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Old 17-06-2022, 08:04   #16
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Re: Unattended boat on a mooring

Most boats in New England on moorings are left there all summer with genoas on, bimini's on and no doubled lines to moorings. Most don't close the seacocks. Most are used only on weekends and no one checks them during the week. Three weeks is simply not a problem.

I'm in a Cape Code harbor with 200 boats on moorings. I can't remember the last time I saw a genoa unrolled. You only see this after a major storm. If you were leaving the boat for 3 weeks in October I'd do more preparation as storms are more common in the fall.

In the very unlikely situation that there is a named storm or gale warning, you should change your travel plans to get to the boat to prepare it. I wouldn't trust anyone else.
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Old 17-06-2022, 11:29   #17
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Re: Unattended boat on a mooring

Use a small rope to secure the drum off the furler so that even if the furler reefing line shafe or becomes loose, this will still prevent the furler to unfurl.
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Old 17-06-2022, 14:17   #18
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Re: Unattended boat on a mooring

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
I've seen a lot of boats on moorings with the headsails shredded.

Ann
Shredded headsails are a common sight in English Bay, Vancouver, when people leave their boats during the heavy weather seasons, and have no one to keep an eye on them.

We noted the same thing in the Taina mooring field in Papeete last year where boats were left for very long periods of time because the islands were closed due to the pandemic. Having a boat watcher will help a lot, but better still, take the head sail down as others have suggested. Also, if the main is hard to remove, wrap it with several suitably long lengths of line. Our boat survived a hurricane in Mexico taking these precautions. Fortunately, we also had a boat watcher who replaced dock lines as they chafed through, in spite of chafe protectors on the lines.
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Old 17-06-2022, 15:22   #19
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Re: Unattended boat on a mooring

We left our boat in a marina, with our normal berth precautions, which aren't much: the furlers had 4 or 5 extra turns on them, and we used our normal dock lines. However, when we returned 7 months later, our friend who was watching the boat for us had had to replace one of the stern lines, and we found one of the bow lines one of three strands had chafed through.

The fact is that once you leave the boat it is in the laps of the gods to be taken care of, and, so are you, all it takes is a relatively minor injury or trip to the hospital and your 3 weeks gets extended--life has a way of getting in the way of plans--and doubling on our dock lines would have solved our problems. Hence the conservatism. Actually, another solve would have been soft chafing gear around the base of the cleat: I have seen this done in cyclone territory in New Caledonia. Ultimately, the OP's choice. Taking down the furling sail(s) gives a chance for routine inspection, and if there is a seam needs re-stitching, convenient to have done while one is gone. Backing up the mooring lines is really only a few minutes work from the dinghy.

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Old 17-06-2022, 18:53   #20
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Unattended boat on a mooring

Over the years Iíve seen a few common things fail on moorings:
1: mooring line chafe. Cure: Make sure you have chafe gear in place. Two lines if you can!!
2: main sheet getting loose. The result is the boom slamming from side to side and destroying the traveler. Cure: tie the boom end with lines to each side to hard points ie winches cleats or stanchion bases.
3: jib becomes partially unfurled. Destroys itself. Worst case increases mooring load and yawing and breaks bust loose. Cure: drop jib, OR extra wraps on jib. Extra line from Furler to a hard point so if furling line fails you are safe. And stand on the pulpit and reach as high as you can and tie a line tightly around the furled Genoa.
4: boat swings at the mooring and the rudder slams side to side breaking the stops and various steering bits. Cure: tie the wheel to both sides. Set the wheel brake. If she is a tiller boat tie the tiller off. Do all this hard.

I have seen all 4 failure modes on multiple boats. What I have listed as cures are my pre-squall routine. Iíve personally experienced two or three of the four. Iíve seen many many cases of all four. # 1 is the nightmare, the others are just expensive.

Iím 40 miles from you, in Marblehead. Summer squalls can hit 80 knots. The Bimini is the least of your concerns. The four I have listed have been my observations over decades.
P-town is a sweet protected spot. Tie stuff down and sleep well!
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Old 17-06-2022, 19:32   #21
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Re: Unattended boat on a mooring

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Originally Posted by dfelsent View Post
Over the years Iíve seen a few common things fail on moorings:
1: mooring line chafe. Cure: Make sure you have chafe gear in place. Two lines if you can!!
2: main sheet getting loose. The result is the boom slamming from side to side and destroying the traveler. Cure: tie the boom end with lines to each side to hard points ie winches cleats or stanchion bases.
3: jib becomes partially unfurled. Destroys itself. Worst case increases mooring load and yawing and breaks bust loose. Cure: drop jib, OR extra wraps on jib. Extra line from Furler to a hard point so if furling line fails you are safe. And stand on the pulpit and reach as high as you can and tie a line tightly around the furled Genoa.
4: boat swings at the mooring and the rudder slams side to side breaking the stops and various steering bits. Cure: tie the wheel to both sides. Set the wheel brake. If she is a tiller boat tie the tiller off. Do all this hard.

I have seen all 4 failure modes on multiple boats. What I have listed as cures are my pre-squall routine. Iíve personally experienced two or three of the four. Iíve seen many many cases of all four. # 1 is the nightmare, the others are just expensive.

Iím 40 miles from you, in Marblehead. Summer squalls can hit 80 knots. The Bimini is the least of your concerns. The four I have listed have been my observations over decades.
P-town is a sweet protected spot. Tie stuff down and sleep well!

