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Old 07-10-2016, 09:47   #16
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Re: Picking up a mooring in bad weather

Use a Grapnel

The simplest and easiest for a single hander is a very small and light grapnel anchor on 6-7 mtrs of line. Just toss the anchor past the mooring as you go slowly past. That drags on to the line hanging off the mooring. Then hold on to the line and gently pull the boat back to the mooring. Never fails.
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Old 07-10-2016, 10:06   #17
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Re: Picking up a mooring in bad weather

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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post


Another option is to temporarily set an anchor upwind of the mooring, & use the anchor to assist in controlling your position of downwind drift down to it. Retrieving your anchor with the dinghy when secured to the mooring.
This is what I do too. It works well but perhaps not in a crowded mooring field where your anchor could snag in a wing of someone's mooring. I would add that anchoring slightly to one side helps to avoid drifting down on top of your mooring buoy and pennant. I use a grapnel to get hold of the pennant, and then extend it with a temporary rope to allow me to retrieve the anchor as usual.
Having said all that, I wouldn't attempt it in 40 knots.
I would do exactly what the OP did and go somewhere else until the conditions improve. Then when my SO questioned the extra time spent playing with the boat, I would just "cop it sweet" and play on.😉
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Old 07-10-2016, 10:09   #18
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Re: Picking up a mooring in bad weather

40 kt winds and whipping around in the middle of a field whilest on the foredeck trying to pick up the mooring!?!! Single handling the boat on top of all that, and a 37ft to boot!

You are a braver and more talented man than I, sir.

My approach has been to teach the admiral to steer. She's at the helm. She knows how to start and engage the iron jenny, she knows how to drop the sails, she is competent at most points of sail. I did this just in case the worst happens. We all have a responsibility to have our significant others know what to do if something awful happens, like heart attacks, strokes, man overboards, etc.

As to your situation, I would have done exactly what you did. I'm no hero, and even though the Admiral could have handled the boat, there's too much that can go wrong.

Our standard procedure is to snag the mooring from the cockpit or midships and secure it , then walk it to the bow in a relaxed fashion. Not elegant, but a lot safer. Maybe it's because I typically overshoot it a bit. One of my friends has the annoying talent of being able to literally "park" the boat right in front of the buoy, regardless of wind or current, all without the assistance of the motor.
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Old 07-10-2016, 10:12   #19
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Re: Picking up a mooring in bad weather

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Originally Posted by ben373 View Post
The other day I was single handed and tried to pick up my mooring in upto 40Knt gusts in my 37' yacht. The problem was that the wind was swirling a lot and by the time I ran to the front the wind had come more to the side and swept me away from the buoy. Being a tight mooring field made this a bit sketchy. Finished up finding shelter elsewhere and coming back the next morning which did not please the significant other.

Looking for ideas.

A friend suggested a line from the forward cleat to the aft and then somehow loop the buoy onto this which would allow me to pick it up near the stern. I would be concerned in fouling the prop or rudder.

Appreciate your thoughts.
Run a line aft, pick up your pedants and clip or tie them to the line. Pull or walk her back up to the buoy to pendant length..
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Old 07-10-2016, 10:35   #20
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Re: Picking up a mooring in bad weather

I played the role of buffoon in the following comedic mooring attempt. Last November, I was single-handing in the Abacos, Bahamas when the winds increased to ~35 knots and made my anchorage too rolly for comfort. So, I decided to move to Hopetown, which is a nice protected harbor with mooring balls. Unfortunately, so did many other boaters, so that the mooring field was tight and crowded. The winds were still blowing hard and there was a ~1 kt perpendicular tidal current. I chose one of the last unused moorings and the following ensued:

First, my strategy was to motor towards a mooring, cut the engine, run to the bow with my boat hook, and try to grab the pennant. Each time my boat (a heavy Island Packet 380) drifted off before I could grab the pennant. I would then run back to the helm to motor away from the nearby boats and try again. This happened five frustrating times. I was more determined on the sixth and, when I got to the bow, I snagged the mooring itself and not the pennant! When the boat blew off, my boat hook was ripped out of my hands and floated (thankfully it floats) away! Now I had no way to grab the mooring.

Fortunately, a nearby boater noticed my plight and jumped in his dinghy to help. Unfortunately, his engine died and he soon drifted out of sight while madly pulling his starter cord.

However, another sailor launched his dinghy (with a working outboard) and came over to the mooring ball: he grabbed the pennant and, while standing in his inflatable, held it up for me to attach to my boat as I approached him. It still took 3 passes before I could reach it and get it hooked: I was too tentative and would blow away too soon. Being more determined on the third attempt, I grabbed the pennant, but my extra momentum rammed his dinghy and knocked him off balance (he landed without harm in his dinghy and not overboard -- whew). But I was now moored!

In the meantime, the original helper eventually got his engine started and came back with my boat hook! Amazing!

What could be easier! Once I got settled, I dropped off 6-packs of beer on their boats.

The major lesson I (re-)learned is that sailors are nice people.
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Old 07-10-2016, 10:57   #21
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Re: Picking up a mooring in bad weather

Interesting how the weather kahuna knows exactly when we are picking up a mooring or docking or entering an anchorage.

We use the same mooring method in strong or calm winds

1. Rig a bridle at the bow, ready to run ( propper cleat hitch to bow cleat ).,


2. Run the long dock line bridle , outside of all deck obstructions to amidships along the hull, or further aft if required.

