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Old 10-08-2015, 10:24   #91
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

Better call Don Street a showoff ! Whoops , I forgot, Iolair has no engine !
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:27   #92
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

Evans...
Obviously you have a different conception of what a crowded busy anchorage is... and can't conceptualize the risks.

Most sailors can and act prudently and don't sail on and off their moorings or anchors in crowded busy situations. And therefore they act prudently as they should and avoid mishaps. And that's the way it's supposed to be.

You did not provide a shred of evidence that the risk is minimal. Perhaps you might ask some Harbor Masters what they think of even some insurance companies what they advise. Both tend to err on the side of caution and I don't think they would advocate sailing on and off moorings. Some harbors such as Dering proscribe it and that applies to sailing onto and off the fuel dock. I am sure they will make an exception for someone of your skill!
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:39   #93
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

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You did not provide a shred of evidence that the risk is minimal. Perhaps you might ask some Harbor Masters what they think of even some insurance companies what they advise.
Did you miss that I told you that it was a fact that BoatUS, the biggest pleasure boat insurer on the east coast, had zero claims of this sort over the past 5 year period?

Or that it is not mentioned at all ever (since I started following them) in the USCG annual safety reviews as even a minor/secondary cause of incidents?

I would say almost certainly a much bigger risk (still tiny but much bigger than what we are talking about) is entering a crowded mooring field in over 25 kts of breeze. Do you also think everyone is inconsiderate and imprudent if they do that?

So, so far you have provided no support or explanation at all for your notion that it is in any way inconsiderate. You just keep waving your hands and saying it is so.
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:39   #94
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

Lots of great advice, to which I add: if at all possible, I scout the mooring field from a respectable distance with the binocs and examine the boundaries to see if there is an "edge" mooring or even a spot to drop anchor without wending my way through.
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:52   #95
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

I guess the bottom line here is that some folks do not feel like they have sufficient control of their boat when sailing and therefore feel that no one has control of their boat when sailing.

All this is a little hard to understand - I learned to sail on 30+ foot race boats and International 420 and 460 planning hull boats. No one in that community would admit to not being able to control their boat within inches of three or four other fast boats and a stationary mark such as a committee boat or turning mark.

I think it extraordinary that sailors would now say it is not possible to control their boat, under sail, within yards of another boat that is stationary.

We live on Harbor Island in San Diego Bay. Every Wednesday evening we watch hundreds of boat, all under sail, weaving back and forth, too and fro, within inches of each other as they maneuver for the start line just a 50-yards off the rip-rap wall on the island.

Not a single one every hits another boat and they are all moving at 4 to 8 knots in a very dynamic fashion.
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:52   #96
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

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Did you miss that I told you that it was a fact that BoatUS, the biggest pleasure boat insurer on the east coast, had zero claims of this sort over the past 5 year period?
does BoatUS really have a category for"

"Collision of boats in a mooring field due to sailing the boat instead of motoring"

I've finding this hard to believe.
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Old 10-08-2015, 11:07   #97
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

Well, since nobody else seems to be stepping up with a definition of "crowded" (unless I missed it) I'll take the plunge:

"Crowded Mooring Field: A mooring field whose moorings are too close together for the user of the term to feel comfortable sailing onto or off of the mooring without motoring. The term is relative to the user's skill."
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Old 10-08-2015, 11:32   #98
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

Insurers expect their insured to be prudent in their boating activities. Most insured are. Same with auto insurance companies. What is being prudent? I suppose that is one of the gray areas. While sailing through an "obstacle course" shows skill which might have use... and for those without motors it's a necessary one... most sailors with auxiliary motors see not point in this sort of "precision" sailing. That is to say there is little up side to this level of skill and very little use for it. On the other hand there are risks which are likely greater than simply using the motor in crowded situations.

Evans had no use of a motor because his sailing skills were so honed he never turned to the iron genny. Oh I forgot... that was Don Street.

