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Old 20-10-2020, 19:41   #16
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

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Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
Why would you ever tie to a mooring ball that you had so little knowledge of or confidence in??
Hahahahahahahaha

Havenít picked up a mooring in the USVI? Many moorings are real junk and poorly maintained. Even in Bonaire we lost our mooring and neighbors lost two.
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Old 21-10-2020, 05:02   #17
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

I feel like powering down on a mooring has the potential to, at least partially, pull it out of the mud and make it more likely to drag. I've seen it done, intentionally, although admittedly with more powerful boats than the average sailboat. I've done it myself with a 16-foot runabout and a lot of help from the tide.

Of course, if you have no clue as to the quality of the gear, there's a chance a weak link or rusted shackle could let go on the first tug. I know it happens, but not often.

More likely, if you don't know what size boat the mooring was designed for, is that you're too big and you'll drag the thing around. It could be that the weight of the block is insufficient, and the only thing holding you is the suction created from the block sinking into the bottom. Deliberately trying to pull out someone else's mooring seems kinda rude to me. If the owner (or someone they knew) saw you doing that, I don't think they'd be happy.

It's a real problem in Maine. Lots of good anchorages have been filled up with "destination" moorings. Locals can generally get the local harbormaster to approve a mooring in some remote cove that they can use for the occasional weekend getaway. Cruisers show up and find their favorite remote anchorage filled with moorings. The unwritten rule is generally that you can "borrow" one as long as you relinquish it if the owner shows up. But you often have no clue as to how well it's designed or maintained. It's not a system I agree with, just the way it is.
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Old 21-10-2020, 08:52   #18
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

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Originally Posted by Palarran View Post
I also tied up to a mooring ball in the Maddalena Islands of Sardinia. When I dove in to inspect it the mooring was broke and someone had tied a small line from it to another mooring about 30' away. Strange that someone would do that, why not just tie it onto the other mooring or throw it on shore. Anyway, I always check one way or another.

Speaking of Maddalena's - not all mooring are moorings. The Maddalenas have some big (mostly) secure mooring balls in the larger bays. Beautiful place. But those big bays are also places that do a lot of dinghy races, so they have small red cone racing bouys set out. We were on on of the moorings in decent winds, gusting high 20's, and saw two boats tie up to the racing bouys. One boat figured it out quickly after dragging 150 yards. The other one (which tied to the boy on its stern!) immediately went below. We watched them drag 1/2 km across the bay until we brought them up top with our airhorn - 100 meters from the rocks!
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Old 21-10-2020, 09:50   #19
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

Whether on a mooring ball or dropping anchor I always back down at 1500 RPM and then I dive down to the anchor to check how it has set and also to see what it might drag across. If on a mooring ball I dive down to the concrete block and also check the rope.
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Old 21-10-2020, 10:03   #20
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

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Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
Hahahahahahahaha

Havenít picked up a mooring in the USVI? Many moorings are real junk and poorly maintained. Even in Bonaire we lost our mooring and neighbors lost two.
While I can appreciate the patronizing laughter.....you sort of missed the point of the question.

You've answered the OP's question as to why to TEST the mooring. However, that wasn't really my question. In fact, you've really only reiterated the root of my question. "Why would you tie to a mooring you know you couldn't really trust?"

StuM (as usual....along with a few others) has the most accurate answer. (Because sometimes you have no choice).
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Old 21-10-2020, 10:28   #21
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

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Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post
I feel like powering down on a mooring has the potential to, at least partially, pull it out of the mud and make it more likely to drag. I've seen it done, intentionally, although admittedly with more powerful boats than the average sailboat. I've done it myself with a 16-foot runabout and a lot of help from the tide.
If it drags using the typical sailboat engine, then it's certainly not going to hold in any serious blow. I'd rather know this ahead of time, rather than finding out a 2 am in the midst of a storm.

But this is why I almost never grab any moorings, and even rarer has it been that I've used an unknown one. Unfortunately, there have been a couple of occasions when I had no other better choices. Invariably this is when I'm into a location where the only anchoring area is now plugged up with these damnable things.

I get why some areas have gone to commercial or municipal moorings, and I understand why locals like to have them. But please, PLEASE! If you're going to put one down, place it out of the way of the good anchorage.

A mooring can be located much closer to shore, or much further out of the anchorage. Yet most moorings are seemingly dropped exactly in the midst of the good anchorage, blocking everyone else from using it.
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Old 21-10-2020, 10:40   #22
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
...I get why some areas have gone to commercial or municipal moorings, and I understand why locals like to have them. But please, PLEASE! If you're going to put one down, place it out of the way of the good anchorage.

