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Old 10-08-2015, 15:34   #106
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

For those who depend on their engines more than their sails. I had a combination throttle and shift cable come loose once coming up to the dock. When I shifted to reverse and gave it throttle it sped forward instead. I was lucky I was able to turn quickly enough to miss the boat forward. After a couple more tries, guess what? I had to sail into the slip. Gasp!

It made me a believer in practice and my dockmate was thankful that I practiced the sailing into a slip maneuver after that near miss.
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Old 10-08-2015, 15:36   #107
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

A friends owns a Steward Knockabout 26 - a great sailing boat with no engine and no place to mount one. We have sailed into and out of Newport Beach, Dana Point, Oceanside, Mission Beach, Shelter Island, Harbor Island many times with no one saying a word to us. We sail onto mooring balls and onto guest docks, private docks, and fuel docks (to buy something at the store).

It is ridiculous to suggest harbor masters would not allow a boat to sail onto a mooring or even to a slip. We frequently call the Harbor Master on the cell phone and/or handheld VHF - "Hello - we are a 26' sailboat with no engine - what convenient dock can you let us stay at tonight?" Never a problem!

A while ago we spent 3-hours on a busy Saturday sailing through the mooring fields at Newport Beach - everyone was smiling and waving and commenting on the beauty of the boat. We were dodging harbor cruise boats, Sea Tow boats, harbor master boats, and dozens of boats that were motoring.

We saw at least six other boats, up to 35' sailing in the same mooring fields.

Gig Harbor, where we used to keep our boat has dozens of mooring balls and on a busy weekend hundreds of anchored boats. The local yacht clubs hold sailing races in the Harbor and use the anchored boats as turning marks. It has been that way for decades.

Where do you people get your strange ideas?
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Old 10-08-2015, 16:24   #108
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

[QUOTE=OldFrog75;1887763][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.
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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.
FWIW, I checked the Avalon Harbor website, and in their published rules and regulations, nowhere does it talk about a prohibition on sailing onto the moorings. There is a speed limit (5MPH or the speed at which a wake is created, whichever is lower) and boats are required to HAVE an engine that can take them in and out. (In California, this regulation is often used to deter houseboats, not sailboats).

The Harbor Patrol meets you at the entrance to assign a slip and take payment...not done over the internet or VHF. I am sure that the patrolman makes a quick assessment of seamanship, whether under power, or whatever, when he meets a boat. If you were under sail, and luffed up to his boat, or hove to, it would be interesting to see what he said. Although not stated, I am sure he has the right to turn you away or tell you what to do, but, depending upon conditions, what would that be? If you had no motor, would he let you in? Might he offer/insist on towing you in? Probably it would depend a lot on conditions, the size of the boat, and how you handled it when the two of you came together. A number of the patrolmen are usually sailors, so they would, at least, understand what it was you were trying to do. How sympathetic would they be? Good question...no idea.

I looked at the photo again and, depending upon conditions, re-iterate that there could easily be times that it would be doable, if there were enough wind, which sometimes there isn't. I normally sail in under main alone, and go very slowly, but I could see where this might be the time for a partially furled Jib. The challenge would not be maneuvering the boat, but stopping it after a very sharp turn, just to leeward of the mooring, so you would need to be going really slowly, unless you were comfortable with pushing the main boom and sail out as a brake.

By the way, it occurs to me that the trepidation with which many seem to view this may be that they don't trim their sails correctly to maintain control while going slowly. It's important to understand that the jib "bends" the wind forward. so when saiiing under main, alone, it needs to be eased out some, or else you have terrible helm, round up, or stall and go sideways (useful, when deliberate), rather than just sail smoothly. And that, I can well imagine, could be very discomforting. So....practice......!
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Old 10-08-2015, 18:42   #109
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

There was never any intention to put you or anyone else down for making a choice to always power into a mooring or a docking. I don't even think that way. But yes, Rod Stephens was an amazing man and there were/are many others that I hope we sailors can look up to. We all need heroes and others to aspire to IMO. I am sure that I will never attain the level that Rod reached and I am completely fine with that. I do have a problem with people that seem to want to pass judgement and limit another options, especially when it comes to sailing. I would like nothing better than for all of us to enjoy boating in the manner that we are comfortable and where there are overlaps that are different from whatever we are comfortable that we grant others the freedom to find their own place.