Imagine the madness of all the sail boats returning to their moorings and tacking through the mooring field on a blustery Sunday afternoon.. honing their skills and having fun! Maybe BoatUS will offer discounts to their insured if they are qualified to sail on and off their mooring in crowded anchorages???

mstrebe makes the point that there will be (maybe) anchorages which no sailor would attempt to sail on or off their mooring because they deem it risky. LIS I believe is full of them. Parts of Newport for example, would be risky such as east and North of Ida Lewis or the one East of Goat Island and some not such as East of Fort Adams.
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Old 10-08-2015, 11:39   #99
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

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I think it extraordinary that sailors would now say it is not possible to control their boat, under sail, within yards of another boat that is stationary.
That is not a fair characterization of the risks of sailing on or off a mooring in a busy crowded anchorage or mooring field. There could be perhaps dozens of anchored boats one must avoid as well as kyackers, people rowing and motoring in their dinks... swimmers, jet skiers, kids sailing Dyer dinghies, boogie boarders, launches, tour boats and so forth.

Come experience Northport or Hungtington Harbor one July weekend to see what crowded is.
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Old 10-08-2015, 11:48   #100
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

To assume that all sailors have equal skills is synonymous to saying that all baseball players hit .350. In my unscientific study done over the last 25 years of sailing, I believe the majority of "cruisers" we have met are poor sailors in regards to knowing the dynamics/techniques of making a boat move through the water in all wind and sea conditions without the use of a motor. It is because, I believe, most "cruisers" learned to sail on an auxiliary sailboat and never really honed the skills necessary to become a good sailor like those who learned on small engineless boats or small boat racers. So, it would be truly terrifying to be in close proximity to one of those vessels, whether it be a heavily laden Tayana 37 or a sprightly Catalina 30, picking their way under sail through a mooring field of boats and buoys. The potential for damage is great and it should not be considered by a prudent person. Good luck and good sailing.
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Old 10-08-2015, 12:18   #101
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

I don't know if I am more amazed at the original post "Does anyone actually do this", or the strident, subjective criticisms from those who don't. The most dangerous thing any of us do is to drive a hunk of iron at 80 MPH, five feet from someone else we do not know, who is doing the same thing! We blithely accept that - exceeding the legal speed limit, I am sure, while getting our knickers in a twist because someone is sailing through a mooring field at the speed of a slow jog. Evans has already stated that Boat US hasn't had a claim in five years, and the hair-splitters are wondering if there was a specific class? Simple. You look up the claims - probably weren't too many, even under power. But, Evans, some folks don't read these posts to learn anything, only to tell others what to do and not to do, largely based on their own comfort zones. And people are very skeptical of those who can do something they can't.

For background, I run a 45 foot charter cat in the BVI. And, yes, I do know the earlier poster, also from the BVI, who decried sailing onto moorings, and he knows me, although he may not realize it's me who is writing this. i am also an instructor, but not the one that hit someone, because I haven't ever come remotely close to doing that. I have been hit, while on a mooring, however, but only by boats under power.

In my catamaran courses I almost invariably show my students how to pick up and drop moorings under sail, and how to anchor, under sail, too. Why? To be a show off or "A-hole"? Not at all. I am teaching them what a sailboat is capable of and I am expanding their comfort envelopes, something that a number of people in this discussion might consider doing, as well. But they may also be the ones who say, "don't bother with lessons". Those of you who know the BVI will know the pass between Saba Rock and Bitter End Yacht Club, in North Sound, Vigin Gorda. Well, I routinely sail that pass, upwind, with very short tacks. I don't know anyone else who routinely does that on a 45 foot cat, but I hope boats that see Jet Stream do it are tempted to learn how and practice to do it, too. This is one maneuver I don't do singlehanded, and I always make sure my guests are well up to speed on handling sheets and winches. Remember, there is no one more committed to keeping my boat safe (as well as those of others) than myself, even though I am very well insured.

When they get comfortable doing things that they might have been reluctant to do, my students, and other charter guests ,become more more comfortable and confident in their own skills, and much better sailors, too. And, it makes the more common maneuvers a piece of cake. If other boaters observe us - and they do - they usually compliment us, and one of the reasons that I do these things on regular charters is not to show off, but to get other boaters thinking about and wanting to learn to do the same thing they have just seen. And that makes them safer for all of us. Let's see....on this past week's charter, we picked up six moorings. Four were under sail, and two weren't, because I thought my guests' skills weren't up to it, in one case, and because we were motoring, anyway, in the other. Of the four moorings we picked up, three were spot on the first time, and in one case, we were going a bit faster than I wanted, so I did a go round and picked up the mooring on the second try. But my escape route was well planned in my mind, in advance, so there was no fuss of any kind.

