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Old 03-04-2014, 19:50   #1
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Mediterranean Mooring

After some thinking (and consulting ) I decided to start this thread, dedicated to Med mooring issues.

As Noelex77 noted:
“Med mooring is a popular and even necessary way of anchoring in some parts of the world so I think it deserves some consideration if you are planning to sail long distances.
Med mooring is very common in some countries either as a means of tying up to jetties/quays or tying up the stern to rocks, or trees.
It is not practical everywhere, but surprisingly it can be especially useful in those countries where it is practical, but not fashionable, at least in anchorages.”
JonJo remarks were:
“It is actually a mooring style that would advantageously travel - as there are a number of places in Australia that would benefit, for example Eden, or Constitorion Dock (Hobart) or Strahan where people tie parallel to the quay and later arrivals need raft up, guess who wants to leave first!”

Please, forgive me that this post will repeat some things written earlier, in other posts, in other threads, as I want – for the beginning – make quite detailed, and as easy as possible to visualize description of our own practices.

ANCHORING/MOORING GEAR

Generally speaking to make Med mooring safe, several components are necessary:

  1. Really secure and dependable anchor. Med mooring is very testing for the anchor tackle, and You mostly anchor on the bottom substrate being turned up and down continuously. It means the holding is not so strong as may be expected, as the substrate is more loose than it would be in other situations. In my own (and biased) opinion the concave designs are probably safer for the Med mooring. The size of anchor matters, and the biggest anchor You can operate conveniently will be the best one.
  2. All chain rode. The heavier chain has some advantage over lighter one, as while Med mooring You will be relying mainly on catenary for dampening the motions of the boat.
  3. Heavy duty pulpit/bow roller arrangement. This must be designed to withstand heavy shock loads from the waves entering not well sheltered harbours, common particulary in Eastern Med. I saw enough broken or bended bow fixings to be sure it need to be oversized in comparison with what is acceptable for common anchoring out.
  4. Reliable windlass. This should be chosen accordingly to the boat size and anchor tackle weight, and well mounted. Oversized windlass does not hurt – except for some more power drain.
  5. Good mooring lines. The substantial lines of somewhat elastic construction are advisable, as they will serve as secondary mean of dampening the motion of the boat. You need two rather long lines as stern warps and two really long lines to tie to the unquayed shore.
  6. Solid cleats. They should be mounted on backing plates, not washers, as they will be – like pulpit – punished by heavy shock loads from time to time.
  7. Good fairleads. They also should be well mounted and designed to prevent chafe. The fairleads with rollers are my own choice.
  8. Long enough passarelle. You need to keep the boat well off the quay, but in the same time You need to disembark and embark safely.

On our boat (16 m. LOH, cruising displacement 26 t.) we use the following equipement:

  1. Rocna 40 kg galvanized anchor (I’m thinking about upgrading to 55 kg Rocna).
  2. 96 meters of 12 mm galvanized chain.
  3. Lofrans windlass of 1700 kG maximum pull.
  4. Moorex mooring lines, several 15 metres each, four 25 meters each, one 70 meters and one 100 meters.
  5. Really heavily built pulpit with oversized bow roller, good for 70 kg anchor, integrated not only to deck, but also by internal crossbars to the stem and forestay chainplate.
  6. Twelve big cleats (six groups of two each).
  7. Twelve fairleads with rollers (one fairlead dedicated to each cleat). If You want to have a look at, in the album Boat & Crew here, You will find some (last four) photos of the deck arrangement on our “Rita”.
  8. The passarelle long enough to keep the boat about six feet off the quay – it is enough.

