Advice on mooring stern to.
Anyone who has been flotilla sailing in the Mediterranean will be familiar with this scenario: following a morning of drifting and sweltering in light airs, the sea breeze kicks in, and you enjoy a brisk afternoon’s sailing.
By late evening you’re knackered and ready to head into port, by now the wind is howling and the boat is starting to bury the rail, with the crew looking distinctly nervous.
You head into port feeling exhilarated, and then it hits you: MED MOORING!
This is the art of reversing into a space at high speed, while wrapping your anchor cable around the nearest superyacht.
You scan the harbour frantically for an easy berth; there are none, only some miniscule gap between two very shiny new yachts.
The wind continues to howl, and your crew look at you quizzically with a kind of dogged faith; you break into a cold sweat.
Now at this point the very best place to be is sat at one of the waterside bars, sipping on a cold one. Trust me there will be an appreciative audience already there, gleefully anticipating your failure.
Anyway, you are now about two minutes away from either wiping out half the harbour or slipping insouciantly into the gap, before heading ashore to bask in the adulation of your crew.
Some people prefer to carry out the whole manoeuvre with the bows facing towards the quay. This is easier for obvious reasons and many Med based boats will have a designated anchor in the cockpit for this purpose.
The main problem is access to the quay, as clambering over the pulpit can present a challenge to the less mobile crew.
Lazy lines can appear confusing, but actually simplify matters by eliminating the need for dropping an anchor off the bow. If you see ropes rather than anchors running from other boats, then you know what to expect.
Lazy lines normally, but by no means always, come in pairs and when not in use they are attached to the quay at one end and sinkers at the other.The procedure is much the same as for traditional Med mooring except, very importantly, you don’t drop your anchor.
After securing yourself to the quay, find the lazy lines and walk them up to the bow and then tension them up.
Again, this is a manoeuvre which can be done bows to. Another handy tip is to check the lazy lines for any wear and tear once you are moored up.
With this manoeuvre successfully accomplished, all that remains is to head ashore and enjoy that cold beer you were promising yourself, secure in the knowledge that you have proven your boat handling prowess.
Excerpts taken from Rob Gibson’s Boat Handling for Sail and Power, available from the RYA webshop and all good marine retailers priced £12.99 or go to the RYA web shop to pick up a your discounted copy.