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Old 09-08-2015, 17:54   #46
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

Drop a fender on an anchor in a quiet bay one day and practice.
The good basic boat handling skills to practice include :
1. secure the helm and sail around using boat heeling and sails to steer - include tack and gybe
2. sail backwards
None of the early practice should be done in a crowded area though and start in a dinghy
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Old 09-08-2015, 17:58   #47
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

"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".

Well actually, If I were out swimming in a lovely anchorage, I would really prefer that people sailed in rather than powered in. The blunt leading edge of a sailboat keel maybe moving at walking speed versus a spinning hunk of bronze?? James

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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.
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Old 09-08-2015, 18:10   #48
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

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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?
nope, I know how to drive real fast and weave in and out of cars, doesn't make it responsible to do on the Interstate
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Old 09-08-2015, 18:26   #49
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

The issue is what is prudent. The term used was crowded anchorage. I take this to me there is little room for maneuvering or mistakes. Obviously smaller boats are more nimble and this may not be as much a problem as it would be for a larger vessel.

Can it be done? For sure! Should it be done? Probably not unless one has to.
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Old 09-08-2015, 18:31   #50
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

I went to the final day of last year's Congressional Cup (one design match races on Catalina 37s) and was amazed at how skilled the helm and crew were at that level of competition.

There were a large number of private yachts anchored around and between the starting box and the shore and once the two boats entered the starting sequence they would chase each other, weaving through these boats and using them as obstructions as they tried to force each other to commit fouls before the starting gun. They were followed closely by a chase boat with umpires raising flags if and when a foul was committed and those lucky enough to be anchored in the middle of this seemed to be enjoying it immensely and no one appeared to be the least bit worried about a collision.

Standing on a patio near the dock overlooking the action I was extremely impressed at the level of control these sailors had with their boats - especially given that none of them own the boat or spend an inordinate amount of time practicing on one. I think if anyone could pick up a mooring under sail at Avalon it would be those guys.
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Old 09-08-2015, 19:35   #51
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

Two things definitely help. One of them is to have learnt to sail in a dinghy and acquired all the boat-handling competence in a forgiving small craft with little inertia. The other -- I'm afraid you have to be an old-timer for this -- having grown up when and where all boats/yachts did not have a motor.

But, to address the question here and now, when you have to work with what you've got, I suggest that the single most crucial thing is to become totally familiar with your boat's inertia: to know when to turn into the wind and drop your sail so that you retain steerage as long as you need it and run out of speed when and where you want to stop. And then you need a trustworthy crew who will not miss the mooring buoy with his boat hook or foul the anchor rode. Or, having aimed right, you need to be able to leave the helm, make it to the bow yourself at the right time and DIY. And yes, don't run over another boat's anchor rode! And yes, calculate correctly how far you are going to hang back.

Tying up to a dock without engine is a little harder. That's the next lesson, after the first one has been mastered. I hope this helps. But "practice makes perfect."
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Old 09-08-2015, 19:49   #52
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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.

Why would someone purposely want to put both theirs and others personal property in danger for no good reason? If you don't have an engine (by choice or poverty) please don't suck me or anyone else into your hole - stay away!

Sometimes, I really wonder.

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Old 09-08-2015, 20:19   #53
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

This thread makes me sad.

Sailing skill used to be respected. When I joined the CCA it was an informal requirement that you demonstrate to your sponsor that you were able to calmly and competently anchor under sail in a "crowded" (Maine in my case) anchorage. And we had many members, like the Stevens brothers, who could make a sail boat dance in perfect control on a pin.

Now some large fraction of you seem to think that is either a stunt or irresponsible. That's just sad.
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Old 09-08-2015, 21:57   #54
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

I sailed out of my slip the other day and going up the faiway an old timer, (A woman!) gave me a thumbs up and said, "Very nice!"

I thanked her very much.
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Old 09-08-2015, 23:09   #55
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

for 35 years I am mooring/ anchoring in the tiny and overcrowded Mediterranean ports. What I learned is that you need planning. My boats were from 32 to 56 feet in size, and I was a big show in my early days. Everybody was yelling, from my boat, from the shore, from other boats- giving instructions, raising alerts, all short of things.

My Dufour 43 or a fountain pajot 47 that i sail regularly are both set for single hand mooring. Planning ahead is done automatically, and things happen so fast and neat that you hear nothing.

Consider the wind and the swell inside the port. Anchor in a safe place and wait if conditions are not favorable and you feel that you will not be able to handle the situation.

Better late than sorry.

Happy Sailing
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Old 10-08-2015, 02:47   #56
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

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This thread makes me sad.

