Mediterranean mooring is usually stern-to the quay for ease of access ashore. But when unsure of the depth, going bows-to will keep your drives in deeper water. Alongside berthing is normally only available at fuel or waiting pontoons.
Stern lines are used to stay close to the quay or pontoon, whilst either the anchor or a line from the bow holds the boat away. A passerelle or wooden plank, carried by the boat, is used to go ashore.
You should talk to the marina or town quay to agree a berth, or chose a preferred spot, between other vessels is often better. You’ll also need to confirm how to secure the bow, either with lazy lines or anchor.
Here are a few top tips to help you with med mooring stern-to…
STERN-TO WITH LAZY LINES
Lazy lines are used in busy harbours and marinas where multiple anchors would become fouled. Instead of the anchor holding the bow away, the bow is connected to a heavy bow line, which is pre-attached to a concrete block on the seabed. The bow line is also attached to a lighter ‘lazy line’, which is led to the quayside/pontoon. The lazy line is retrieved from the wall and led to the bow and the heavier line hauled in and tied off.
To hold the boat in position once the windward stern-line is attached use small nudges ahead on the leeward engine. If you have a single engine boat, turn the wheel to windward and use ‘ahead’ to keep the bow up to wind.
Often the stern lines are eased and the bow line is re-tightened, then the stern lines are hauled in taught. A tight bow line reduces the chance of the stern bashing the quay or pontoon. Springs which are diagonal lines from either quarter to the quay can stop the stern moving sideways.
STERN-TO UNDER ANCHOR
In harbours with no lazy lines, you’ll need to drop your anchor.
If the wind is on the bow, treat the stern-to mooring as a normal anchoring exercise.
All illustrations are from the RYA Boat Handling for Sail and Power eBook (E-G68). Gain a fuller understanding of boat handling in a wide variety of situations, the text combined with interactive illustrations make this eBook an essential tool to everyone who takes a boat out on the water.