MOORING ENVIROMENT

Med mooring in harbours is a way to best use the space available without rafting. To put as much boats into the harbour as it is possible with Med mooring, You need to raft the boats three or four deep at least. Not very convenient, not very safe sometime. Med mooring give You more freedom, as You do not need to agree Your movements with rafted up boats and You can depart easily anytime – at Your will. But Med mooring is not only about to pack more boats at given length of the quay without rafting. There is also another reason for this. A lot of harbours in Eastern Med are natural, squeezed into deep bights and sometime protected by a piece of breakwater. They are safe from the weather mainly, as they are in places proven as safe by hundreds of years. But now new danger arose - huge, fast ferries are passing the harbours on full speed, sending their monstrous bow and stern waves into. There are some harbours (Kioni and Frikes on Ithaca come first to mind), where mooring alongside the quay is straight recipe for disaster. Boat can be taken two or three feet down, than four or six up and thrown side to the wall in seconds. Many was seriously damaged this way and in fact You just can not fender Your boat for such situation. In other places wash from turning ferries is enough to pop up all fenders, nevertheless how long and heavy they are.
In such a harbours the Med-mooring is the matter of safety, not convenience, but You need to be moored properly. In other words, You need Your anchor to be big, heavy and set like a rock, You need Your rode to be all chain, and better on heavier side (here some, but not much catenary comes to play, and to make a small catenary work, You need a weight), You need Your stern pulled several feets from the wall, You need good, somewhat elastic warps on Your stern, arranged in a way preventing chafe.
Once upon a time it happened in one of the harbours in Saronic Gulf (Methana, if I do remember correctly) that some boats were crashed against the wall heavily, and at least one landed ON the quay, just because the big ferry cut a corner a little and passed closer to the harbour entrance than normally... Other boats survived, being anchored better...
So – just for Your own and boat safety – You need to do it proper way with proper eqipement.
On the other hand Med mooring out of the harbours is really a joy. This way You can squeeze Your boat into most unbelievable surroundings, with rocks steeping just boatlengths from You, sheltering You completely form the wind howling above. As always, You need to choose Your place carefully, but the med mooring is often only way to spend time in places inaccessible any other way.