For the record, your first post and the subject of the forum made no mention of the harbour Avalon. The first mention appeared in post #8 which I did not read so I applied my definition of what I considered to be a crowded anchorage to the discussion. At any rate, after looking at the photo of Avalon harbour provided in the link, I can say that while I could very likely sail in and pick up a mooring if I really had to that I would consider the area too tight for my comfort zone under sail or power for that matter. In other words I would if possible just cruise somewhere else.

On the subject of Camden harbour, if you were there on a busy day such as during the Castine to Camden feeder races that we used to sail in, there are certainly times when it looked pretty busy to me with multiple schooners underway, numerous sailboats of all sizes, row boats, kayaks etc. I never heard any shouting or saw any scrambling. The schooners were usually moving along at maybe 2-3 knots under sail so people would sometimes be rowing or paddling across their bows. Everyone seemed to know their place and politely left enough room for the less manuverable boats. And while I never once saw any collisions and I am pretty confident that being hit by a sailboat going 2-3 knots does not result in a mushroom cloud and is generally quite survivable. (grin) To those who have not yet visited Maine but truly love sailing, you may find it a breath of fresh air so long as you can deal with the lobster pots! (grin)

This has been an interesting thread to read, lots of great input from a number of people. All the best to everyone. James

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Sailorboy1... I agree with you, but the subtext is that when you have sufficient boat handling skills you can do what would be imprudent for those who have lesser skills. And so this is a sort "subtle" put down for those who have chosen to cautiously motor through anchorages.. where they only have to control their engine and the helm and not deal with wind direction, leeway, tacking, sheets and so forth. Ya know Rod Stephens could do it and so why can't you????????????
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Old 11-08-2015, 01:52   #110
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Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

Avalon harbor master would take your boat info, your $35, side tie you to his boat, motor you right over to your mooring, and even pull up and cleat the bow hawser for you. They're quite happy to help anyone whom they think needs it, like it or not.

First time on the new boat, I missed the mooring buoy once, and before I could the boat around, the harbor master was nudging me back into place and directing my actions--all based on the fact that they had not registered the new boat previously, so he followed right behind me.
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Old 11-08-2015, 04:49   #111
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

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For those who depend on their engines more than their sails. I had a combination throttle and shift cable come loose once coming up to the dock. When I shifted to reverse and gave it throttle it sped forward instead. I was lucky I was able to turn quickly enough to miss the boat forward. After a couple more tries, guess what? I had to sail into the slip. Gasp!

It made me a believer in practice and my dockmate was thankful that I practiced the sailing into a slip maneuver after that near miss.
I witnessed a 38' motor cruiser reverse out of its marina berth, then turning and going forward was caught by a wee gust of wind, the skipper opened throttle in a panic, but forgot that the stern swings around. He ran over the neighbouring finger. Then stopped in the fairway looking lower in the water, by which time I was rowing to the rescue in a dinghy. I wasn't needed as he motored back into his berth and quietly sank to the bottom with only the cabin showing...very sad

So people can get into trouble using their motors in a marina. In fact the most out of control boats coming to anchor in my opinion are usually high sided motor boats with half a ton of passengers and crew upstairs on the fly bridge.
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Old 11-08-2015, 07:25   #112
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

It sounds like the marina staff are pretty friendly and helpful there. Considering the density the daily mooring doesn't sound bad either. Thanks for the information. James

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Avalon harbor master would take your boat info, your $35, side tie you to his boat, motor you right over to your mooring, and even pull up and cleat the bow hawser for you. They're quite happy to help anyone whom they think needs it, like it or not.

