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Old 09-08-2015, 00:39   #16
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

I particularly enjoy it single handed in light airs - you have time to think then. It is a way to get to know the finer points of your boat's responses.
You never know when you will need it in real life.
Good spectator sport too! I suggest you try it in an easy situation first.
A tri was doing it in our mooring area on a gusty day, missed tacks and broke off the front metre of one of his floats against our stern quarter! Ply versus steel.

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Old 09-08-2015, 02:39   #17
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

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Originally Posted by mstrebe View Post
The mooring fields in San Diego I've done, with a Ranger 33. There's room to maneuver, room to miss and recover. But in Avalon or Two Harbors on Catalina, you'd be foolish to attempt it in anything larger than 22', and it's unlikely the harbor patrol would even allow the attempt. The moorings are too close together, too tidally affected, and too close to shoals for mistakes. Plus you're dodging dinghies, paddle boards, and 40' stinkpots coming at you from all directions like a game of Frogger.

(Moored our 38' sloop in Avalon Thursday, and in Two Harbors yesterday and again today. I assure you, it cannot be done under sail on a weekend in the summertime)

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Hence my comment about it being like a trick shot artist. If there aren't a lot of boats and the spacing between them is wide enough then it's not much different than sailing in and out of a slip, which I have done numerous times.

Probably should have asked up front if anyone has ever done it at Avalon or a similarly congested mooring field.

Would be wonderful to have that much confidence and control over one's boat to be able to consistently pull it off. Ought to be worth a few hits on U-tube.
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Old 09-08-2015, 05:13   #18
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

While you should have the skill to do it, I feel anyone sailing though a crowded mooring field is being a self serving only "me" matters royal a-hole!

It's basically you are so great and important that you don't care about the risk of damage to other people's boats you are being.


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Old 09-08-2015, 06:15   #19
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

Unless you have no choice... it seems like a not very clever bit of showing off. I've seen many small boats Usually racers like etchells or solings do this.... but they don't have a motor and so no option.
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:59   #20
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

Having been on the receiving end of a singlehander who thought he would be fine sailing off his mooring in 15-20 knots and ended up on my lifelines and rubbing up and down on my toerail, please remember that the other boats in the mooring field are unwitting participants in your adventure. Practicing with a good safety margin is a must -- iding engine, good crew and light winds would seem to be the minimum the first few times.


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Old 09-08-2015, 09:12   #21
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

No worries, just practice in an quiet area away from other boats and obstructions until you and your crew have it down pat under all circumstances.

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Old 09-08-2015, 10:16   #22
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
While you should have the skill to do it, I feel anyone sailing though a crowded mooring field is being a self serving only "me" matters royal a-hole!

It's basically you are so great and important that you don't care about the risk of damage to other people's boats you are being.


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Fair enough. Just wondering if any of the members here have done it or believe they have the skill to do it? Not saying I think I do.

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Old 09-08-2015, 10:31   #23
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

Some of the comments above remind me that sometimes boaters jump to conclusions without knowing all the facts and then when presented the facts get 'kinda hostile.

Sailed, singlehanded, my 40-foot cutter into an anchorage with about 5-boats in it. I found my anchor spot, dropped the anchor, backed the main, and used the main to drift back while deploying 60-yards of chain.

I never came within 50-yards of any of the anchored boats and ended up anchored about 100-yards from the closest boat.

A while later I was sitting in the cockpit enjoying a cold beer when a cruiser pulled up next to me in his dinghy and loudly, rudely, and colorfully castigated me for being an unsafe and showoff sailor. He was very upset about my sailing into the anchorage and setting the anchor under sail.

I tried to explain that after I deployed the anchor with the backed main I then used the 50 HP Yanmar with a 18" maxprop to set the anchor at 3,200 RPM in reverse - a force equivalent to about 35-knots of wind.

He was not happy with that answer and continued to yell at me about being a showoff and cowboy. I reassured him that the anchor held against the 3,200 RPM for one minute with no movement but that was not good enough. Even the offer of a cold beer did not diminish his contempt for my anchoring methods.

Oh Well - can't make everyone happy?
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:38   #24
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

I greatly admire people who have the skill and confidence to handle their boat under sail without power. It demonstrates a high level of learned seamanship.