IN HARBOUR MED MOORING – THE BASICS

First thing, before entering the harbour it is good to familiarize with it, using the pilot book and charts. Satellite views on Google Maps or Google Earth are extremely valuable. Better to know, what to expect, than be surprised. Too long “dancing” around harbour is not good in busy places. Nevertheless once in the harbour it is better to take Your time and choose Your mooring slot carefully.
Of course You need to have all gear prepared early and the boat well fendered. For Med mooring You need much more fenders than for mooring alongside. Our twelve fenders are all useful really.
If You are on the multi – go for shallower part of the harbour, if You are on deep drawing mono – go for the deepest part, if on relatively shallow mono, go for the medium deep. This practice is a matter of simple politeness towards other boaters, allowing for the best use of available space.
First thing You need to do after choosing Your slot is to check the placement of anchors of the boats moored on the sides. You also need to check if they are really anchored! In some places the permanent mooring lines are installed, so You can not drop Your anchor at all. Check what is going from the bows – chains, or thick, rather filthy ropes… The mooring balls in harbours are very rare, but do not confuse the buoys for permanent mooring trip lines against mooring balls…
Mooring with permanent lines I intend to cover later, now assume that You are to anchor.
Check for the wind, specifically close to the quay. Often the wind blow parallel to the quay, even if a little out there is almost no wind, or it blows at angle to the quay.
The rodes of other boats will show You direction to their respective anchors, hopefully slightly to the windward. The best place to drop Your anchor is just in the line going 90˚ to the quay and passing the bow of the boat on windward side of the slot. If only possible it is best to drop an anchor at the distance from the quay even to the length of Your chain, because it is advisable to end the whole manoeuver with at least four, better five boatlengths of chain between Your bow and the anchor.
Place Your boat at an proper angle to the quay, allowing for Your prop walk to straighten Your boat once You start moving backward. It is quite funny to sit with a coffe on the quay, looking at the boats placed carefully at 90 degrees angle to the quay, starting backward, turning with prop walk, stopping, going forward and repeating this dance… It is not good practice…
You need to lower anchor to the seabed quickly, and immediately start Your approach backwards. If You have an anchor of Spade kind for example (snap holding) it will be good to stop a chain for an instant and catch the bottom, but the windlass operator must be quick in order to not stop Your progress. With gently setting anchors (Rocna, Supreme) it is the easiest. You just need to keep the chain running so to keep it straight but no tight. With older generation (Delta for example) which need to drag somewhat before setting it is most difficult – You need to have chain tight enough to make an anchor move, but this move must be really slow, to let the anchor set. Once it held, You just keep the chain straight.
While You go backwards it is necessary to keep aiming for the bow of the boat moored to the windward of the slot (steering into the slot in very last moment).
In really strong crosswind bow thruster helps a lot. You need to keep Your rudder somewhat to windward, and adjust the alignement of the boat by bow thruster. In the matter of fact You can even creep to windward a little this way, if You are going neither too fast (for bow thruster to work properly) nor to slow (for rudder to keep a grip).
Without the bow thruster You need to go as fast, as Your windlass is able to put out the chain, to have the best steerage, and You do better aiming a little more to windward, to have some reserve space.
Once in the slot You must remember to put to the shore ONLY Your windward mooring line, tighten it quickly (almost everytime some other boaties are ready to pick up Your lines), and adjust the chain (if You have on the bottom something gentle setting, like Rocna, it will take few minutes, as You will be setting Your anchor properly by tightening the chain feet by feet). In the meantime You keep the boat in place, held by WINDWARD mooring line by engaging Your engine forward and adjusting the revs accordingly to the wind. After, and only after the chain is adjusted, You can put on Your leeward mooring line out. Please, NEVER do it earlier. Always somebody on the quay will tie it somewhere, and You will be not able to balance the crosswind by engine. It mean crushing to quay by stern and to leeward boat by bow. Nothing pretty really. At the last stage, after taking some time to clear the boat after the way, it is advisable to loose both warps, taking up the resulting slack on the chain on windlass, move out about half a boatlength from the slot and then power set Your anchor by back revs. After You can back the boat into the slot again, and finally adjust the chain and warps. Remember to keep a distance to the wall. Tighten everything up, check that You are not too close, and then loose the warps a little to give some catenary to the anchor chain.
As You can see it is manoeuver quite difficult to execute singlehanded, even if You can operate the windlass from the cockpit.
On our boat we sail as a couple with my wife most of the time, and procedure is easy manageable, but we need the helpful hand from the shore to quickly put the warp through the eye or around the bollard and to tie it or to pass it back to the boat. If there is not help available from shore it means that the quay is empty of boats, and the outside help is not necessary. I can just back the boat to the place several meters to the windward from intended place of mooring, coming close enough for Beata to jump onto the quay safely and fix the windward line on quay somewhere to the leeward. The wind will put the boat into the intended place. I just need take up the slack quickly, and engage engine forward immediately after making warp fast.

As You see it is not difficult really. You just do need good orientation, good coordination and preferably somebody qualified operating a windlass. In crosswind the person on the windlass has in the matter of fact much more difficult task than helmsman. The windlass operator not only take a care of setting the anchor properly, but by stopping chain for a moment can also straighten the boat, if the wind blows the bow off. I’m really happy, as Beata really excels in anchor/windlass operation and has time of reaction just like fighter jet pilot. I can remember some situations when we moored safely much more thanks to her skills, than my own.

IN HARBOUR MED MOORING WITH PERMANENT MOORING LINE (OR ANCHOR BALL)

In more and more places the permanent mooring lines are laid. You need to check carefully, as dropping Your anchor between the chains keeping mooring lines in place will inevitably lead to fouling. The mooring procedure is in the matter of fact very similar to Med mooring with Your own anchor. The main difference is You do not have anchor down when backing into the slot. Less fuss, but You need to be careful as You have one less mean to straighten the boat if Your bow were blown off.
Once into the mooring slot follow normal procedure – ONLY windward line to the shore, and keep boat in place using engine and adjusting the revs. Bow thruster is helpful, of course.
If the trip line for the permanent mooring line is attached to the quay You need to take it up by boathook and go to the bow to hoist the mooring line up. As it is almost always filthy, hard, stiff and unmanageable thing, it is more convenient in most situations to put out some of Your windward warp, take up the permanent mooring line, make it fast on the bow and next to tighten it up by reversing the boat to the right place in the slot. The same applies when the trip line is buoyed, instead attached to the quay. Only difference is, You need to pick up the trip line from bow, not from stern. It is easier, if Your boat’s bow is not excessively high. When adjusting the lines remember to keep the boat well off the wall.
Very rarely You can find anchor balls in the harbours. You can do just as when using permanent mooring line, but You need to have something to put Your bow warp through the eye. It is not easy task without proper tool. In calm weather You can do it from the stern before entering the mooring slot (if You do have bathing platform it is easy), but You need to be really careful not to fool Your rudder or propeller by the mooring line of the ball, or by Your own bow warp.