Or in my case, because I didnít watch the hurricanes, all of the above worked perfectly for my boat. However, the mooring dragged, badly damaging it.
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Old 18-06-2022, 05:25   #22
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Re: Unattended boat on a mooring

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Most boats in New England on moorings are left there all summer...Three weeks is simply not a problem.
^^This.

If you cared enough to post the question here, you're already far more prepared for a mere three weeks than many who leave their boats on moorings for three months.

I can't disagree with any of the possible issues posted above. I just don't think I'd be all that worried for just three weeks. If someone could check it after a rare weather event, even better.
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Old 20-06-2022, 07:23   #23
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Re: Unattended boat on a mooring

For what itís worth many years ago I had chartered a 38í sailboat in BVIís. As luck would have it I discovered we were about to be hit with the first hurricane in 50 years. Having been sailing for over 20 years ago I took the boat to North Sound and prepared her for the storm. The smart money would have been to give the boat back to the Moorings. As it turned out we faired better then they did.

Hereís what I did. Put to anchors out at 45d angles. All sails went down below. The dinghy was put on deck, deflated and lashed down. I put an extra line on the boom in case the main sheet chafed. The dodger was pulled and the frame lashed to the deck. We closed the sea cocks and opened them when we needed to use them. Yes we were aboard. The point is 2 of us did all this in about 1 1/2 hours, maybe 2 hours. The boat survived Hurricane David, August 1979.

Itís not a big deal to secure your boat for 2-3 weeks. Itís well worth the few hours for the peace of mind. In todayís world the last thing you want to do is file an insurance claim. If you do you may never get insured again.
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Old 20-06-2022, 08:37   #24
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Re: Unattended boat on a mooring

One issue about closing seacocks is cooling water to the engine. I closed mine once and someone helpfully started the engine when a squall swept in. Luckily they were able to move the vessel and shut the engine off before boiling the cooling water. The only thing I had to do to get back in order was change the impeller on the pump.
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Old 20-06-2022, 12:39   #25
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Re: Unattended boat on a mooring

Thanks everyone for all the great tips and advice. I wish I had a chance to read them all before I had to leave the boat!

However, I would like to (jokingly) make the observation that this thread reminds me of the kind of advice you get from WebMD: A) You are fine stop worrying, or B) You have cancer and only days to live.

So I am going to take heart from CaptTom's remark:
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post
If you cared enough to post the question here, you're already far more prepared for a mere three weeks than many who leave their boats on moorings for three months.
There may have been a few more things I could have done, but I think I am good for the four-ish weeks I will be away. People will be visiting the boat and I will have a few days notice of any serious storm. Most of my away time is optional, so worst case I cut it short and return to the boat.

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One issue about closing seacocks is cooling water to the engine.
Yep. I removed the key, put it in a ziploc with a note in red Sharpie, "DO NOT START THE ENGINE BEFORE OPENING THE SEACOCKS", and lashed it to the wheel.

However, I did this for me, not helpful neighbors
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Old 20-06-2022, 18:32   #26
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Re: Unattended boat on a mooring

Deflate dingy put inside or lash it to the deck, I would drop a Bimini if you have one and leave the dodger (if you have one). I would also attach a snubber .
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Old 22-06-2022, 20:37   #27
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Re: Unattended boat on a mooring

We leave our boat on the mooring for 2-3 weeks regularly when it is in the water (in fact, it’s been 2 weeks now), and we always leave the jib on the furler, and the mainsail on the boom, under its cover. Of course, we close seacocks. We do fold up the bimini and lash it well. I’m surprised people are saying here that the sails are a bigger risk than the bimini, that’s not true for me, but maybe that says more about the robustness of my bimini.

I also can’t imagine risking leaving seacocks open on the unlikely event that someone who doesn’t realize to open them will end up moving the boat. How often does that happen?

That’s data, not advice. (And, anyway, its too late as far as the OP is concerned.). Where I am moored high winds (which we have been having lately) means gusting to the high 30s.
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Old 23-06-2022, 04:29   #28
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Re: Unattended boat on a mooring

2019 May ďHowís the new slip?Ē

Donít know itís a meter under water.
The float dock reached its limit and 278 boats lost their docks and picnic tables drifted by. It was a war zone boat season. The whole lake New York and Ontario and if we let the water out we would flood Montreal. I anchored her in a west end bay and chained the Dinghy to a tree.
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Old 23-06-2022, 04:48   #29
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Re: Unattended boat on a mooring

I am on a mooring 6 months of the year and the single biggest cause of boat damage is chafe on the mooring lines. I have taken to putting pool noodles on my lines. The problem is that when there is no wind or current, the lines sink. If they wrap around the ball and get caught under it, they saw through the mooring line when the wind/current pick up again. If the mooring has chain, the ball doesn't come loose but the lines to the boat get cut much faster.
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Old 23-06-2022, 05:54   #30
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Re: Unattended boat on a mooring

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Originally Posted by DanielI View Post
I also canít imagine risking leaving seacocks open on the unlikely event that someone who doesnít realize to open them will end up moving the boat. How often does that happen?
I could see myself forgetting. I've been known to take the key (on a key chain) and hang it over the (closed) handle of the engine intake seacock. Makes it hard to accidentally start the engine.
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