I also admire people with the good judgement to know when it is safe for them and their boat to sail into an anchorage or mooring field and when it is unsafe. Keeping their boat and the boats around them safe is one good measure of seamanship.


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Old 09-08-2015, 10:59   #25
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

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Has anyone done this? Seems a little like being a trick shot artist - possible but would require hours and hours of practice.

We live most of the year in the BVI on our boat and see this occur regularly. It's dangerous and stupid!

There are always snorkelers, swimmers, and other boats doing enjoying a lovely anchorage with some fool who thinks that he is the only sailor who knows how to raise a sail come in and endanger all others.

As an emergency technique it is very worthwhile to practice to be able to sail to a mooring or anchor your boat however it should not be a regular practice to "show off".

One of my friends has a titanium, screw permanently in his hand do to fending off just should a fellow....who by the way turned out to be a "sailing instructor".

BTW, I've sailed into a mooring field and picked up a mooring only since my engine would not start....it's not so difficult.
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:04   #26
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

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Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
Some of the comments above remind me that sometimes boaters jump to conclusions without knowing all the facts and then when presented the facts get 'kinda hostile.

Sailed, singlehanded, my 40-foot cutter into an anchorage with about 5-boats in it. I found my anchor spot, dropped the anchor, backed the main, and used the main to drift back while deploying 60-yards of chain.

I never came within 50-yards of any of the anchored boats and ended up anchored about 100-yards from the closest boat.

A while later I was sitting in the cockpit enjoying a cold beer when a cruiser pulled up next to me in his dinghy and loudly, rudely, and colorfully castigated me for being an unsafe and showoff sailor. He was very upset about my sailing into the anchorage and setting the anchor under sail.

I tried to explain that after I deployed the anchor with the backed main I then used the 50 HP Yanmar with a 18" maxprop to set the anchor at 3,200 RPM in reverse - a force equivalent to about 35-knots of wind.

He was not happy with that answer and continued to yell at me about being a showoff and cowboy. I reassured him that the anchor held against the 3,200 RPM for one minute with no movement but that was not good enough. Even the offer of a cold beer did not diminish his contempt for my anchoring methods.

Oh Well - can't make everyone happy?
did you edit this post? I was about to give you style points for referring to the irate cruiser in the dinghy as "it" rather than "he" but it seems you already changed the text.

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Old 09-08-2015, 11:28   #27
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

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did you edit this post? I was about to give you style points for referring to the irate cruiser in the dinghy as "it" rather than "he" but it seems you already changed the text.


My obsessive internal editor would not allow the freudian slip to stand!
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:42   #28
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

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Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
I greatly admire people who have the skill and confidence to handle their boat under sail without power. It demonstrates a high level of learned seamanship.

I also admire people with the good judgement to know when it is safe for them and their boat to sail into an anchorage or mooring field and when it is unsafe. Keeping their boat and the boats around them safe is one good measure of seamanship. S/V B'Shert
Agreed; we've sailed on/off the anchor/buoys innumerable times over the years, but only once - we'd a dead engine - into anywhere that could be described as 'crowded'. It's good to practice your boat handling skills, but unreasonable and unfair to risk damaging someone else's boat for the benefit of your practice.
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:47   #29
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
While you should have the skill to do it, I feel anyone sailing though a crowded mooring field is being a self serving only "me" matters royal a-hole!

It's basically you are so great and important that you don't care about the risk of damage to other people's boats you are being.


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I kind of knew the flame was coming when I posted.

Unless you practice somewhere you'll never develop the skill. Of course, be careful, safe and considerate that's what good cruisers do.

Fancy maneuvers to show off should not be encouraged but normal under sail anchoring and mooring and approaching a slip should be encouraged. Always consider what the worst scenario will be and take responsibility if it happens.
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:54   #30
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

All good points, especially the need to be thinking ahead more so that one might do when just powering in. I think that just powering around can lead to a mindset where the engine becomes a requirement in the plan..so when something happens and it quits things can get interesting quick! (grin)

