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Old 15-06-2022, 19:13   #1
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Unattended boat on a mooring

Now that my boat is safely on her mooring in Provincetown I am forced to leave her for a few weeks. What do I need to do to keep my boat safe while I am away? The marina staff will sort of keep an eye on the boat, and I have a friend that will go aboard after weather events and at least once a week to check the batteries and the bilges. But other than closing the seacocks, what other steps should I take? What about the dinghy? Can I just roll it up and leave it on deck? Should I put it below?

I was originally thinking of taking down the genoa, but now I'm leaning towards just making sure it is securely tied up so it won't unfurl. I've read elsewhere that I should take down all canvas, but the thought of wrestling the bimini on/off the boat doesn't exactly thrill me.

Thoughts, suggestions, and comments are welcome. Thanks in advance.
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Old 15-06-2022, 20:05   #2
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Re: Unattended boat on a mooring

Can get some pretty good squalls there, i would read this for tips about how to safely moor the boat and what causes failures.
https://marinehowto.com/mooring-pend...ughts-musings/
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Old 15-06-2022, 20:32   #3
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Re: Unattended boat on a mooring

I've seen a lot of boats on moorings with the headsails shredded. I would say, though, that if it is the mild weather season of the year, you'll probably get away with it for just 3 weeks. Three months, now, i'd say just bite the bullet and take it down, unless you WANT to buy a new sail now.

If the dinghy is easy to put below, or if there is a safe place to leave it ashore, those are preferable. That said, we have left our RIB (which won't fit below--too wide for the companionway) chained on deck, disinflated, and upside down. How we carry it on passages.

Sailboats are hard to lock effectively (unless made of metal, and with an eye to security from theft), so anything desirable will always be somewhat at risk when you are not on the boat. My husband, Jim, says it's like locking a tissue box. So, I think your dinghy may be safe below on the boat, and still, if it is brand new and you paid top dollar for you, then safer (however you figure out to do that) might lead to more peace of mind.

The bimini can usually be reefed, and I wouldn't worry about leaving it like that.

Now, if early season cyclone ends can get to it at your location, then, of course, prepare the boat for a hurricane, and next time, if you take notes and learn from the first, it will take less time and be even more thorough.. Unfortunately, big weather systems are totally careless of what we boaties want.

It is kind of your friend to come aboard after weather events to check the boat, but do not count on him to fix stuff that isn't right on arrival. Also, double up on your mooring lines, so that if there is chafe, there are backups in place: you won't want the boat to go walkabout.

One other note, if you are going to leave the bilge pump on, be sure that the through hull is open so the water can get out. Even just a thunder shower can drop a lot of rain, and coming back to a fetid sump isn't fun.



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Old 16-06-2022, 00:31   #4
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Re: Unattended boat on a mooring

Provincetown, Ma, on Cape Cod?
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Old 16-06-2022, 01:29   #5
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Re: Unattended boat on a mooring

We found a 24í mid cabin power cruiser floating around Lake Couchachine. I boarded it and rafted to beam to move it ashore. Called the police who said it been reported stolen. I said change the report to stupid it has Dock lines still on it.
Apparently a new boater didnít know how to tie to a cleat. Iíve seen a few boats wander off moorings. Seems someone always rescues them.
Iíd want the Dinghy ashore.
I have a raspberry pi aboard our boat. It would text me if the boat has an issue or turn on live video
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Old 16-06-2022, 02:11   #6
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Re: Unattended boat on a mooring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumrace View Post
We found a 24í mid cabin power cruiser floating around Lake Couchachine...
Rummy is probably referring to Lake Couchiching, immediately North of Lake Simcoe [Orillia, On].
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Old 16-06-2022, 02:47   #7
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Re: Unattended boat on a mooring

Here’s a tip from somebody who did it incorrectly.

Go to nhc.noaa.gov every few days to keep an eye on things.

