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Old 23-06-2015, 19:03   #1
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Mooring ball blues

After three seasons of having my boat moored out, I've lost the magic. I, theoretically love the simplicity of keeping her on a mooring but the reality is massively frustrating, sometimes. On a lovely day with 5-10 knots of wind it's a joy. But today, we had 20-25 knots and it ended up just making me mad. I usually throw the mooring lines in the dinghy with a bowline tied in the end to make it easy to hook on. Had to make multiple passes under motor power to catch the mooring because the wind and chop kept knocking the dinghy around. I'd come up and grind to a halt where the dinghy WAS a moment ago, only to fall off and have to go around again because it was 90 degrees to my position. Proximity of other boats and steep chop made station keeping impossible. Once hooked on, the dinghy bangs around against the hull, boarding is a chore with any kind of provisions, and the chop makes untying the dinghy from the mooring ball downright dangerous with a 10k lb. boat jumping around right next to me. My biggest frustrations all center around the dinghy-wrestling it into position to board, having it jump around so much I can't get next to it in any chop, having it smash against the hull after mooring, etc. What can I do to make living with a mooring more enjoyable? Are my frustrations a fact of life or can I improve enough to make having a mooring as lovely as I imagine it to be? Maybe if I use a pick-up buoy and just drag the dinghy with me when I sail? How do others manage mooring a boat with, especially, a rigid dinghy and an exposed mooring position?
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Old 23-06-2015, 19:21   #2
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Re: Mooring ball blues

What works for me in similar conditions.
Leave dinghy on one pendant & the other pendant free floating.

Bring bow line back to cockpit area & tie off with a slip hitch to whatever solid.

Come up til floating pendant is behind cockpit area.
Gaff it,run bow line thru pendant eye & tie bow line off to whatever.
Boat will drift off til pendant fetches at bow,where bow line is cleated.

You are now moored. Go up & put pendant eye over same bow cleat.

Now you can use engine to chase & gaff dinghy.

Sorry I could not come up with a safe & nice solution to getting aboard the bouncing dinghy or making the trip to dock nicer. Wear lifejacket & good luck!

Cheers / Len
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Old 23-06-2015, 19:33   #3
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Re: Mooring ball blues

Swinging or fore and aft on a trot?
Swinging, Pick up buoy on a line ( strong enough to hold your vessel ) at least half the length or your point of rotation of the main vessel , but tie the dingy to the main buoy not the pick up , put the pickup buoy in the dinghy for easy recovery with a boat hook ,then it's just down to knowing if wind or current will have more effect just ignore the dinghy, just get the pickup to the fore cleat ASAP
Fender up the hard dingy, then you can barge it with the main vessel if you need to get up wind/ current of the mooring on the approach,

Fore and aft can be a pig because the other vessels aren't swinging into wind/ current the same as your vessels approach, after 12 years of fore n aft I had 3 occasions were the wind on the beam made my MV ( with an axis on here stern - outdrive) made her crab so much that I could not motor between trots without bow or stern hitting the vessels on the trots either side, so had to put her on a temporary pontoon and go back the next day when conditions improved



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Old 23-06-2015, 19:45   #4
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Re: Mooring ball blues

Sorry, just re read your post, thought you were asking the easiest way of picking up your mooring, not accessing you dingy
Buy a RIB or if you must have a more convention type tender, RID , like the walker bay types.
Don't think there is an easy way of getting in a tender when it's condition like that...... Reminds me of pilots jumping on rope ladders to get a ship into port !!


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Old 23-06-2015, 19:50   #5
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Re: Mooring ball blues

Have a buddy bring his dinghy to help tie you up. Works for me!


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Old 24-06-2015, 00:21   #6
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Re: Mooring ball blues

Tricky multi-part question.

Mooring. Leave your dinghy tied astern. Motor up wind and current as slow as you can be and maintain control. As you are almost there, lock the helm, grab the boat hook, and pick up the pennant on the side you prefer.

Now, as to dinghy bashing, fender it.

The best place to board the big boat in a chop is at the shrouds. You may need a boarding step, which should be fendered as well. Tie the dinghy securely to a stanchion base or whatever you have forward on your boat. Let the dinghy drift back to amidships, or the shrouds (I like having the hand-hold), and climb up.

Keeping things in the dinghy dry... Fabricate a partial cover for the fwd end of the dinghy, or use dry bags, such as used in river rafting, if really dry is important..