I delivered a Fuji 32 to Charleston years back. When the owners handed the boat over to me, it had 3 broken engine mounts..and the mounts had been replaced just a few hundred miles back..hmmm. Seems the Pices three cylinder engine had a wee bit of a vibration to it…like we could never tell what was in any of the cans we were opening because the labels were all rubbed off! We also had to reassemble our glasses after they sat on the counter while off watch..it was bad! The offshore run from Titsuville to Charleston harbour was uneventful, no obvious problems but I decided to check to be sure that I would have reverse etc. before actually docking so I gave it a try. There was a loud noise, the engine tone changed and then there was no forward or reverse! I opened the cockpit locker to have a look and the engine was laying on it's side in the bilge still running..of course it had to fall on the side with all of the controls..has anyone else experienced the joy of trying to strangle a diesel? (grin) One thing I learned really quick was to NOT try and use your bare hand alone! ALL of the mounts had sheared off and apparently the only thing left supporting the engine was the rubber flex coupling which sheared when I shifted into reverse. In part due to a lack of trust in the boat, I had set up my intended docking just as I would have if I had been under sail, so when I lost the engine, I just calmly fell off the wind, rounding up and docking just as I would have with the engine except for having to do the final braking with lines instead of the engine. We docked in the only open spot, between a giant cruise boat and a nice sport fisherman. The engine strangling ended up taking quite a long time to accomplish btw despite feeding almost a whole towel into the intake twisting it as tightly as possible and then covering with my hands all the while the blackest soot you have ever seen was belching out of the exhaust and covering the tourists…think Captain Ron and his infamous docking! Ahh the situations that we sailors get into sometimes eh?

Sailing to a mooring or even to a dock is common in Maine and some of these boats are unpowered and well over 100'. (grin) A few things that I do if I am going to sail into a crowded area include:

1. Reduce to the working jib which is easy to tack and pretty much never gets hung up on something. The sail is also high cut improving visibility.

2. Study the mooring area from a distance and have a plan. Where is the deep water, how far can I go in each direction, what boats appear to be about to leave/ who else is entering the mooring field.

3. Study the wind a bit. Entering a sheltered harbour can radically change the wind direction or cause to to become gusty/ erratic. You can see this sometimes in a no current situation where the boats are not all pointing in the same direction and also from the winds disturbance on the waters surface.

4. Keep the boat speed up, speed is control. Getting caught with a wind shift during an uncompleted tack with low boat speed is not a good thing.

5. My boat carries exceptionally well and I normally approach the mooring I want to pick up on a broad reach if possible with a plan to round up and coast up to the mooring. With a good head of steam and the wind behind me, I leave plenty of room to take down the jib and clear the foredeck.

6. Have back up plans. If I judge wrong and I can see that I will have too much speed as I come up on the mooring, I just bear away and set up for another pass. It's rare but sometimes a really strong gust will fill in as I round up and begin slowing the boat too much, if this happens, I again just bear away and set up for another pass. Avoid the mental mindset that you are going to get the mooring no matter what..be flexible.

The mizzen I find is a wonderful "air rudder". I can leave a mooring on whichever tack I want by back the mizzen to rotate the boat.

Rod Stephens once singlehandly backed the engineless (the engine was removed for racing) 53' 11" Stormy Weather into her slip using just the mizzen… I can't say that I have tried that one just yet! (grin) Handling boats under sail alone used to be quite normal...

James

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+1, & also, as mentioned, racing in a fleet where boats are in close proximity to one another helps a lot too. Watch & or participate in a mark rounding where a pack of boats all reach the leeward mark at once, & simultaneously have to drop their spinnakers & transition into upwind mode.
(It's fun :-)

Plus, & this is a biggie: You have to think ahead several steps, including giving yourself several "outs" if something goes awry with your Plan A & B for your next necessary course alteration.
As well as asking, okay, what could go wrong on/with this next tack/manuver, & what are my options to fix it so that I don't T-bone another boat.

Whether, for instance, that means you have to IMMEDIATELY cut a sheet which has jammed on a winch (preventing you from tacking) & then select "escape plan B".
Or quickly & precisely spin gybe around a different "obstacle" in another direction; & keep reformulating your options. All the while, still asking yourself, "what can go wrong, & what are my fix-it/escape options"?

In the circles I "grew up" in, it's called "War Gaming", but there are other terms for such thinking. But at the moment they escape me.
I imagine that if you've driven in heavy traffic at speeds significantly higher than the traffic flow, then you get the idea. It's the same thing with boats, in the inquired scenario.
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