A mooring can be located much closer to shore, or much further out of the anchorage. Yet most moorings are seemingly dropped exactly in the midst of the good anchorage, blocking everyone else from using it.
Hear, hear The moorings in many Marlborough Sounds anchorages come to mind, amongst many others.
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Old 21-10-2020, 14:44   #23
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

Hearing about the red floats that were for dingy races reminded me of keeping folks from tying to my anchor trip float in the Salish Sea. After many attempts to label the float so it was not tied to the solution was to write $100 per hour in bold letters on the buoy.
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Old 21-10-2020, 15:01   #24
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

My vessel sits on mooring though out the sailing season it 500 ponds my vessel weighs in at 25,000. Lbs. I test every ball I hook on to, I donít think about something breaking I am more concerned that the mooring is heavy enough. If heavy weather is reported I have tied extra lines to the ball. Setting up for fowl weather Iím doing my anchor with all 200 ft of road...unless I am on my home mooring.
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Old 21-10-2020, 15:13   #25
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

Tomodore������

I have been thinking tie a anchor “pendent/float” to my anchor as you speak of, so funny people try to pick it up. The float I am thinking serves 2 purposes, let’s you know where your anchor is and more importantly let’s other vessels looking to anchor know where yours is.....so that they do not hook your road or anchor.

Maybe I will try a boggie board more surface area to communicate ������
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Old 22-10-2020, 00:41   #26
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

I ALWAYS back down on any mooring buoy I pick up - just as I would my anchor - and I've broken a couple loose.

As to why pick up a mooring rather than anchoring, why not? It's quicker and easier. Besides we have some mooring buoys in over 300 feet of water. Princess Louisa Inlet has five. They're connected down to a weighted line strung between two points of land.
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Old 22-10-2020, 00:41   #27
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

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Originally Posted by SaltyDogsLLC View Post
I have heard of boaters backing down on a mooring ball to test it for security. Anyone here advocate for or against this technique? Just curious on thoughts as it would seem you would be putting the same strain on it that a strong squall or gale would as well, especially if it is a catamaran.

Thanks for your thoughts, in advance.
Absolutely in my view - always test the mooring/anchor.

Many years ago, to celebrate our 25th anniversary, I surprised my beloved with a weeks charter in the tropics.

After two sailing days, we arrived at the island resort, where I had a romantic room booked for 'the' night. The issue was however that the charter conditions prohibited leaving the yacht anchored overnight if we were not on board.

The charter company therefore arranged for us, the one and only mooring buoy at the resort to overcome this problem. When we sailed into the bay, I found the buoy a little too close to shore for my liking. It was low tide and at the buoy we were not far off bumping the sandy bottom, let alone where the extra length with the tide out, let us drift. Anyway, it was the only option, and we had that room booked.

Having grabbed the buoy, I hauled it onto the foredeck to ensure I could attach to the chain under it, rather than the buoy (there was nothing else on it other than the ring of the buoy, and that was plastic .....).

Up on deck, I find a nice shiny new stainless steel shackle fixing the chain to the bottom of the buoy, with the pin of the shackle fully unscrewed, and cocked at an angle, with the only thing keeping it there being the weight of the chain (it was not a captive pin shackle). Had I lifted the chain rather than the buoy, the pin would have fallen out and dropped to the bottom.

I fixed the pin properly, we packed our overnight bag, and we went ashore for the night (everything after that was fine including a lovely dinner). I mentioned to the water sports guy regarding the shackle and was advised they had only laid the mooring a few days ago, and we were the first to use it. Well we could have been the last!

Visions of a lovely dinner, night, and breakfast the following morning, only to find on our return to the bay, our yacht on its side on the beach (it was a lee shore, and by morning, 25 -30 knots of lee - and building .....), came to mind. That certainly would have spoiled the special week!

So I am very glad I checked and tested the mooring before we left, and just hoped that the fixing at the bottom was better than that under the buoy (the guy ashore assured me it was).

Twenty odd years later, I can still visualise very clearly, that shackle pin just hanging there waiting to drop out.
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Old 22-10-2020, 00:57   #28
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

We were in the Caribbean for six years and I never saw a yacht back down on a mooring.
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Old 22-10-2020, 01:58   #29
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

I've backed down on moorings before but that was more to check the swing room than to test if they were going to fail. I don't know that I want to be in a mooring field if there's going to be a big blow - too many other boats too nearby.

The only personal experience I have with a failed mooring was being woken up by another boat drifting into us. The wind was incredibly light. I doubt they were moving more than a quarter of a knot. Their mooring's chain just let go down at the anchor. They dragged the massive mooring ball and chain slowly along until *THUD*, we all woke up in bewilderment because it was the calmest day we'd had in a while. We got a little smudge mark on the hull from where they bumped us, they dropped their anchor, and we all went back to bed.
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Old 22-10-2020, 06:04   #30
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
... Invariably this is when I'm into a location where the only anchoring area is now plugged up with these damnable things.

I get why some areas have gone to commercial or municipal moorings, and I understand why locals like to have them. But please, PLEASE! If you're going to put one down, place it out of the way of the good anchorage.
I'm with you on this!!!

I can see there won't be agreement on backing down. I just wonder about what happens if that "test" fails. Now you've broken or dragged someone else's property.

If someone deliberately damaged my property, especially if it were by trying to use a mooring that was not designed for the boat, I'd be upset. I might even consider legal action, although there are places where some folks might take the law into their own hands.

I guess if I were the "legal" user, for example, if I'd rented the mooring, that's different. But I can't recall a time when I rented from a company or municipality I didn't trust to maintain the mooring. Their own self-interest in avoiding liability is typically enough in the US.
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