Admittedly, some of the mooring fields in the BVI are less cramped than in some other places, but our boats are much larger on average, and our winds much stronger, too. I have moored in Avalon, many times in the past, and agree that is pretty tight. Would I sail onto a mooring there? Maybe...depends upon the conditions and the boat. But, if I had an open spot or two on either side, I MIGHT consider it. It all becomes a matter of experienced judgement.

In this hyper cautious and blame-everyone-else world we now seem to live in, I have met a couple with ten years of sailboat ownership, who had yet to gybe. I have met people who have yet to heave to, yet to drop an anchor, yet to sail out of sight of land, and yet to sail in the dark. All of these things are legitimate challenges until they are mastered. It just takes some learning, some practice, some good judgement, and a good bit of planning ahead. And folks should do this.

I don't know how to fly, so I wouldn't try it. But, if I did want to do it, I would learn, and then I could do it and I would do it. There are many on either side of this discussion whose minds will never change, but I hope at least some of those who have never considered mooring under sail, will have become interested in learning and practicing this skill. They will be better off for it, and so will the rest of the boating world.

For those who have written extensively on this thread to decry the practice of mooring under sail, please save your breath. I have already read all of your comments, and not one arbitrary thing that has been said, has convinced me that it's better not to develop, and use, one's skills, with good judgement that takes into account the boat, the sailor, and the conditions. And, yes, it IS fun to use those skills, and fun to see them demonstrated. Kind of like riding a horse, well, instead of depending upon a car.
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Old 10-08-2015, 13:44   #102
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

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That is not a fair characterization of the risks of sailing on or off a mooring in a busy crowded anchorage or mooring field. There could be perhaps dozens of anchored boats one must avoid as well as kyackers, people rowing and motoring in their dinks... swimmers, jet skiers, kids sailing Dyer dinghies, boogie boarders, launches, tour boats and so forth.

Come experience Northport or Hungtington Harbor one July weekend to see what crowded is.
Well, to me the harbor in the photo looks like it would be no problem to sail around in and pickup a mooring. The winds look to be about 12 kts. Lots of space and a couple of open mooring balls. In fact, the only hazard that I can see is the blue hulled sailboat in the foreground. It is over loaded with passengers all without lifejackets and the mainsail cover is still on. I suspect that I could find a way to avoid hitting it with my 11 tons of boat while I silently slip by under sail.

BTW, I'm 71 have sailed for 60 and own my current boat for 37 of those years.
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Old 10-08-2015, 14:10   #103
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

[QUOTE=contrail;1887687]

I have moored in Avalon, many times in the past, and agree that is pretty tight. Would I sail onto a mooring there? Maybe...depends upon the conditions and the boat. But, if I had an open spot or two on either side, I MIGHT consider it. It all becomes a matter of experienced judgement.
[QUOTE]

I've picked up moorings at Avalon and Two Harbors quite a few times and I've never seen anybody try it. Any sailor I've mentioned it to thinks it's crazy to even consider it and I fully understand their reticence particularly when it's so much easier to just use the motor.

I think it's very doable under the right conditions but as another poster mentioned I'm not sure the Harbor Patrol would allow it so it's probably a moot point, and since I will probably never have the opportunity (or need) to try it, I was wondering if others had in a similarly congested area.
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Old 10-08-2015, 14:22   #104
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

This is my final comment on this topic. I suppose it's fun to sail the obstacle course and "do it" without a motor. It also shows excellent control and situational awareness, familiarity with the vessel and the weather and sea conditions. All of these are good things. It seems that there is greater risk of mishap sailing then there is motoring... more control despite the skill of some with trim and the helm. How great the risk is dependent on many factors and to some it's all minimal.

Or as the saying goes... it's all fun 'til someone loses an eye.
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Old 10-08-2015, 14:28   #105
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

There is more possible danger to swimmers from a propellor than from a sailing boat. I still sail in when I feel like it but there are some who consider it showing off. I often sail out of an anchorage with my motor running in neutral. The motor has been started for more volts to the winch.

If the wind is not too strong it's easy to raise the main sail while still at anchor. Then with the anchor up you have pulled forward away from the boat behind you. Free the main sheet and roll out the jib and tighten its sheet. That will swing the bow around and with a quick gybe of the main you are on your way.
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