Here is our feedback for mooring
in the area(s):
Channel and West Brittany area : long scope
(1/3 of chain, 2/3 of rope
ideally) is advised, although 100m+ seems to be oversized for most of the cases. 60 meters will cover 90% of the moorings. Alternative solution is to go adry with lateral support (pardon my lack of English
and maritime vocabulary, I am talking about the poles some boats are equiped with to stay standing up when it dries, stanchions?) or to moor alongside quay when it goes dry (in that case you'll perform specific mooring with lines and will have to monitor
setting and movment).
South Britanny and Atlantic coast: same advise, you may be equiped with a little less (40 to 50 meters) and will cover most of the case.
The 2 above areas are significantly different in term of heights and current
speed values encountered, the South britanny and Atlantic coast is easier on that point of view, although it has some specific dangers as well, as the lack of 24/7 port (weather permiting mostly)access between La Rochelle and the Spanish coast (to make it short).. due to sand bars most of the time.
Some basic rules will have to be strictly followed to have a safe and secure mooring:
Proper areas for mooring are clearly identified on the charts
, if you are not familiar with the area, just use these ones to avoid any surprising / dangerous situation, a proper choice of the location is paramount for the safety
and success...regardless and above all other parameters.
The 5:1 ratio is a minimum and is another basic rule
to always follow.
is another one basic rule
, nautical guides and instructions are not to be forgotten...some "obviously safe and protected morrings" may become dangerous although all "visible" condition were met to have a safe and quiet place (coast line and water
reflection can be dangerous although it seems not)...so read and catch as much info as you can in case of doubt.
It is sensible in strong tide condition to monitor
and ensure that your mooring is holding well (alignment checks) after you drop the Anchor
, do not drop it and immediately leave the boat to go onshore, wait that the boat stands still and make sure it is ok...in case you doubt it, just leave a watch aboard (1 person that can handle the boat alone in case it goes adrift) while the crew is going onshore. this last rule applies specially when you are in a river mouth in the area of Channel Island, Paimpol and the like where the current
turns 180° betwen high and low tide, try to ALWAYS be onboard at this moment when anchored.
Check your mooring gear 100%, do not trust the morring buoys 100%...In bad weather and strong tides, all of this will face severe stress and weak / weared Equipment
will fail very quickly...
Chain loop for mooring buoys are highly advised, not to say mandatory, in case you do not have one just put several lines and monitor them each 4 or 5 hours in bad condition (you'll adjust the parameters depending on conditions, diameter of the lines, roughness of the tie in point...).
These are simple rules to follow (mostly it is to pay attention to what you have and what is happening around you), get a full documentation
and mooring practices guidance (RYA...) and you'll enjoy a very nice experience in one of the richest and most various area to sail in France
I am sure that you are already aware of the above statement, the areas and mooring in these condition are just giving much less marging and forgiving in case things are going wrong.
Hope this will help.