Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 14-11-2015, 13:38   #1
Registered User

Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 11
How do you sleep at night on a mooring ball?

Hi all
My wife and I are doing our first ever bareboat charter in the BVI's in April/16. We will be tied to mooring balls over night. We have never done this before for an overnight. Don't get me wrong, we have some experience sailing but have always tied to a dock for overnight. We have just done small passages in the Lower Gulf Islands as well as the San Juan Islands in PNW. My concern is do we just tie to the ball ring by way of looping around the ring and back to a cleat on the boat or is it more complicated than that. Maybe two lines in case one should come undone. What is everybody's thoughts on this. Also if anyone has any other input they would like to add in regards to this trip in general it would be appreciated. Thanks
__________________

__________________
Flyingsailer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-11-2015, 13:54   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,342
Re: How do you sleep at night on a mooring ball?

Yes, I like to loop it thru the mooring, that way can release it quickly. ie: from cleat to loop to cleat.
Don't be afraid to anchor, easy in much of the Caribe. Moorings are always suspect, until you know otherwise.
__________________

__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-11-2015, 14:04   #3
Registered User

Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 11
Re: How do you sleep at night on a mooring ball?

Thanks Cheechako
Are we allowed to anchor in the BVI's. I thought in the parks you weren't allowed to anchor.
__________________
Flyingsailer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-11-2015, 14:04   #4
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Oregon to Alaska
Boat: Wheeler Shipyard 83' ex USCG
Posts: 1,699
Re: How do you sleep at night on a mooring ball?

Generally, a mooring buoy has a better holding anchor than the boats/ships that use them. But it does depend on the buoy owner's maintenance.
Ships and large boats usually shackle their anchor chain to the buoy. Yachts usually make a loup thru the buoy's ring so that by releasing one end of the line the boat is free.
If you are renting a boat in an area where mooring buoys are common, there may be gear on board for that purpose. Probably your biggest concern is line wear at the buoy ring. If buoyed for several days using a louped line, change the length of the line so each day the line has a different place exposed to wear.
__________________
Lepke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-11-2015, 14:19   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Winters cruising; summers Chesapeake Bay
Boat: Catana 471
Posts: 1,239
Re: How do you sleep at night on a mooring ball?

Just about all the balls in the BVIs have pendants - a long floating line (or with a float) with a loop and possibly a thimble at the end. You pick up the pendant from the bow with a boat hook and pass a line secured at one end to a cleat through the pendant loop and back to the cleat. Do this again on the opposite side of the bow. (My preference is to use two lines, although many use only one.) Connect one line at a time, tying the first one short, and allow the boat to settle before threading the second line. If you tie the first one short you can pass the second line around the forestay and easily thread it through the pendant loop. Then let them out a bit to share the load. On a cat you'll have a bridle that centers the bows to the pendant.

This whole procedure is a practiced art form and you'll likely not get it right on your first try. Approach the ball from downwind. Establish your communications signals between the bow person and helm person ahead of time.

To depart the ball simply detach one end of one bow line and pull it back aboard through the pendant loop. Then detach the other and you're free.

Dave
__________________
2Hulls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-11-2015, 14:20   #6
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
Re: How do you sleep at night on a mooring ball?

Where moorings are obligatory, I like to dive in the evening and run my own and very private soft line thru the block. I do this sometimes as on windless nights our boat (a monohull) tends to bang the buoy and I get woken up.

When the anchorage is windy thru the night, no such trickery is necessary. And sure thing not requiered either when you charter a cat.

b.
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-11-2015, 14:28   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Winters cruising; summers Chesapeake Bay
Boat: Catana 471
Posts: 1,239
Re: How do you sleep at night on a mooring ball?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
When the anchorage is windy thru the night, no such trickery is necessary. And sure thing not requiered either when you charter a cat.
Actually, cats are not immune from mooring balls banging the hull when there's not enough wind. When using the installed pendant on a ball, it's generally longer than half the width of the boat and the ball can easily reach a hull even with a very short bridle. But your trickery can be accomplished if you connect directly to the ball (not using the pendant) and setting a very short bridle.....

Dave
__________________
2Hulls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-11-2015, 14:32   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2009
Boat: Lagoon 450, Jeanneau 479, & Jeanneau 409
Posts: 174
Re: How do you sleep at night on a mooring ball?

We had a mooring come undone at the anchor screw. Now we don't trust them unless I dive on them and thoroughly inspect them. I sleep much better with the proper scope of chain and our oversized Mantus anchor than I ever would on a mooring.

And, unlike a mooring, I've already paid for my anchor.

The only place I know of in the Virgin Islands where anchoring is forbidden is inside the National Parks on the North shore of St John USVI.


Lucky Larry
__________________
Lucky Larry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-11-2015, 14:35   #9
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
Re: How do you sleep at night on a mooring ball?

Where moorings are obligatory, I like to dive in the evening and run my own and very private soft line thru the block. I do this sometimes as on windless nights our boat (a monohull) tends to bang the buoy and I get woken up.

When the anchorage is windy thru the night, no such trickery is necessary. And sure thing not requiered either when you charter a cat.

b.
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-11-2015, 14:53   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Winters cruising; summers Chesapeake Bay
Boat: Catana 471
Posts: 1,239
Re: How do you sleep at night on a mooring ball?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky Larry View Post
We had a mooring come undone at the anchor screw. Now we don't trust them unless I dive on them and thoroughly inspect them. I sleep much better with the proper scope of chain and our oversized Mantus anchor than I ever would on a mooring.
Roger that. Whenever we visit the BVIs now on our own boat, we never use the moorings. We've seen/heard too many stories of failures and at $30/night, it's too much of a hit to the cruising kitty. With some mild effort and willingness to NOT be where the beach bars are located, very good anchorages abound in the BVIs with a lot of room for FREE.

