Tip of the Month: Mooring and Anchoring Safely

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Mooring and anchoring are fairly simple procedures. Once you know and continue to stick to these few straightforward guidelines you shouldn’t ever have a problem!

Mooring
Before mooring
Firstly you have to make sure you have approval from the relevant parties at whichever body of water you plan to moor in. Then, you’ll have to ascertain whether the location of the mooring is relatively protected from wind and tidal effects – test the mooring first and consult other boaters in the vicinity. Another factor to consider is the accessibility of the mooring; is it easy to reach for use and maintenance?

Also, have consideration for fellow water users. Make sure your boat doesn’t interfere with other moorings or properties while it’s tied up, and take care that your vessel as well as those neighbouring have full ‘swing clearance’, meaning that they can swivel around their mooring without colliding with any structures or adjacent boats. And lastly, confirm that the mooring apparatus suit your particular vessel. If you’re planning to put a mooring down, consider asking a professional to do it.

How to tie up
There are a few things to remember when mooring to ensure it’s a smooth exercise every time. First, and arguably most importantly, travel slowly. When you take it slowly there is much less chance of silly blunders and it also shows fellow boaters that you respect the marina and their property. Upon arrival, observe other moored boats for an indication of wind and/or tidal flow. However, don’t take the boat positions as a guarantee of wind and current and how it would affect your boat; different types of boats may lie in the opposite direction to the wind and/or current, as surface effects of wind may differ from general tidal or current effects.

Approach very slowly, travelling into the wind or against the tide – using whichever of the two happens to be strongest as a kind of ‘brake’. Just make sure you don’t overrun the mooring buoy – this risks fouling the propeller on mooring lines. When in reach of the pick-up buoy, capture it with a boat hook and secure the line or chain to a bow cleat.

Casting off
When preparing to leave the mooring, warm up the engine first and check for other boats nearby – moored, incoming or leaving the marina. Again, travel slowly! Make sure your passengers and crew stay within the boat itself and not on the side decking or on the bow where they could block your view or risk injuring themselves.

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