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Jun 30, 2021 Brad Stephenson


Approaching and Departing from a Mooring

Approaching the Mooring:

  • As you near the mooring, aim for the rope’s loop, often to the side of the buoy.
  • Target the starboard (right) side, approximately 2 metres from the bow’s front.
  • Align your approach with the direction other boats face, using the tide or wind as a brake.
  • Approach head-on at low speed.
  • Station your first mate on the front deck with a ready boat hook.
  • Move forward slowly, avoiding sudden acceleration. Shift to neutral incrementally as you approach.
  • Aim to be nearly stationary with the bow over the rope.
  • If still inching forward upon reaching the mooring, briefly shift to reverse and back to neutral.
  • The deckhands peers over the side and confirms the position of the mooring.
  • Adjust the steering wheel if needed to get closer to the mooring.
  • If you miss, steer away from the mooring and turn the boat to attempt again.  It is easier to start again than make adjustments.  The boat is too heavy for the deckhand to pull the mooring rope in if not within easy reach.

Securing the Mooring:

  • Once the deckhand hooks the rope, they pull it up vertically without bending the pole.  Pick up and thread through the slot next to the anchor and loop it over the T bollard.
  • Always bring the mooring rope through the bow and avoid attaching it to the stern to keep the mooring rope away from the propellors.
  • Once moored the engine can now be shut down.

Departing from the Mooring:

  • When it’s time to depart, start the engine first.
    Have your deckhand toss the rope overboard.  The tide or wind will gradually pull your boat away.
  • Keep an eye on the rope’s position.
  • If the force is insufficient, engage the engine in reverse (gear only).
    Once clear, slowly move forward to circle around.


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