First time on the new boat, I missed the mooring buoy once, and before I could the boat around, the harbor master was nudging me back into place and directing my actions--all based on the fact that they had not registered the new boat previously, so he followed right behind me.
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Old 11-08-2015, 07:47   #113
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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.
[irony alert] Of course there arre simply scads of sailors who can successfully emulate the Stevens brothers. [/irony alert]

It seems fair here to re-emphasize the distinction made earlier between "can" and should."

A friend of mine once encountered Roderick Steverns on his Tartan 34 somewhere in Muscongus. According to my friend one could not imagine a more unassuming gentleman, one who would never undertake actions to unnecessarily endanger another's person or property for no good reason.

I say this while pleading guilty to committing this act by routinely picking up moorings under sail just off our yard down Barnegat Bay where rests a tightly packed collection of wooden A-cat sailing boats These boats (About « Barnegat Bay A-Cats), some actual antiques and some more recent, are treasures not duplicated anywhere else in the the world. I have yet to damage one of them with my little plastic sailing boat, but that does not mean what I do makes any real sense. It's perhaps my vanity taking control, instead of my better judgement.
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Old 11-08-2015, 08:00   #114
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

When I wrote about sailing in amongst anchored boats, I wasn't referring to picking up my mooring, that's dead simple for a sailor.Iwas talking about doing a dance through, across, around all the boats anchored or moored in the harbor. I had an Ericsson 27 and later a Challenger 32 on a mooring between two balls just in front of the American Legion Yacht Club in Newport Beach. I sailed most every day off of and onto my mooring and out into the ocean where I specialed in picking a larger boat, overhauling it on their windward side, crossing their T,dropping down and crossing their stern and overhauling them on the windward side, effectively "sailing a circle"around them. I would then wave to them and bear off. SHOWING OFF? , you bet! When I was a QM on an LST and we'd replenish underway, I was the ONLY one allowed on the wheel plus being the helmsman at GQ, so they must have had confidence in my abilities. Some are born to it. Some achieve excellence through practice. Some just bitch about others who have the skills to do what they lack the skill and confidence to attempt until they are forced by their engine taking an unexpected dump to do something radical such as sailing their sailboat.I'll watch out for your boat and I suggest, not too respectfully, that you mind your own business and, no, the running of the seas is NOT your business. If you choose to stand guard on deck with a boat hook, go for it.
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Old 11-08-2015, 12:37   #115
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

What a thread. I see several folks have sailed in the tight Southern California mooring fields and anchorages. The Newport Beach Harbor is a giant mooring field of boats moored bow and stern. Many folks in small boats (I define "small" as 40 ft or under and maybe 14T or less) sail through -- most are on 30-ish foot boats or less. The YC's there even have their weekly races there in that tight harbor and while I presume the courses are set to keep people out of the moorings, it's almost impossible to sail and not end up in among the moorings in that harbor.

I consider myself an average sailor, my husband about the same. I agree with a previous post that many cruisers aren't the best of sailors because they didn't learn to sail, they learned to cruise using a motor primary for close maneuvering. When I learned to sail, it was at a US Navy base and we were required to sail the boats into the slips. Period. Started with a little 14' Rebel, then a 22' Cal then a 28' Cal and it was all sailing. I also taught sailing there for a couple years. That was where I learned to sail. Today, the same base offers sailing lessons but requires the opposite: boaters on the Catalina 27 and 22 MUST motor into their slips. Same slips we used to be required to sail into in order to pass the exams and get certified. Difference? 30 years.

