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Old 20-10-2020, 09:44   #1
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Backing Down on a Mooring?

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.
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Old 20-10-2020, 09:47   #2
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

I rarely grab a mooring. The only ones I've used are ones I'm very certain about, and/or when I have no other choice. If there's any doubt I certainly back hard against it to see if it will hold.
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Old 20-10-2020, 09:53   #3
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

We do back down. If something is going to break free, I want to know while we are still completely ready to deal with being underway unexpectedly.
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Old 20-10-2020, 10:02   #4
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

Unless you are on a power boat the force you generate will not be very strong. It can’t hurt to try but if significant weather is expected diving by experienced diver is your best bet. On our sailboat we don’t have a generator so we use the engine in reverse for up to an hour on the mooring or at anchor in cloudy weather. If I was to move in either case I want to know now not at 0darkthirty in a thunderstorm.
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Old 20-10-2020, 11:47   #5
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

Why would you ever tie to a mooring ball that you had so little knowledge of or confidence in??
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Old 20-10-2020, 12:00   #6
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

Quote:
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??
It's not that at all. Some places have only mooring fields to use while there, maybe because the anchorage space is completely full - a great example is Treasure Cay in the Abacos or St Augustine, FL. We usually anchor there, but occasionally the anchorage is full and only mooring balls are available. I was once told that after you took a ball to back down on it to have some confidence in it. It was just something I was thinking about today to pitch to the group, as we anchor probably 95% of the time we are out.

In St Augustine you might choose a mooring field when the anchorage is full so as to gain access to the amenities. Wouldn't it be prudent to back down on the mooring? Idk; that's why I'm asking.
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Old 20-10-2020, 12:08   #7
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

Quote:
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??
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltyDogsLLC View Post
It's not that at all. {snip} Wouldn't it be prudent to back down on the mooring?
SaltyDogs, I think you and Shrew are saying the same thing.
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Old 20-10-2020, 12:09   #8
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

Quote:
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??

What Salty said. Sometimes (rarely in my case), you have no choice. Even if you think you know what the mooring is supposed to hold, that doesn't mean it will. Testing it, and/or diving on it, is the only way you can really know.
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Old 20-10-2020, 14:20   #9
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

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SaltyDogs, I think you and Shrew are saying the same thing.
Yeah, I see what you’re saying. Duly noted and I agree
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Old 20-10-2020, 14:20   #10
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

Quote:
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??

Many area of the GBR marine park ban anchoring and require you to use the park moorings.


GBRMPA - Moorings and No-anchoring areas
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Old 20-10-2020, 14:36   #11
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

We were at Treasure Cay Abacos, when they had just put in brand new moorings. We went in there to avoid a storm. The storm hit and we dragged the mooring (a concrete block) in about 50 knots of wind. We were almost upon another yacht when we managed to motor forward over the block and drag it behind the boat (Lagoon 450), when clear we dropped the anchor and it and the block held us. The Leopard 45 power cat in the same field stayed put. We expected a mess of tangled chain and mooring line, but luckily it all came clear. They still charged us the mooring fee.
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Old 20-10-2020, 16:05   #12
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

I either drive on it or back down on it. I really dislike dealing with problems at 2am. Much easier to deal with right away
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Old 20-10-2020, 16:21   #13
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

In addition to the GBR at both Niue and St. Helena moorings are somewhere between strongly encouraged and required. And in both cases in 100' (30m) of water. You can see all the way to the bottom, but getting down there to inspect the shackles and connections is beyond most of us without a tank.

Both places are actually very good about publishing the specs on their moorings, but it's still worth backing down to make sure something hasn't happened to the one you happen to be on.
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Old 20-10-2020, 18:29   #14
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bean Counter View Post
We were at Treasure Cay Abacos, when they had just put in brand new moorings. We went in there to avoid a storm. The storm hit and we dragged the mooring (a concrete block) in about 50 knots of wind. We were almost upon another yacht when we managed to motor forward over the block and drag it behind the boat (Lagoon 450), when clear we dropped the anchor and it and the block held us. The Leopard 45 power cat in the same field stayed put. We expected a mess of tangled chain and mooring line, but luckily it all came clear. They still charged us the mooring fee.
I was there - maybe for the same storm. A huge Lagoon dragged the mooring back. I think it was a 50’? That was a hell of a storm. We were actually anchored for that one and it stuck “like a gymnast”! 🙌🏻
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Old 20-10-2020, 19:25   #15
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Re: Backing Down on a Mooring?

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.
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