Sailing skill used to be respected. When I joined the CCA it was an informal requirement that you demonstrate to your sponsor that you were able to calmly and competently anchor under sail in a "crowded" (Maine in my case) anchorage. And we had many members, like the Stevens brothers, who could make a sail boat dance in perfect control on a pin.

Now some large fraction of you seem to think that is either a stunt or irresponsible. That's just sad.
Crowded is the word that needs to be defined. In Northport for example, or Huntington Harbor, only small boats without motors sail through the mooring field to and from their anchor. Almost all have crew. Years ago when people developed sailing skills the crowded anchorages of LIS were nothing like the are today.

So you really have apples and oranges. I suppose in some conditions with the right boat (trim) you can sail off a mooring or anchor... and perhaps to a mooring... but not with a largish boat without crew and in gusty conditions, with current running.... jet skiis, dinghys, kayakers, divers, and so on. Way too much data to process to reliably pull off sailing through this sort of "crowded" situation. This sort of thing reminds me of the motor cylcists who weave through slow moving traffic. This is just not prudent... and when it's not necessary.... why do it? It's fun?
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Old 10-08-2015, 05:45   #57
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

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why do it? It's fun?
Sure. It's a challenge. It's fun. It's skill reinforcing (use it or lose it). It is lovely to watch others do it well. It's a good way to teach and bond a crew. It is just simply a great part of our sport/life style.
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Old 10-08-2015, 05:58   #58
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

I can't believe people have a problem with this either. I've been sailing onto/off anchor and mooring balls single handed for the past 7 months and no one has ever said boo. Though some people do look a bit nervous as I point at their stern, though if they look anxious I apologize and just tell them I'm preserving room to leeward in order to bear off if needed. I wish I had the skill and guts to sail into and out of a slip!
What works best for me is to have just a bit of jib out; by back winding it, together with my 5 ft keel on a 28 ft boat, I can spin on a dime. I use my main to control my speed, and reef it below what conditions call for just to limit my top end speed.
I will say, though, that when I came into marathon with a broken engine, I called ahead to see if I could just sail her in as I had heard the field was crowded, and when I was told no, I called the tow instead.


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Old 10-08-2015, 06:14   #59
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

I would tend to agree with the Beth and Evans post that this is indeed a sad thread. I say this because to me the discussion in general shows a lack of respect and trust in your fellow sailor. This seems to come down to a case of trimming the poppies… Are there weather conditions where a certain boat with a certain skipper/ crew should not prudently enter a harbour under sail…(or under power for that matter), yes of course, but who gets to make that call? Most of our daily lives are highly regulated and controlled already and I see this discussion as a call for even more of that. I think that many of us are drawn to sailing/cruising in part due to the freedom of personal expression that it offers. IMO those freedoms have been seriously eroded already.

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Crowded is the word that needs to be defined. In Northport for example, or Huntington Harbor, only small boats without motors sail through the mooring field to and from their anchor. Almost all have crew. Years ago when people developed sailing skills the crowded anchorages of LIS were nothing like the are today.

So you really have apples and oranges. I suppose in some conditions with the right boat (trim) you can sail off a mooring or anchor... and perhaps to a mooring... but not with a largish boat without crew and in gusty conditions, with current running.... jet skiis, dinghys, kayakers, divers, and so on. Way too much data to process to reliably pull off sailing through this sort of "crowded" situation. This sort of thing reminds me of the motor cylcists who weave through slow moving traffic. This is just not prudent... and when it's not necessary.... why do it? It's fun?
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Old 10-08-2015, 07:11   #60
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

I am sure the bikers weaving through traffic are pretty skilled and having fun. That is not the point of some of the comments which find this sailing in crowded anchorages at times not very prudent. The issue for me is how crowded, what the conditions are and so forth. These are judgment calls. I don't know anyone who would approve of bikers weaving through rush hour traffic where some motorists might swerve, react and cause an accident when the biker long gone.

There is nothing sad about this thread and those who argue for prudence. There are plenty of locations to sharpen one's skills and not put innocent bystanders at any risk. For example racers can play all the dancing games they wish because that is expected somewhat... part of their sport.

Using anchored and moored boats as obstacles on a sailing course for the fun of it... may sharpen skills but it can lead to accidents and involve boats, swimmers, kayackers etc. which did not expect to be slammed into.

What I find troubling is the bravado attitude is used to make the prudent sailors seem like spoil sports and old curmudgeons.

I wonder how these crafty sailors feel about jet skiis racing around through an anchorage using it as an obstacle course... because it's fun and hones their get skiing skills? or even boats kicking up a big waking and causing their boat to rock and have their dinner end up in their lap???

Sailing is to me more about a "clean wake" not about having super precision boat handling skills.
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