Other thought -- I loved sailing our Rawson 30 on and off the mooring in the crowded mooring field. Easy-peasy as it is for most "small" boats. No hyperventilating needed. However, in a wide range of conditions, I would hate to have to sail our 30T 54' on deck 69' overall length schooner onto the mooring we occasionally use for her when in SoCal. Why? Just so much more tonnage to stop on a dime. There's a tiny little subset of conditions that I'd do it in on this particular boat. Same with sailing into a fairway -- it depends on how wide the fairway is relative to the boat. I mentioned I'm an average sailor. Therefore I'm cautious. OTOH, I love seeing every sailor practicing their sailing skills and don't feel bothered if someone is doing so in a mooring field or anchorage.

Two pics -- first, the kids at San Diego Yacht Club racing through the La Playa anchorage on a weekend. The anchorage is full of anchored boats including ours. We have a front row seat to observe their developing skills. Second pic, one of our favorite sailing friends, Don (solo sailing in his 80's), the same day, coming around in the shallows between the anchored boats and shore as he starts his process of anchoring his 38ft engine-less boat in the La Playa anchorage.

I'm accomplished at sailing onto and off of anchor with our Rawson 30, the same with sailing onto and off of moorings. In uncrowded anchorages (Drakes Bay outside of San Francisco, or many of the anchorages in Washington state, BC, and Alaska) I practice my sail off of anchor with our schooner. Someday, I'll do the same with dropping anchor under sail, but I don't feel a lot of urgency to do it as I sleep well when I know I've set the anchor in precisely the way I like to set up with engine. I like my sleep

Happy sailing, folks. Also--for anyone who learned to sail with your 20T 40-some-foot-plus cruising boat and may feel uncomfortable without the engine in tight quarters, ask someone with a smaller boat to take you out and let you get the experience that will make you feel better about it.



Don sailing through the shallows into the La Playa
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Old 11-08-2015, 12:50   #116
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

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Originally Posted by Schooner Chandlery View Post
What a thread. I see several folks have sailed in the tight Southern California mooring fields and anchorages. The Newport Beach Harbor is a giant mooring field of boats moored bow and stern. Many folks in small boats (I define "small" as 40 ft or under and maybe 14T or less) sail through -- most are on 30-ish foot boats or less. The YC's there even have their weekly races there in that tight harbor and while I presume the courses are set to keep people out of the moorings, it's almost impossible to sail and not end up in among the moorings in that harbor.

I consider myself an average sailor, my husband about the same. I agree with a previous post that many cruisers aren't the best of sailors because they didn't learn to sail, they learned to cruise using a motor primary for close maneuvering. When I learned to sail, it was at a US Navy base and we were required to sail the boats into the slips. Period. Started with a little 14' Rebel, then a 22' Cal then a 28' Cal and it was all sailing. I also taught sailing there for a couple years. That was where I learned to sail. Today, the same base offers sailing lessons but requires the opposite: boaters on the Catalina 27 and 22 MUST motor into their slips. Same slips we used to be required to sail into in order to pass the exams and get certified. Difference? 30 years.

Other thought -- I loved sailing our Rawson 30 on and off the mooring in the crowded mooring field. Easy-peasy as it is for most "small" boats. No hyperventilating needed. However, in a wide range of conditions, I would hate to have to sail our 30T 54' on deck 69' overall length schooner onto the mooring we occasionally use for her when in SoCal. Why? Just so much more tonnage to stop on a dime. There's a tiny little subset of conditions that I'd do it in on this particular boat. Same with sailing into a fairway -- it depends on how wide the fairway is relative to the boat. I mentioned I'm an average sailor. Therefore I'm cautious. OTOH, I love seeing every sailor practicing their sailing skills and don't feel bothered if someone is doing so in a mooring field or anchorage.

Two pics -- first, the kids at San Diego Yacht Club racing through the La Playa anchorage on a weekend. The anchorage is full of anchored boats including ours. We have a front row seat to observe their developing skills. Second pic, one of our favorite sailing friends, Don (solo sailing in his 80's), the same day, coming around in the shallows between the anchored boats and shore as he starts his process of anchoring his 38ft engine-less boat in the La Playa anchorage.