Quote:
The only place I know of in the Virgin Islands where anchoring is forbidden is inside the National Parks on the North shore of St John USVI.
I think anchoring is prohibited in the BVIs around the Dogs and in the vicinity of the wreck of the Rhone and probably at the Indians. I am not certain of this. Of course, anchorage within a mooring field is bad form if not prohibited. That said we've found a few secret spots along the perimeter of the mooring field in The Bight (Norman Island). On this subject, which came first, the mooring balls or the beach bars? ...... or the cruising guides which recommend the anchorages where the beach bars are located that advertise in the guides?

In the park around St. John, anchoring is prohibited unless no balls are available, and then only in clear sand. Vessels larger than 60 ft (???) are not permitted to use the balls and must anchor outside the mooring fields. Best to get the official rules.

Dave
__________________
2Hulls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-11-2015, 18:09   #11
Registered User
 
zboss's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: On a boat
Boat: Cabo Rico 38
Posts: 3,426
Re: How do you sleep at night on a mooring ball?

You will not find a lot of anchoring options in the places you are likely to visit in the BVI's on your first charter visit.

The mooring balls are placed in the nicest (meaning less rolly) places in the bays. All the popular spots you are likely to visit have mooring balls. There are exceptions, like out in front of Soggy Dollar on JVD but that is generally not a great location for a good nights sleep. You can still anchor in Great Harbor JVD but that is hard pan; while you will see people anchoring in there, they drag a lot because there is only a few inches of soft sand over concrete hard sand.

You may find a few desirable anchoring spots up around north sound in Virgin Gorda, like off mosquito or off prickly pear island. However, just about everyone does the mooring ball shuffle.

Just plan to always pick up a mooring ball. Don't get excited, don't yell at each other, and take all the time you need to get it right. Even pros can take a half dozen times to pick up a ball the right way.
__________________
zboss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-11-2015, 19:00   #12
Guy
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: So. Oregon, USA
Boat: Seafarer36c
Posts: 4,308
Re: How do you sleep at night on a mooring ball?

FWIW, the mooring field in Key West suggests a water or double bowline.
__________________
Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-11-2015, 02:26   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4,876
Re: How do you sleep at night on a mooring ball?

Reminds me of the first time we used a mooring.

It was on the cumberland river, there was a federal mooring bouy and the tow captains said it wouldn't be a problem for us to use it even though it was meant for commercial use.

It looked like a 6ft diameter hockey puck. You could have climbed onto it and stood comfortably. We pull up and after a bit of struggle, Tammy pulls what must have been a 4" diameter line onto the bow and loops a line thru it and ties it off.

Luckily we didn't just kill the motor and go into the cabin. As Tammy came back to the cockpit, I notice that we seem to be drifting back. turns out, the 4" diameter line was broken on one end, so our line looped around just slid off. We pulled forward and go a line thru the metal eye on the bouy and no problems from there on.

Not much of a comparison to the BVI but reminded me of that story.
__________________
valhalla360 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15-11-2015, 02:50   #14
Registered User
 
Tientos's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Malaysia
Boat: Wilf O'Kell 52'
Posts: 112
Re: How do you sleep at night on a mooring ball?

Easy. We refuse to use them.


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
May all your bars be wooden and well-stocked!
http://yachttientos.blogspot.com.au/
Tientos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-11-2015, 03:46   #15
Registered User
 
Muckle Flugga's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Aboard the Ocean wave
Boat: 55' sloop.
Posts: 1,426
Re: How do you sleep at night on a mooring ball?

The skepticism about mooring balls above is well founded. I have known several craft lost (of friends) and heard of many more due to failed moorings. I agree with the poster that I always dive them if forced to use them (as is the case in some areas such as Les Saintes in the EC and the Semilans in Thailand). Some are excellent, others were at one point, still others never were. Pancho of "Pancho services" at Roseau once tried to put me on a "mooring" of his own, in a 36 ton craft. I anchored quickly and had a look… was a car tire with concrete inside it. Caveat navigator!

If you do pick one up, run a second line through the ring or whatever available structure there might be, and leave it fairly loose, in case the first chafes through or otherwise gives up. I like to use a couple of grab mooring hooks in stainless for redunancy and chafe resistance.

And you can anchor in the BVI… but a fair number of the anchorages are now crowded out with moorings.
__________________

__________________
‘Structural engineering is the art of modeling materials we do not wholly understand into shapes we cannot precisely analyse as to withstand forces we cannot properly assess in such a way that the public at large has no reason to suspect the extent of our ignorance.’
Muckle Flugga is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
mooring

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Good night sleep. uscg405958 Powered Boats 3 09-09-2014 05:14
Atlantic City to Norfolk - Friday Night -> Sunday Night ? Weehappy Atlantic & the Caribbean 7 15-10-2011 10:25
Night Sail Out of New York Last Night Libertyhere Meets & Greets 6 16-07-2011 10:00
WTB: ITT Night Mariner 160 night vision monocular sporf Classifieds Archive 0 17-11-2008 18:53
Which Anchor Lets You Sleep Best At Night? maxingout Anchoring & Mooring 76 26-05-2008 15:49



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:25.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.