3. Bring the hull up to the mooring pennant float, or can..amidships or further aft..

4. Swiftly haul up on the pennant, reeve the bridle thru the mooring line eye, quickly run the bridle forward under the pulpit and cleat it down to a bow cleat,

note: mooring line eye is right up against the bow,,,,,we are well secured and I rig a back- up bridle, that is all set from the other bow cleat.

lastly..we pay out one bridle at a time a few feet, and wind up with port and starboard bridles to the mooring. Both secured with proper cleats. Excess is stowed in anchor locker if necessary.

Now, we are not single handing, but this could work

We have used this method in rainstorms, shifting winds, horizontal strong winds and rain and low visibilities and small whitecaps..all at the same time,

I however am blessed with an admiral erica, who handles the helm, and is an accomplished skipper in her own right.

we use hand signals....wind and engine noise blocks out orders.
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Old 07-10-2016, 11:08   #22
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Re: Picking up a mooring in bad weather

Try it again and again in calmer weather until.you master it Any approach you chose is a good approach as long as you are familiar with it.!!
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Old 07-10-2016, 11:16   #23
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Re: Picking up a mooring in bad weather

As mentioned by several people, I pick up the buoy by the stern, get a line through it and then just walk it round to the front.
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Old 07-10-2016, 11:40   #24
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Re: Picking up a mooring in bad weather

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Originally Posted by huhns View Post
.....
What could be easier! Once I got settled, I dropped off 6-packs of beer on their boats.

The major lesson I (re-)learned is that sailors are nice people.
What a great story! Thank you for sharing.

Yes, sailors/cruisers are nice people.

About a year ago I moored (after a few tries) in Fiji at a crowded mooring field with strong wind. After I checked things and cleaned up, another cruising couple showed up with their dinghy. They were very nice and we talked for about half an hour. At the end, the man said "Would you like us to help you tie correctly to the mooring?"
I started laughing! "Yes, please!" I said.
The man explained to me that the wind shifts a lot and that my line would eventually chafe and break because of the way I tied up.
He told me that I should run one line from each bow through the mooring loop and then back to a cleat on the same bow.

Anyway, I thought it was very classy of them to help a fellow "green" cruiser without making him look bad. I always learn something new every day while cruising. I always help other cruisers and I always appreciate help/comments from others.

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Old 07-10-2016, 11:45   #25
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Re: Picking up a mooring in bad weather

noooooooo.. anchor out until wind dies then pickitup. inj 40 kts you are endangering self and others... i had moorings for many years with winds to more than 40 kts in storms... anchor then go to mooring after winds are down.
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Old 07-10-2016, 12:30   #26
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Re: Picking up a mooring in bad weather

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noooooooo.. anchor out until wind dies then pickitup. inj 40 kts you are endangering self and others... i had moorings for many years with winds to more than 40 kts in storms... anchor then go to mooring after winds are down.

Once again a voice of reason and wisdom. Thanks Zee for sharing your experience.


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Old 07-10-2016, 12:39   #27
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Re: Picking up a mooring in bad weather

GrantMC,

great idea with the Grapnel.
I'll try that!

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Old 07-10-2016, 13:08   #28
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Re: Picking up a mooring in bad weather

An interesting device I purchased for helping in this situation is a Swiftie.

https://seamarknunn.com/acatalog/Sea...k-S270470.html

I allows you to remotely pass a line around something like a mooring ball ring.

It's a rather unique (and very expensive) device. The front cross arm gate is free to move forward on one end and backward on the other end, held in the closed position by a spring and retained by opposite direction hooks on either end, the unique design to retain the arm is what you pay the big bucks for. Your line is connected to one end of the cross arm. Basically you push the device into whatever you want to pass the line around, it has to be able to fit in the back of the Y shaped part, far enough back that the gate can swing closed, then when you pull the device away, the gate swings out and the line is around the ring or whatever you grabbed.

I found the cheaper plastic version that they sell at a marine yard sale, and plan to make my own version of the expensive stainless one.
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Old 07-10-2016, 14:29   #29
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Re: Picking up a mooring in bad weather

ben373 wrote that his is a "tight" mooring field. Many of the mooring fields in his area had plenty of space for the 30 footers of yesteryear, and now are extremely tight.

Maybe, he would be well off to follow sailing gal's advice, but thoroughly fender the boat, because that long line could let the wind set him down on one of his neighbors. Once the boat is attached, he could, at his leisure (we would have to lie down on the side deck to reach the ball), secure the boat properly.

I still think his partner should start learning some skills. It is partly a political idea [competence might lead to more "happiness"], but more, simple practicality. Funny, it also takes some practice, because how much throttle you use varies with conditions, you can't see the ball from the cockpit, you have to hold the boat on station to something you can only infer its location, from your rate of travel and the remaining distance to stop. It helps if the one on the foredeck has a hand signal for "stop the boat," and "neutral." Singlehanded, it is more difficult, for sure.

grantmc's idea of using the grapnel is also interesting.

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Old 07-10-2016, 15:28   #30
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Re: Picking up a mooring in bad weather

practicing in 40 kts makes me peee my panties-i prefer practicing in 0-5, then 5-10, then .... i KNOW my anchoring technique and tackle are good, so.. and bumperboat makes not friends of neighbors...oops
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