Old 14-09-2007, 16:53   #2
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Not all moorings are created equal, but generally, the mooring has a pennant (line with a loop). A float of some sort is attached so you can pick up the pennant. You can just loop the pennant around a cleat, but a better choice is to make a bridle with two dock lines run through the loop and one each back to a cleat on port and starboard.

Picking up the line is as much fun to watch as anchoring. Couples shout. person of the foredeck gestures wildly, ball bangs into the hull, etc.

Get your signals arranged before hand. Foredeck has boat hook in hand, directs helm to a SLOW approach to the ball/pennant, float/whatever the he** is there to grab. When foredeck signals stop, helm gives it just enough reverse to stop forward momentum. Foredeck gets boat attached to pennant. Then we figure out how to rig for the night.

I have seen a couple of articles about picking it up from the stern so the helm can see the ball. While that makes some sense, I worry about getting the pennant in the prop.

George
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Old 14-09-2007, 20:21   #3
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Our moorings have a large ball, a large mooring loop (3/4"?) and a small ball with a small leader.

Stop the boat next to the ball, hook the leader buoy, drag up the 3/4" loop and place it over the cleat. We then "close" the throat of the loop with a small line wrapped around it with a couple of half hitches and then cleated off.

I routinely pick up the ball at the stern single handed and walk it forward. By the time the ball is anywhere near the prop you should be stopped and in neutral.

One common mistake is too much speed at the mooring. You need to learn how to get the boat stopped "at the ball." Difficult with big boats and poor visibility. Our friends with a 50 footer got a set of those motorcyle helmet walkie talkies to aid communications with the bowperson.

