Mooring to a buoy: with bow or … poop!

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Mooring off-shore to a buoy offers at least two advantages: enjoying the peace of a bay and its beauties, and having a safe mooring at the same time, without the risk the anchor may break ground or get stuck. Moreover, this allows to preserve bottoms and their vegetation.

The manoeuvre to take a buoy is very simple, whether you are on a sailing boat or a motoryacht

According to the most common method, you have to approach to the buoy by showing the bow to the wind and you can stop only when you are on its vertical axis.

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In this case, you must be careful while looking for your mooring and the bow must be aligned to the buoy and to the wind direction. By graduating the strength of the engine, once the buoy reached, you have to stop your boat to let the person on the bow hook the ring with the boat hook and put the mooring rope.

A detail is important: if the upper ring is integral to the chain or the rope tied to the mooring post, you can put your rope inside. On the contrary, if the ring is only a plastic stand, you have to raise the buoy and put your rope in the ring on its basis.

The mooring rope must be already tied to the bow bollard and it must be under the pulpit or the stays. This way, once into the ring, it must be put on board under the pulpit and tied in a bight. The scope must be short and the rope must not rub against the anchor otherwise it risks to cut.

This way, mooring is completed. We can double it, by putting a second rope on the other bollard.

However, taking the buoy with the poop is sometimes better or necessary.

For example, when its very windy, proceeding towards the buoy by showing the poop makes the operation more precise and safe. Or when you are alone and you don’t want to leave the cockpit and go to the bow; or if your boat’s bow is too high and taking the buoy could be very difficult or impossible.

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You will proceed the same way as the classical manoeuvre. So, once your rope and boat hook prepared, you will align to the buoy’s direction with a reverse and poop to the wind. Once the buoy reached, it will be very simple to hook it with your boat hook because you will be next to the water.

However, staying with the poop to the wind and eventual waves is not a comfortable condition. So, you can turn your boat, by preparing a long rope running from the bow bollard to the buoy.

Once fixed and secured, with no wind or with only a slight breeze, and if you boat has a light displacement, you can release the poop mooring and haul the rope by hand in order to let the boat turn. Otherwise, you can cleat the warping winch and haul the bow rope.

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