MED MOORING OUTSIDE THE HARBOUR

There are plenty of anchorages around where You can find the best, well sheltered and most picturesque places available only when Med moored to the rocks or trees ashore. In some more frequented places there are even mooring rings fixed to the rocks – very convenient, indeed.
There are lots of nice coves where it is simply not enough swinging place to anchor traditionally, and Med mooring is only way to go
As we sail doublehanded only, our way to get to such a slots is as follow:
We are anchoring out nearby for short time (or just drifting in dead calm) to put dinghy into the water. We are placing the longest line in the dinghy and Beata is going to the chosen spot. While she is looking for a good point to tie the line, I’m getting the boat to move again. Beata is making the line fast on the shore and is coming out (often backwards, to avoid fouling the prop of outboard by the mooring line). I’m putting the (prepared earlier) anchor down in the chosen point, trying to do it at the distance allowing me to use all the rode. I’m backing the boat slowly to meet Beata in the dinghy. If there is a crosswind, we both are going somewhat to windward. After meeting I’m taking the line aboard, passing it through windward stern fairlead and starting to take up the slack, still backing slowly. Beata is fastening dinghy to the leeward cleat at the scoop and coming aboard by bathing platform to help me with a line. When we assessed distances properly, we finish with boat moored with all, or nearly all, chain out, and with the stern close enough to shore, to use the second longest line from leeward stern fairlead to the shore. We normally take out the outboard and put the line from dinghy around one of the mooring lines, creating what we call “the shore tram”. It is great way to commute between boat and shore, just by sitting in the dinghy and pulling the mooring line.

MED MOORING IN MARINAS

I think it is not necessary to describe it, as generally it is standard Med mooring with permanent mooring line, but much easier, as You are directed, assisted and often pushed to Your slot by marina’s RIB. Only one thing… I really saw the boats dropping their hooks inside the marinas… With all this mass of chains, laid on the bottom in exchequer pattern, to keep mooring lines and pontoons in place... Impossible to retrieve the anchor without diver’s help. Sometime impossible to retrieve it at all. If You have even single person on board You can not trust enough, just tie the anchor well to the pulpit as simple precaution…

USE OF SNUBBER

While Med moored outside the harbour, You can use the snubber as while anchored out. In harbour, tied back to the wall, situation is different. You do not want to risk putting a snubber regular way, as a mean of dampening the motion of the boat. For this You need to rely on some catenary and on warps elasticity. On the other hand it is good to take the load off the windlass. You will be better not using any kind of hook to fix the snubber – it can easily jump out in the case of ferry wake entarng the harbour. Soft shackle is probably the best. Use the strong, short snubber only and arrange them in the way to just take a load off the windlass, but not giving mor than inches of slack on the chain. You need to be not thrown back in the case of the snubber parting, and You do not need risk of the chain jumping off the gypsy under shock load. I personally think that best solution are short Spectra lines attached to the chain by Spectra soft shackles. They are not contributing to dampening the motion, but they are strong enough to keep loads off the windlass.



I hope it is readable despite my rotten English, sorry for this.

All comments, reports from experiences and so on are heartly welcomed.