Ann
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Old 24-06-2015, 03:40   #7
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Re: Mooring ball blues

It's hard to tell exactly what you're asking. But in general, picking up a swinging mooring and dealing with a dinghy should not be a "fact of life"; should be fairly straightforward.

There are countless sources of information about how to pick up a swinging mooring (if that was part of your question). It's not difficult. Approach from downwind (or downtide, whichever is strongest) so that the mooring slides down one side, controlling speed so that you are just about stopped when it gets near the cockpit, then grab the pennant with the boat hook, and walk the penant up to the bow and tie it on. Simples. If the mooring doesn't have a penant, and if it's hard to reach the eye by hand, then use something like this: Hook & Moor

To get a line on it. Then walk that line up to the bow and tie it on.

If you left a dinghy on your mooring just aim so that it is pushed aside as you approach. If it's not an inflatable, it should have permanent fenders of some kind, all around it. When you're tied up, then untie the dinghy and walk it around to where you usually board it from.

Departure is the reverse -- just untie it, walk it up to bow, pull in your penant or mooring line until the buoy is close enough to reach, and tie it on. If your bow is too high to reach the buoy, use the device shown above.

I hope that was somewhat helpful; I am only guessing at what you were really asking so apologies if it is not responsive.
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Old 24-06-2015, 04:40   #8
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Re: Mooring ball blues

Quote:
Originally Posted by deblen View Post
What works for me in similar conditions.
Leave dinghy on one pendant & the other pendant free floating.

Bring bow line back to cockpit area & tie off with a slip hitch to whatever solid.

Come up til floating pendant is behind cockpit area.
Gaff it,run bow line thru pendant eye & tie bow line off to whatever.
Boat will drift off til pendant fetches at bow,where bow line is cleated.

You are now moored. Go up & put pendant eye over same bow cleat.

Now you can use engine to chase & gaff dinghy.

Sorry I could not come up with a safe & nice solution to getting aboard the bouncing dinghy or making the trip to dock nicer. Wear lifejacket & good luck!

Cheers / Len
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OP is asking how to pick up his mooring,with his dinghy attd to the mooring pendants,when conditions are snotty-25+ kts & big choppy seas.

In pic of my boat at mooring,note that I have led my white bow line aft,outside of stanchions,etc.,and tied bow line to top of aft stanchion with a simple overhand slip knot. The other mess of smaller line is covering the tied bow line in pic-apologies-ignore it please.

When I leave my dinghy at mooring & go sailing,I tie one of the two dinghy painters to eye of only one pendant. The other floating pendant is left floating free & the other painter is left in dinghy.

When I come back,I motor upwind toward the mooring bouy until the free floating pendant is reachable from the cockpit. I pull the slipknot of bow line,gaff the pendant ,run the bow line thru eye of pendant & tie the bow line to the sheet winch.

The boat will drift back,the pendant eye will slide up the bow line until it fetches up at the "permanently" cleated bow line at stbd bow cleat.
I am now moored-panic avoided-no need to rush to bow.
After I catch my breath from this excitement,I go carefully up to bow,pull the eye of pendant over the same cleat that bow line is "permanently" attd to. Now I'm even more moored,but not finished yet.

I now go back to cockpit & use engine to chase the dinghy,gaff the painter I left aboard & tie that painter to stern cleat of mothership(any spot would work)

I then gaff the other painter with the other mooring pendant attd to it,untie the two,heave the dinghy painter aboard dinghy,take this second pendant up to bow & drop is over portside cleat.

I use a 10ft lobster bouy gaff with an ash handle. I broke/pulled apart too many of the yachty ones.

I do it this way single handed or crewed. Don't see the need,in my case,to have someone hanging out over the pulpit,possibly falling o/board,often losing a gaff.

Cheers/ Len
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Old 16-07-2015, 06:52   #9
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Re: Mooring ball blues

Belated thanks for all the suggestions. I can pick up the mooring just fine, it's just a big hassle in crap weather. Going to put these to good use next time I go out. Part of my problem is definitely my dinghy- a 7ft Puffin (a "teacup" as it was once called) I need something a little bigger and better built.
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Old 16-07-2015, 07:22   #10
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Re: Mooring ball blues

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Originally Posted by Crazer View Post
Belated thanks for all the suggestions. I can pick up the mooring just fine, it's just a big hassle in crap weather.
I guess my suggestion is to know where a slip is available and head for that in crap weather. When the weather clears, move to the mooring ball and enjoy the solitude.
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