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Old 30-05-2011, 08:27   #1
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Mooring vs Slip

Hi all,

New to the forum, power boat owner most of my life but new to sailing. Researching to go sail in the future....possibly in the 40' range.


Slips for 40'+ are VERY expensive. I noticed 5 sail boats anchored (moored) between Exchange Island and the Eastern bank on the St. Johns river in Jacksonville, FL.

What are the Coast Guard rules for "permanently" anchoring (non-live-aboard) in areas like this?

What are the negatives other than the obvious dingy ride out to the boat and security?

How can you increase security to help insure that someone doesn't come aboard and steal equipment or even the entire boat?

Does anyone here anchor their boat in an area like this and if so what have you done to increase security?


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Old 30-05-2011, 08:42   #2
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Re: Mooring vs slip

Hi - I can't comment on the local specifics (including local CG/harbourmaster issues which vary enormously from place to place) but there are a couple of general points. An anchorage is not a mooring (at least not in the UK). When you anchor you use your own kit that you then take away with you. When you make/take a mooring it is (or should be) heavy fastening on the seabed (eg lump of concrete) with chains around it up to a big buoy from which the pick up line is trailing.

So: I would not leave a sailboat unattended on its own anchor for long periods. Not even on my beloved Rocna! But I can and do liveaboard at anchor for weeks and months, often leaving the boat for several hours at a time and very occasionally in a very secure place overnight. (There are places and people who leave an anchored boat unattended, but not me.)

But lots of people leave their boats happily on moorings. I would want to know what was on the seabed, and how it was attached to the buoy, and I would look carefully at the specific spot (eg exposure to fetch, height of tide, possible flooding, storm exposure). It is much much cheaper than a berth. You will need to check where and what cost you keep a dinghy to get to and fro as well, and also where you can securely park whatever vehicle you use to get to that point.

If you are going to leave your boat on a mooring it is well worth investing in solar/wind to keep your batteries topped up. Security is a whole other issue which I'm sure other people will comment on.
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Old 30-05-2011, 08:59   #3
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Re: Mooring vs slip

What RG said above

As for security on a boat, it's as good as your neighbors around you.
Boats are not designed to be secure. In theory, you watch your neighbor, they watch you. Nobody to watch you, security is low. Alarms can work, if some one can hear it. Just try to lock it up the best you can. Odds are you will be okay and nothing will ever happen
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Old 30-05-2011, 11:57   #4
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Re: Mooring vs slip

Even in a slip, you can never be sure that nobody will steal equipment or the whole yacht. Then, since boats were broken into in the mooring area a few years ago, I follow the advice of police and take electronics (VHF, GPS, EPIRB), charts and books home each time.

A few months ago, I switched from a mooring to a slip. IME, the biggest difference is in maintenance: each time I wanted to do something onboard, I had to ferry a lot of kit in the dinghy. Now, I just have to use the marina cart.

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Old 30-05-2011, 12:49   #5
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Re: Mooring vs slip

I anchored my boat on the St Johns in Green Cove Springs for a few months last year. Always felt a bit nervous about security, especially when I learned from a couple of local liveaboards that there was a guy living on a hulk nearby that was rumored to pilfer the local boats after dark. Guess they were right since he got busted a few weeks later.

Other than your stated concerns, security and the dinghy ride, I would also worry about two other things, dragging anchor if a bad storm blew through and sinking due to some type of leak that overwhelmed the bilge pump or ran down the battery.

I saw someone say that regulations in the St Johns require you to not stay in the same place forever. I think it said 90 days. Have not seen that written in any official document. I heard nothing after staying a few months in Green Cove other than a message from the local water police that they required boats anchored in the area to have a minimum of two anchor lights, preferably deck level, due to the number of fast bass boats zooming around occasionally at night. I added a couple of solar garden lights from Home Depot and heard nothing more.

I would consider long term anchoring in St Johns again but would do two things. First buy a giant over sized anchor to use like a mooring. Then would not leave anything valuable on the boat.
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Old 30-05-2011, 16:26   #6
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Re: Mooring vs Slip

As far as the wind generator. I would not leave unattended, and running. I left my boat on a mooring for 8 months while I was ill. Came back to 3 broken props, and the thing hanging from it's cables. The loop for the props must've slipped off. Not to mention high winds while you are gone may burn it out. I have lost bearings on the armature, and had magnets come loose in high winds when I COULDN'T STOP THE SUCKER.........i2f
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