My best regards to all

Tomasz
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Old 03-04-2014, 20:10   #2
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Re: Mediterranean mooring

Tomasz, your English is better than mine and I live in the US (born in Canada so my spelling differs a bit!). Thank you for starting this post. Your description of the variety of Med moorings was enlightening and very valuable.
I spent a few months in the Med, middle East and other locations where this type of mooring is not only preferred but required and anyone heading in that direction should familiarize themselves with your descriptions and practice, practice, practice.
An important addition to your comprehensive and enlightening list of equipment is, IMHO, a hooka set-up or dive gear because in the more popular locations, it gets pretty crowded and folks tend to anchor over one another causing untold panic, cursing and even thrown projectiles at, many times, innocent parties.
Greece is particularly prone to these kind of outbursts by charter captains who are on a schedule with their clients aboard and anxious to get to their next port.
Untangling a rats nest of anchors and rodes can at the best of times be hard work and suck up a lot of air! I've done it for myself as well as neighboring yachts and it is not fun although the water is nice!
Talk to any charter skipper in the Med and he/she will tell you nightmare stories of vessels who left their entire rode and bitter end on the bottom because of some inconsiderate and uncharitable skipper who wanted to leave in a hurry.
Thanks for bringing up a really important issue that western boaters know little about. Cheers, Phil
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Old 03-04-2014, 20:48   #3
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Re: Mediterranean mooring

Thanks Tomasz for the thread.

Very useful info and advise for those who hope to cruise the med in the future. I believe it is also practised in New Caladonia in the Pacific in some spots.

Capt Phil I believe it is always useful to have dive equipment on board. Over years has meant I have never lost an anchor and salvaged many. There was discussion on a a thread within the last year of an example of tangled anchors similar to that you described. Think it was posted by either Double Whiskey or Lagoon4US.

Cheers
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Old 04-04-2014, 00:24   #4
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Re: Mediterranean mooring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
I spent a few months in the Med, middle East and other locations where this type of mooring is not only preferred but required and anyone heading in that direction should familiarize themselves with descriptions and practice, practice, practice.
An important addition to list of equipment is, IMHO, a hooka set-up or dive gear because in the more popular locations, it gets pretty crowded and folks tend to anchor over one another causing untold panic, cursing and even thrown projectiles at, many times, innocent parties.
Greece is particularly prone to these kind of outbursts by charter captains who are on a schedule with their clients aboard and anxious to get to their next port.
Untangling a rats nest of anchors and rodes can at the best of times be hard work and suck up a lot of air! I've done it for myself as well as neighboring yachts and it is not fun although the water is nice!
Talk to any charter skipper in the Med and he/she will tell you nightmare stories of vessels who left their entire rode and bitter end on the bottom because of some inconsiderate and uncharitable skipper who wanted to leave in a hurry.
Cheers, Phil
Thank You for Your nice post.
Crossed anchors are a fact of life in many places, Greece included and on prominent position on the list
I cruise this waters for more than twenty years now, several months a year and most of this time I spent in Greece. I feel part of the problem is that Greece is widely accounted for as an "easy and safe cruising ground". It regards at least Ionian, Sporades and parts of Dodecanese.
Unhappily this opinion made mentioned areas kind of sailing Mecca for unqualified people. And they are encouraged to come. Without any real training they are skippering the boats in the flotillas, and next year they are coming again, as seasoned sailors to go bareboat. Sometime You are lucky enough, and only each second "skipper" in the harbour can not tell stern from stem, but it may be worse, with only each fourth is actually able to sail his boat properly.
In the small and often crowded harbours, when time for decisions is short and margin for errors almost nonexistent it is not strange to me that many anchors are dropped down not by choice but by chance and things underwater become... hmmm... complicated..?..

It is not strange for me that many people prefer to anchor out of the harbours - Med moored or in traditional way, to avoid all this hassle but it is not always and not for all the practicable choice.
By the way I'm preparing the post regarding departure from Med mooring and do intend to include the problem of crossed anchors. May be I'll be able to post it today - if not it will wait probably for Monday

Cheers



Tomasz
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Old 04-04-2014, 01:01   #5
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Re: Mediterranean mooring

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Originally Posted by downunder View Post
There was discussion on a a thread within the last year of an example of tangled anchors similar to that you described.
Cheers
Did You mean this one ?

