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Old 09-08-2015, 12:18   #31
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

You should of course be insured and be ready and willing to pay up if you did any damage to moored boats.....
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Old 09-08-2015, 12:25   #32
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

Practice makes perfect, just please practice where you have room to do so safely or at least not near my boat.
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Old 09-08-2015, 12:26   #33
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

The interesting thing, is that over the course of 40+ years of sailing, I have been hit by other boats on 3 occasions, usually while my boat was at the dock. In every case, the boat that hit me was under power. Knock on wood, I have yet to hit any other boats, not saying it can't happen. People seem to believe that having an engine running automatically makes you safer somehow, sorry but I must disagree…

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You should of course be insured and be ready and willing to pay up if you did any damage to moored boats.....
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Old 09-08-2015, 13:05   #34
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

Reminds me of when, in my Ericson 27, 28 kt winds, I came sailing into Dana Point harbor to find my engine wouldn't start. I had a windward slip, thank goodness.... and I dropped the genny, sailed right up the alley at about 7 kts, did a hard 360 which brought it to 2, sailed into the row of slips, did a hard 90 and dropped the main and stopped the boat with a foot to spare. Nobody got bumped, scratched or hurt. No skill, just great luck and a good crew. The dockites thought I was either drunk, crazy or a show off. Desperate was more like it.
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Old 09-08-2015, 13:36   #35
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

I used to race a Sonar (23' kirby design)...with no engine. Had to sail off and on to a med mooring every time. In my C&C25 I would always try to sail onto and off of moorings and anchor. After a while, I even started sailing into and out of my slip at a busy marina (Portsmouth Olympic Harbour). This came in handy when I took the outboard off for repair...I could still use my boat. It was wonderful, nice and quiet. I sailed onto a mooring ball last weekend, alone, on my Pearson 30...because my son was asleep below and I didn't want to wake him by starting the engine.

Sailing in close quarters is not difficult. You need to know your boat, how it turns, how it holds its way. Furling headsail helps...half a jib to go slow, give you time to see/think/plan your next move. It also helps if you know the location and the conditions are right. Its reassuring to know my engine is there if I need it, but I find it much easier and more pleasant to sail up to a mooring ball or anchorage, even if its busy.

Keep the weather advantage. Pass by sterns, not bows. Go slow. A long boathook helps.
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Old 09-08-2015, 13:58   #36
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

Yes, I have. And I practice because I had to do it when I lost the water pump. Now I do it for fun.
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Old 09-08-2015, 14:10   #37
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

They do it a lot in Annapolis as well. Especially during Wednesday night races.
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Old 09-08-2015, 14:13   #38
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

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Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
.

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.
I wouldn't consider that a crowded mooring field. To me a crowded mooring field is like my home mooring field where the boats are probably 40' between boats depending on the wind direction. When I'm below and the boat starts rocking as someone goes by and I look out the window and see they are sailing it by just makes me more insane than normal!

The people who insist in sailing in/out of crowded mooring field I feel still are show off a-holes!!! These are same people who at the end of the year proudly tell you how they have only run their engines 5 hours all year, wonder why their batteries only last 2 years, wonder why their engine only lasts 1000 hours. AND from direct personal experience in my home mooring field are the ones that leave their lines BANGING when they are away.
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Old 09-08-2015, 14:19   #39
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

As all the other moored boats are probably pointing into a sheltered shore, if there is room you might come in from one side so you can reach across and round up to anchor. Or else anchor outside them all. Or if you can sail your boat with only on a roller genoa, drop your main outside and then you can quickly wind in the genoa before you anchor and potentially blow back onto another boat. Anyway drop anchor close behind or beside the stern of another boat then you drop back into a gap if there is one. It's easy enough to do but in a crowded anchorage it might be considered showing off and better to anchor outside the crowd. Then it will be easier to sail away when the time comes.
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Old 09-08-2015, 14:30   #40
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

I did it all my life because I could and I liked to show off. At 71,I can still do it, but I won't. No fun anymore. Too crowded with all the RV's.
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Old 09-08-2015, 15:05   #41
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

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I did it all my life because I could and I liked to show off. At 71,I can still do it, but I won't. No fun anymore. Too crowded with all the RV's.
Me too jreiter, and at 76 I can easily do it, but have more sense now and a good motor. As you say anchorages are too crowded these days with for some reason everybody wanting to be close to the shore. Just anchor outside if you can't motor in.
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Old 09-08-2015, 15:11   #42
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

Organized sailboat racing offers lots of practice where everybody is moving and not stationary, especially at the starts. ... Never collided in all 180 races.
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Old 09-08-2015, 15:21   #43
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