Other than that, everything will be just fine for three weeks. The most you’re going to get is a thunderstorm. And if you know how to properly secure the sail on the furler, that’s the main thing.
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Old 16-06-2022, 07:15   #8
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Re: Unattended boat on a mooring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caleb_Grey
Can get some pretty good squalls there, i would read this for tips about how to safely moor the boat and what causes failures.
Some good pointers in there, but since the mooring is a rental I can't make most of the changes suggested. But I'll do what I can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann
It is kind of your friend to come aboard after weather events to check the boat, but do not count on him to fix stuff that isn't right on arrival.
The only thing my friend (Margret) has to do is check the boat, she has a number for the professional ($$$) cavalry if she finds anything amiss that needs tending to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay
Provincetown, Ma, on Cape Cod?
Yep, that's the place. Are you going to be in the area?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chotu
Hereís a tip from somebody who did it incorrectly.
Those tips are always the best! I thought I knew how to properly secure the sail on the furler, but I am googling that now. Good tip on the NOAA web site, I will set up a bookmark.
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Old 16-06-2022, 11:30   #9
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Re: Unattended boat on a mooring

I have had my boat on a mooring for many years. I clear the decks and
Leave the boat ready for a major storm. It is extra work but when the storms hit itís definitely worth a peace of mind knowing you have prepared as much as possible. The boat has weather many storms and Even a few hurricanes. The only thing I leave up is a tightly lashed mainsail. I do remove the hanked on jib.
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Old 16-06-2022, 11:39   #10
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Re: Unattended boat on a mooring

FWIW, when I furl my genoa, I keep furling putting about 5-6 wraps (sometimes more) of the sheet around the sail. It makes for less line to stow back on the winches, and in the cockpit, and really secures the sail. As long as you have room on the drum, there's no reason to stop furling just when the clew touches the furled sail.

I have also taken to "filling" the genoa winches with the excess line, again 5+ wraps on the drum up to the self-tailer, then the rest a few more turns back down. Keeps the line out of the way, and makes it really unlikely (dare I say impossible) for it to work loose in a blow.
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Old 16-06-2022, 11:54   #11
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Re: Unattended boat on a mooring

I'd strongly suggest taking the jib/genoa down off the furler. Shredded foresails are the most common damage I've seen on unattended boats, and it's not nearly as hard as it may seem to take them down. Once you've done it once, you realize it only takes ten minutes and then you can stow it safely below.

I personally wouldn't bother with the bimini for 3 weeks. They're a bigger hassle than the jib/genoa. If a hurricane or other major storm does turn towards your boat, it may be worth calling (paying most likely) someone to go take it down if you can. But for that short of a time, I wouldn't worry too much.

Definitely close seacocks and shut off everything electrical except the bilge pump (assuming you plan to leave that on). Shutting off water pressure is especially important because a plumbing failure will cause the pump to empty your water tanks into the cabin.

Backup lines to the mooring ball are a good suggestion. You should also put chafe gear on the primary mooring lines. Fire hose scraps are ideal, but you can also just use rags on any pinch points.
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Old 16-06-2022, 12:23   #12
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Re: Unattended boat on a mooring

Put tjhe dingy below or it might be gone by the time you get back
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Old 16-06-2022, 13:35   #13
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Re: Unattended boat on a mooring

Personally, I would remove the Bimini. I have needed a couple of seams repaired because I could not get back to the boat fast enough in a blow. To be truthful, my bimini is not that taught, so make the call. Whatever will reduce your worry is the best course.
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Old 16-06-2022, 14:00   #14
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Re: Unattended boat on a mooring

I once left the boat unsecured for two weeks and there was a completely un-forecast dip in the polar vortex that led to <10-degree (F) temperatures for a week.
Everything came through OK, probably because the water temperature was still warm. But the point is that unforeseen events can and do happen in two weeks.
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Old 17-06-2022, 07:11   #15
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Re: Unattended boat on a mooring

Lots of chafe gear carefully secured on the mooring line.
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