‘How do we pick up a tricky moor­ing be­tween piles?’

Yachting Monthly - - CONTENTS -

Bill has just pur­chased a Du­four 28, Ticto, 8.5m long with a fin keel. He’s de­lighted with his new boat and equally pleased that he’s man­aged to ac­quire a moor­ing up the river be­tween two piles. The piles each have a ver­ti­cal rail. At­tached to the rail is a ring for the moor­ing warp that can move up and down as Ticto rises and falls with the tide.

Un­for­tu­nately Ticto’s two piles are on the in­side row and on his ar­rival just af­ter low wa­ter there is only a boat length or so of deep wa­ter from the moor­ing to the mud on the star­board side of the river. Un­help­fully it’s a lee shore. The tide is flood­ing. There is a gap ei­ther end of the rows of four piles but his moor­ing is in the mid­dle. The wind on his port bow is about 12 knots. He has no dinghy.

The crew think they can sim­ply mo­tor against the ti­dal stream to the up­tide pile, se­cure the bow and let the stream take the stern down to the other pile. Bill’s not so sure. What would you do?

For­get the crew’s idea; with a cross­wind the stern will be blown away from the stern pile as the boat drifts back, well out of boat hook range. How­ever they were right to sug­gest mo­tor­ing into the ti­dal stream but the stern pile needs to be picked up first on the down­wind side.

While in clear wa­ter at­tach the stern warp to the star­board stern cleat. Bring the rest of the warp for­ward to the shrouds. Pre­pare a bow line on port bow and put fend­ers on the star­board side and one or two on the port bow. Ap­proach from down­tide, ma­noeu­vring in­side the piles and rest the star­board side by the shrouds against the stern pile. At­tach the stern warp and mo­tor care­fully against the tide, tak­ing care to keep the warp away from the prop and rest the port bow on the for­ward pile and at­tach the bow line. Then ad­just both lines to cen­tre the boat be­tween the piles.

Fore and aft moor­ings aren’t so com­mon now but if you are faced with one it rarely pays to se­cure the bow line first. It is also a good idea to ap­proach from the lee­ward side of the stern pile.

Se­cure the bow whilst mo­tor­ing on the aft line Pile moor­ings are all about pre­par­ing lines in ad­vance that can be eas­ily ad­justed

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