I must be a jerk because I routinely sailed onto and off of my mooring in Newport, RI. Pretty crowded, but pretty standard for all sorts of boats to be sailing through the close quarters of the moorings. Only trouble I ever saw was powerboats getting fouled on anchor lines, and fishermen losing lures by hooking them on rodes. It's always a joy to see people sufficiently seamanlike to sail their boats, and it's far more offensive to me to hear the sound of motors passing closely, to say nothing of the wakes from people's unnecessarily overpowered tenders. I wish more people sailed around; sailing is lovely to see and do: motoring far less so.
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Old 09-08-2015, 15:27   #44
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

Good job, glad that the docking worked out for you. Actually I have found that sailing into a windward slip is the most difficult condition since the wind can increase during the coast into the slip and slow you down too much or maybe quit leaving you with more way on than you want. It sounds like you got it just about right. When the wind is aft of the beam, it becomes very easy to sail into a slip. Simply position the vessel a good distance to windward of your slip with enough way on to have good control. Drop ALL sails (which mostly eliminates the winds short term variability effects on the vessel), turn downwind towards the slip and drift in. As long as the wind is aft of the beam on a well designed sailboat, you don't need any sails to have good control. The more slippery the hull and the more efficient the keel is, the closer to the beam the wind direction can be and still have enough speed to have control. As you are approaching the slip, determine if you need more or less speed, pulling a small bit of a jib up to increase, or making some S turns to slow. Run a line from amidships, either to a turning block or through the amidships hawsepipe back to the primary winch. The other end should have a generous loop which should be slipped over the first piling or cleat in the slip. It then becomes a simple matter to gently bring the boat to a controlled stop by using the brake line and winch. The amidships line position will tend to bring the vessel in close to the dock making it easy to step off and add the remaining lines. Have a back up plan in case (for instance you could drop a stern anchor on your way into the slip) your line handler misses the first piling or cleat but if done properly you should only have 1/2 knot or less of boat speed remaining so nothing catastrophic need happen regardless. I personally make is a point to never enter a slip or any other type of cul de sac with any sail (especially the main) up because there is always a risk that the wind could clock around aft and it would then be impossible to luff the sail (s) to kill the drive.

All the best, James

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Reminds me of when, in my Ericson 27, 28 kt winds, I came sailing into Dana Point harbor to find my engine wouldn't start. I had a windward slip, thank goodness.... and I dropped the genny, sailed right up the alley at about 7 kts, did a hard 360 which brought it to 2, sailed into the row of slips, did a hard 90 and dropped the main and stopped the boat with a foot to spare. Nobody got bumped, scratched or hurt. No skill, just great luck and a good crew. The dockites thought I was either drunk, crazy or a show off. Desperate was more like it.
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Old 09-08-2015, 16:47   #45
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

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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.
"it's not so difficult"? if that's the case, then why is it that only an irresponsible show off would do it except in an emergency? makes no sense to me.

show off. not sure how doing something that you know how to do is showing off. i see 'sailors' motoring upwind in light conditions all the time. does that mean i am showing off if i sail upwind in light conditions?

i notice that, among the negative posts, you see the term show off, or some variant on that theme, quite a bit. could it be that, rather than outrage at sailor 'irresponsibility', the big motivation behind people's ire at someone who utilizes they sailing skills is jealousy?

the above quoted post sure makes it sound that way: ranting at how bad such show offs are for taking such risks and the adding that BTW. it all has the feeling of ,"your an irresponsible butthole for taking such a risk. besides it's not that hard anyway. i've done it. your not special you know. bloody show off."

maybe i am wrong but, usually, when the term "show off" is bandied about, there is a bit of jealousy/insecurity lurking about.

besides that point, recognizing the incident used as example, above, it should be remembered that accidents happen; under sail or under power. people make mistakes. stuff goes wrong. i am sure there are a lot of tales of injuries, and also fatalities, that happened while under power, with the sails furled.

motors are like dumbo's magic feather but, they are no assurance that all will be well. a motor is no substitute for seamanship. like all machines, they tend to fail when you really need them.

a person that uses their sailing skills on a daily basis isn't necessarily showing off to make others look bad. they are practicing what they do so that, in an emergency, they know how to do it and can do it well.

the question you have to ask is, if a person moors under sail and all goes well...no close calls, injuries, or property damage...what's the big issue?

i get the idea that a novice shouldn't learn around other vessels. that's reasonable. but why shouldn't a skilled, experienced sailor utilize his skills?
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