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Old 04-04-2014, 02:23   #6
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Re: Mediterranean mooring

Thanks Tomasz for that spectacularly comprehensive and authoritative master class.

<<You can squeeze Your boat into most unbelievable surroundings, with rocks steeping just boatlengths from You, sheltering You completely form the wind howling above. As always, You need to choose Your place carefully, but the med mooring is often only way to spend time in places inaccessible any other way.>>

It might be worth pointing out for those who haven't tried it, that when the bottom drops away steeply close to shore, PROVIDED THE TIDAL RANGE IS SMALL, it can be safe to anchor close to shore with a rode not much longer than the depth, because the angle of the rode will be so close to the angle of the bottom that the anchor shank will be relatively parallel to the bottom contour.

Such bottoms are invariably rocky, though, so you need a good rock anchor. I did this once in a lake where the bottom contour lines were so close (because of the steepness of the bottom) that the chart was almost solid colour, with webbing slings wrapped around big boulder on shore for the sternlines. It was magic to be able to anchor securely in a spot where, on the face of it, anchoring would seem impossible.
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:04   #7
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Re: Mediterranean mooring

it is also a good idea to use a floating line as a stern line if tied to the rocks/trees stern too..........
don't ask how i found that one out!
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:06   #8
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Re: Mediterranean mooring

Thanks Tomasz, your descriptions of "how to" are excellent!
We learned to Med moor, as it should be, in the Med. But the skill is important so many other places, as many docks in the Pacific do use med mooring.
But the same skill is required when anchoring in deep water and taking lines to shore (we did a lot of this in Fiordland in southern New Zealand and in the Rock Islands of Palau) We use an inflatable kayak, while I drop the anchor and back down my wife will tie a 100 meter line to her waist and paddle to shore to find a tree or something. Much easier than using our dinghy with a motor.
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Old 04-04-2014, 05:45   #9
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Re: Mediterranean mooring

Hi Tomasz

NO need to apologize for your english, it is better than most. Great post and very comprehensive. There is very little to add.

The MED is also used extensively in Sweden, although here it is freuently bows to. Learning to moor this way should be standard knowledge for anyone cruising foreign grounds,

Her in Denmark, the mooring is almost always between two pilings, bows or stern to as you please.

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Old 04-04-2014, 07:50   #10
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Re: Mediterranean mooring

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Originally Posted by downunder View Post
Thanks Tomasz for the thread.

Very useful info and advise for those who hope to cruise the med in the future. I believe it is also practised in New Caladonia in the Pacific in some spots.

Capt Phil I believe it is always useful to have dive equipment on board. Over years has meant I have never lost an anchor and salvaged many. There was discussion on a a thread within the last year of an example of tangled anchors similar to that you described. Think it was posted by either Double Whiskey or Lagoon4US.

Cheers
Not being brought up as a natural diver (weather and water was too bloody cold in Canada!), I was fortunate to marry a licensed PADI Instructor who introduced me to the sport later in life. Had I learned earlier, I would have employed the skill and knowledge on more than a few opportunities.
I agree entirely with your suggestions that having dive gear aboard any sailing vessel is a sound practice. Not only is it helpful in monitoring how your ground tackle is set, untangling anchors and rode as well as normal inspections of hulls, zincs and props are activities where dive gear is regularly required.
Your suggestion that dive gear can also be used for salvage is a good one provided you don't bring up Rocna's!
Thanks for making a very valuable point... cheers, Phil
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Old 04-04-2014, 15:58   #11
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Re: Mediterranean mooring

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Originally Posted by jim_thomsen View Post
Thanks Tomasz, your descriptions of "how to" are excellent!
We learned to Med moor, as it should be, in the Med. But the skill is important so many other places, as many docks in the Pacific do use med mooring.
But the same skill is required when anchoring in deep water and taking lines to shore (we did a lot of this in Fiordland in southern New Zealand and in the Rock Islands of Palau) We use an inflatable kayak, while I drop the anchor and back down my wife will tie a 100 meter line to her waist and paddle to shore to find a tree or something. Much easier than using our dinghy with a motor.
Fine idea about inflatble kayak
May be we should have one on board

I still hope for Noelex77 description of the technique they are using for mooring to the rocks (in other thread he wrote about using a fender tied to the floating line, but I'm not sure how it works)
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Old 04-04-2014, 16:04   #12
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Re: Mediterranean mooring

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Hi Tomasz

NO need to apologize for your english, it is better than most. Great post and very comprehensive. There is very little to add.