You should also practice mooring under sail and docking under sail. Good skills building exercises.
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Old 14-09-2007, 22:28   #4
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The absolute best appraoch will vary for each/the boat and their crew. So trial and a few era's is going to be required. We have a big boat and at 26T, you don't pull the boat to the bouy. So precision is paramount for us. Problem is, we aren't that precise, so we have developed a different approach.
Firstly, our mooring line comes over the front bow roller. There is one for the anchor and the other for the line. So I have a long line that we use as a leader. I bring the boat upto the mooring into the wind and we allow the boat to come right along side. This enables me to see the mooring all the time. If I come bow on, I lose sight some 30ft way and Dawn can not reach the line from the bow, even with a long boat hook. At the mid section of the boat, we are low to the water and it is easy to pick up the float. As she grabs it, I reverse the boat to stop us moving and place in neutral. I shoot out to help Dawn. We wip the line through the mooring eye and then drop the mooring back in. This now gives us the precouse time we need to get the line around to the bowm under the rails and over the roller. I then use the capstan to haul all the weight of the mooring line onboard. It doesn't matter what the wind is doing, what the mooring line is like for weight and some can be very heavey if covered in mussels. I slip the loop over the bollard and we are done and dusted. No yelling and while I am making the mooring fast, Dawn is shutting down the engine etc.
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Old 15-09-2007, 02:53   #5
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My mooring has a very heavy chain with a loop in it, that is attached to a light chain (somtimes called a dog chain) with the float on the end. The light chain allows the heavy chain to sit on the bottom when it has been dumped and in theory the float is above (unless you have floods and the whole lot disapears in chocolate a metre under) I pick up the mooring single handed most times. As been said before speed or the lack thereof is the essence......go slow. If at all possible check how the other boats are hanging and come up in the same direction. This means that you are going into the wind which will help to bring the boat to a stop. If you get the timing right it should be possible to quietly walk up the front, hook the mooring and cleat it off before the boat starts to back down. Picking up moorings are a great source of stuffed backs. If you have a strong wind blowing and you miss time and end up with the boats windage fighting you, you could be in trouble. This is why you NEVER turn the engine off untill you are contemplating a cold beer. Alans method is the only way to go with a heavy boat. I have recently got back a "hook" i forged up awhile ago for a friend that is no longer using it. This device is a "crook shank hook" like a boat hook but with a bit more of a wiggle in the end. It slides onto the wrong end of the normal boat hook and has a rope attached. The rest of the deal is similar to Alans system but..... You slide past at cockpit level and hook and drop, the rope already is run over the anchor roller and back to the cockpit. As the boat falls away you take up the slack (all from the cockpit) until the bouy is along side the bow. At this point you use the sheet winch to pull the chain up to your bits. In a North wind my mooring is on a lee shore with a couple more boats as targets on the way. I will be using this system on my "big boat" everytime and until then on my other boat when ever there is a bit of a breeze...
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Old 15-09-2007, 07:01   #6
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It seems a lot of people are just pulling the mooring line onto their deck and cleating it. Since moorings often don't get the attention that they should, good etiquette is to always attach your own line to the mooring(with a knot, not a bridle that will saw back and forth through the eye), so that you aren't contributing to the chafe on the mooring line as it passes through your chock. I would also always add the step of a close inspection of that mooring line, because someone before you may have chafed that line down to where it's hanging by a thread.
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Old 15-09-2007, 07:14   #7
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We often rent a mooring in Newport Beach and although we use a similiar method as Alan the only kicker is that normally there is no line on either ball and they are not connected so each ball needs to be picked up seperately. We use a gadget that fits on our hook for the front ball...we pick it up from the center of the boat just like Alan...once it is connected to the bow my husband jumps in dinghy and ties a line to the aft ball while I deal with the boat. If we had two of the mooring pick up hooks I believe it would be a much better set up as this only works if the wind is directly on the nose and quite honestly we would not try it if it was blowing too strong. If they assign is a mooring and the wind is blowing off the beam we will anchor and dinghy to the mooring, hook up our lines set them on top of the ball (or tie a float to them) and pick them up with the boat hook one at a time.....I really hate doing this so in time hopefully we will perfect our pickup so anchoring is not necessary.
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Old 15-09-2007, 07:42   #8
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read some where of some one using a lariat/lasso to snag the ball. They said you just get close and drop the loop over the ball, cleat it off then deal with the pennant. Sounded interesting!
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Old 15-09-2007, 14:15   #9
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Since moorings often don't get the attention that they should,
We are kinda fortunate. Our club has 60+ moorings around the top of the south Isl and all are annually inspected. All are 5T blocks. There are many other private moorings around, but I would never even dream of hooking to any of them. You have no idea what is at the bottom. I personaly know of one that is no more than a tractor tire. It is not a registered mooring and was only put in for someones jetski. But I have seen several boats unwittingly hook upto it, with absolutley no knowledge of how little is holding them to the bottom. Personly, I will never hook up to a private mooring without permission. One, it seems rude to hook to someones private property and two, you just don't know what it is and what condition it is in.
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Old 15-09-2007, 19:38   #10
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Yep....Im a pretty easy going guy, but to get back to my mooring, already in a black mood because I have to go back to work , and find another boat (or three !!) hanging off it really pisses me off. It only seems to happen when the wind is up and i have to sail assist my engine to get there. Its even more fun when they wave me off and tell me to go and find my own !! A lot of the older moorings here in the lakes are/where train wheels or a couple of engine blocks chained together. They would hold really well because of the sticky mud....until.... My mooring has more concrete in it than my boat : )
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Old 15-09-2007, 20:20   #11
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Alan & Cooper - Same deal here. Our moorings are private and the club is tended at all daylight hours. It would be a rare case for the club to allow someone to pick up our moorings. Although we have had teh ocassional visitor show up after dark. I wouldn't be too bent out of shape if I arrived late and someone had my spot.

Usually when we arrive back late we'll tie off on the pontoons overnight anyway as at 11PM it's a hassle getting everyone ashore and we are all tired anyway.

Fishpearit - Good point about "unknown" moorings. Hadn't thought about it too much. If we are not at home so far we have been on the hook or in a marina. But we haven't got too far from home yet...
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Old 17-09-2007, 00:56   #12
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Fair call Dan...one should be a bit polite especialy because some people just dont relise.......that the lump of wood sticking out of my boat is a battering ram and my thirteen year old dog has really sharp teeth and ,and,and....... : ) No not really I am a nice guy. My mooring is truley private and is not looked after by any one else but little old me. An adjacent mooring went for a wander because a large amount of boats all rafted up and had a party. It was never meant to have that much hanging on it. The owner had to pay big money to get it lifted and put back. The closest jetty is private and has a load and move policy for anyone else. It also is often on a lee shore and I hate been smacked up against anything. (one of the reasons why I choose to have a swing mooring). I guess the biggest problem for me is that I leave it to the last possible moment to come back and that usualy means I have to be at work the next day. I live 350 kms from my boat.
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Old 17-09-2007, 03:18   #13
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I think some pleople think mooring are like carparks. First in best dressed
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Old 24-09-2007, 17:38   #14
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Thanks for the education!

The lasso sounds clever... I am still an amateur boat hooker. (Poorly used nautical terms always have a way of sounding dirty...)

Zach
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