I'm accomplished at sailing onto and off of anchor with our Rawson 30, the same with sailing onto and off of moorings. In uncrowded anchorages (Drakes Bay outside of San Francisco, or many of the anchorages in Washington state, BC, and Alaska) I practice my sail off of anchor with our schooner. Someday, I'll do the same with dropping anchor under sail, but I don't feel a lot of urgency to do it as I sleep well when I know I've set the anchor in precisely the way I like to set up with engine. I like my sleep

Happy sailing, folks. Also--for anyone who learned to sail with your 20T 40-some-foot-plus cruising boat and may feel uncomfortable without the engine in tight quarters, ask someone with a smaller boat to take you out and let you get the experience that will make you feel better about it.



Don sailing through the shallows into the La Playa
The Navy Sailing Club I learned the most at was Coronado, and you? I remember the Rebels being 16s and our trainers were Catalinas. Might have been in different years.

Those Naples Sabots are the most fun little dinghy ever. I've had a couple and they are a great tender.
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Old 11-08-2015, 13:01   #117
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

Used to teach sailing for Newport Beach Parks and Rec.at 15th St. I had about 15 Sabots,some with Lee boards, some with dagger boards.Maybe a third of the boats had two students in them. We had a written exam but I told the students I didn't care of they passed it or not. I'd pass them if they could rig a boat on the beach, sail out into the bay, swamp the boat, then sail it back to the dock. If they could do that, I figured they'd be okay in a Sabot in the ocean.
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Old 11-08-2015, 14:43   #118
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

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The Navy Sailing Club I learned the most at was Coronado, and you? I remember the Rebels being 16s and our trainers were Catalinas. Might have been in different years.

Those Naples Sabots are the most fun little dinghy ever. I've had a couple and they are a great tender.
It was on the strand, yes. I always thought the Rebels were 14s, but could have been 16s. The Cals were Cals but they had Catalinas coming in and that's what they have to this day.
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Old 11-08-2015, 15:58   #119
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

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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.

...

The Harbor Patrol meets you at the entrance to assign a slip and take payment...not done over the internet or VHF. I am sure that the patrolman makes a quick assessment of seamanship, whether under power, or whatever, when he meets a boat. If you were under sail, and luffed up to his boat, or hove to, it would be interesting to see what he said. Although not stated, I am sure he has the right to turn you away or tell you what to do, but, depending upon conditions, what would that be? If you had no motor, would he let you in? Might he offer/insist on towing you in? Probably it would depend a lot on conditions, the size of the boat, and how you handled it when the two of you came together. A number of the patrolmen are usually sailors, so they would, at least, understand what it was you were trying to do. How sympathetic would they be? Good question...no idea.

...
BTDT. He asked us to drop the sails before he'd talk to us (even to know if a mooring was available - i.e. we were thinking Whites or Two Harbors if not)

With a 30 footer, it's waaaaaay tight in Avalon. Fenders necessary for wind/tide depending on the windage of your neighbors.

The other poster is right though, the harbor patrol in Avalon will help you to your mooring - we had one that had to untangle ours once. I just fended off the boat next to us rather than trying to hold a sailboat motionless in the breeze.
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Old 11-08-2015, 17:21   #120
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

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It was on the strand, yes. I always thought the Rebels were 14s, but could have been 16s. The Cals were Cals but they had Catalinas coming in and that's what they have to this day.
Must be the same place. It was called Fiddler's Cove just the Imperial Beach side of the AmphibBase.

Lido 14s, Capri 14s, Rebel 16s, Wood Knockabouts at a about 26 feet, Catalina 22s, Catalina 27s and the old Navy wooden Luders Yawls. I was involved there with getting training and instructing from 75 to 81. Some great sailing. They had a Soling too which was a fun ride.

My friend Tom and I were just talking about the place the other day. He had a big Cross Trimaran in that area and did some mooring work for Fiddler's Cove.
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