The MED is also used extensively in Sweden, although here it is freuently bows to. Learning to moor this way should be standard knowledge for anyone cruising foreign grounds,

Her in Denmark, the mooring is almost always between two pilings, bows or stern to as you please.

carsten
Hi carsten
I always thought about mooring to the rock with stern anchor out as a Baltic mooring

The mooring between pilings was very poular here in Poland, on Mazurian Lakes, where most of people here start to sail.
Now it is mainly gone, and mooring buoys or permanent mooring lines are installed for Med or Baltic style mooring in most of places.



Tomasz
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Old 04-04-2014, 16:06   #13
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Re: Mediterranean mooring

Quote:
Originally Posted by atoll View Post
it is also a good idea to use a floating line as a stern line if tied to the rocks/trees stern too..........
don't ask how i found that one out!
I'm really tempted to ask... may be funny story...
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Old 05-04-2014, 05:02   #14
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Re: Mediterranean mooring

CROSSWIND – TO SPRING OR NOT TO SPRING

Strong crosswind experienced by Med moored boat can be extremely testing for Your anchor tackle.
The bow is swinging from side to side, putting additional lateral stresses on Your anchor, and trying to help her to make loose, still working a little to the sides in the seabed. Happily these movements are not big normally, and longer the rode, less the stress on the anchor – another reason for a really long scope. It is well worth remember, that more anchors on Med moored boats drag due to the crosswind, than due to the wind blowing straight on the quay. Bad news is, You are Med mooring much more often with crosswind than with wind blowing from Your bow or stern.
The additional danger are other boats. You better expect most of them to be anchored just lousily. Few of bareboat parties have a knowledge and care to do it properly. In strong crosswind some of them will drag almost inevitably and You can have Your neighbours lying on Your side. You can also expect somebody dragging will try to tie his boat to Yours and hang on Your hook – with or without asking.
Many boaters realizing the dangers of crosswind while Med moored try to use the springline, led from the bow to the point on the quay, somewhere to the windward of the boat.
This practice has its downsides.
First – it takes up the available space in harbour, so if You do it, You must be always ready and prepared to take the spring off on the first demand of any boat coming into harbour. I witnessed some very unpleasant situations, when skipper of the boat with the spring was not ready to take it off, even knowing he is blocking one of the last available slots in the harbour.
It is not strange for me, that for some people trying to moor the sharp knife with serrated blade cutting through the line blocking the slot is the answer. Harbour must be a port of refugee in a first place, not stage to show somebodys skills in using ropes.
Next – to be of any positive influence this springline must be rigged at an angle of more than 45 degrees to the centerline of the boat. Anything less and it will take nothing of the stress off an anchor, to the contrary – it will increase the loads on the anchor tackle by simple leverage (think about vectors of forces in different points of boat’s swing). It will also not dampen the swinging of the boat, it will only cause the center of rotation to move, as the stern of the boat is not pinned to the quay. Worse still – the spring acts as a string and make the boat swinging harmonic, the best way to help anchor out of the seabed.
The spring from the bow to be really useful and help the anchor to keep in place need the average working angle of 60 degrees to the centerline of the boat. It is almost never achievable except for almost empty harbour, so in most situations the spring from the bow is or not necessary hassle or it can just hurt. There are other ways to fight the crosswind, to be discussed later

Cheers

Tomasz
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Old 05-04-2014, 08:47   #15
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Re: Mediterranean mooring

I have on occasion, rowed my anchor out after docking , rather then drop in on the way in astern

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