Stern too Mooring (a bit scared)

Baggy

Active member
Joined
21 Mar 2005
Messages
2,063
Location
suffolk
Visit site
Hi all

A question about Stern Too, mooring in the med..
Because I have windvane steering system on my stern, difficulty going astern , and also for privacy,
is it practical to moor bows too..?

What recommended system to use when using anchor and chain off the stern..
 

CharlesSwallow

New member
Joined
3 Dec 2009
Messages
2,545
Location
E Mids, London & Greece
Visit site
Hi all

A question about Stern Too, mooring in the med..
Because I have windvane steering system on my stern, difficulty going astern , and also for privacy,
is it practical to moor bows too..?

What recommended system to use when using anchor and chain off the stern..

"Bows-to" the quay? No problem. However if you're bow has very high freeboard you might have some problems getting ashore.Other points to watch:-

Make sure that your stern anchoring arrangements are adequate and easy to deploy and retrieve.

Since you will loose sight of the quay from quite a way off, position a crew member to have the lines ready and watch the distance off and keep the helmsman continuously advised of it.

It helps if someone, possibly a neighbour, is already on the quay to take your lines but you can't always rely on it so ensure that there is a plan for the crew to be able to climb down safely to the quay.

It certainly isn't second best and often the only way when it is shallow or strewn with rocks or ballasting near the quay. Also, there are places with tailed moorings where it is positively desirable to avoid the danger when leaving bows first, of having one's prop swept onto adjacent boats lines before any grip on the water is achieved - in a strong cross-wind you might be doomed anyway! Bows-to, your prop is already in clear water and all you have to do is back out.

Finally, as with either way-round, always make sure that the anchor is set and well dug in BEFORE you advance towards the quay and don't worry about keeping helpers waiting. Approach it as a two phase operation: phase1 - anchor, phase2 - now go and seek the shore. If you drag, you will be much more of an inconvenience to others so get it right first time.

Chas
 
Last edited:

rousay

New member
Joined
9 Dec 2003
Messages
3
Location
Kirkwall, Orkney, Scotland
www.travelleryacht.co.uk
Hi all

A question about Stern Too, mooring in the med..
Because I have windvane steering system on my stern, difficulty going astern , and also for privacy,
is it practical to moor bows too..?

What recommended system to use when using anchor and chain off the stern..

Yea - frightening the first few times. We have a long keel and windvane so we do not do "backwards" very easily. Try to arrange a separate stern anchor using rode. We have ours on a reel with 2 metres chain on the anchor. Drop it in and control the rode on a side winch. Once you have a line ashore (and changed out of your brown pants) it's simply a matter of adjusting everything to get it tight.
The other method is to try the Turkish Moor. Drop your bow anchor some way out and motor around it until your stern is presented to the slot you are aiming for. Then gently motor back. Practise this when you have a clear anchorage - it will give you confidence when you get in a crowded situation.
Bows to is not a problem, we use a portable swim ladder if the quay is a long way down, or, a plank with small trolly wheels at the bottom if the quay is high enough. Anyway - invest in a stern rode and anchor - it's useful for loads of other applications.
 

Saint Louis

Member
Joined
7 Mar 2011
Messages
40
Location
South West France
Visit site
There is just one thing I would add to the reply from Chas... (and this with my sailing hat on, not my hotel barge hat) - Just occasionally very big winds are forecast. Review your circumstances. Not all harbours are good in all wind directions. If there is a risk that you have to get out of the place in a hurry, you may be better to turn the boat around so that you are stern to, that way you have far better directional control for the initial move away from the shore and the chance to weather-cock on your anchor while you recover it.
 

HinewaisMan

Active member
Joined
21 Sep 2004
Messages
354
Location
Dover for a while
www.oceanodyssey.net
We too have a long keel – when going astern, I generally point out to Hinewai where we want to go and ask her politely if she wouldn’t mind heading that way.

With this, I was dreading Med mooring and looked at bow in mooring – but what with the Aires, gas lockers, stern bench etc etc hanging off the pushpit it was all going to get very busy. Plus we would run out of hands - with just two of us on board, me steering in the centre cockpit and Jean playing out chain at the stern left no-one for the bow.

As it turned out, once we got up to the Med, stern-in is not as bad as it seems.

Firstly, set lots of chain – drop the hook way out as you go backwards – depending on depth, we would work on at least 4 boat lengths (c.180ft) if room – more if possible. Not only does this gives time to make any corrections as you go astern, but if someone picks up your chain and dislodges the anchor, you generally have enough chain out to reset it with the winch – too little chain and you’ll soon be lifting the hook.

More importantly, we learned through trial and error to steer the boat using the chain. Don’t go astern just laying slack chain out – once you have enough out to set the anchor, keep the chain tight as you let it out. This keeps the bow straight – if the stern starts to wander, snatch the chain to pull you straight.

Applying a little rudder helps.

Indeed, if there’s a cross wind or current, you can bring the stern up that way – ending up with almost a ferryman’s glide – offsetting the sideways force while keeping the bow heading backwards (albeit maybe not pointing) in the right direction.

Once you’re almost at the slot, just straighten up and slip in.

We did bow-in a couple of times when there were buoyed lines to pick up (no anchor to help us go astern), but we far preferred stern in. Privacy is not an issue – you become part of what’s going on. Bow-in, you’re cut off.
 

Baggy

Active member
Joined
21 Mar 2005
Messages
2,063
Location
suffolk
Visit site
Thankyou for your replies

Thats given me plenty to think about..
I suppose its a case of trial and error.. to see what suits us best..
There will be only two us us, with a manual windlass

I will have to practice away from preying eyes....

cheers.. the dabs
 

Ariadne

Active member
Joined
13 Jan 2005
Messages
1,837
Location
The Mrs kids and boat are in Grenada. Me? I'm in S
blog.mailasail.com
Don't be too nervous about going stern-to - you meet loads more people this way and its a hell of a lot easier to get on and off.

If there are loads of lines around, you can haul out on your anchor until you are clear. If you are between boats then just let the lazy line go and wait until its clear (2-5 mins who cares your safe between tow other boats in any case) them slowly motor out.

We always found it easier to go stern to, as said before make sure your anchor is set (and have your kedge ready just in case it drags in gust) then back into the space you're aiming for. Get you windward line on first and relax, its all over bar the shouting now!

You will at some time anchor too far out and run out of chain/warp, just make sure its attached to the boat; and don't worry about it everybody has done this at least once even if they say they haven't! ;-)
 

macd

Active member
Joined
25 Jan 2004
Messages
10,604
Location
Bricks & mortar: Italy. Boat: Aegean
Visit site
If you've got the money available, you would find it well worthwhile getting an electric anchor winch fitted. They make all the anchoring you'll be doing in the Med a much less painful exercise..... Unless, of course, the aim is to keep fit by using a manual one:D

I'd heartily endorse that, especially since most of my sailing's single-handed.

I almost always go bow-to, mainly because she goes backwards rather less well than a motorcycle, but I do appreciate the privacy it brings. As mentioned earlier, the main drawback with this is that you're usually deploying second-best ground tackle, which has to be recovered manually (and usually slowly) -- although I have seen the odd boat with a windlass at the stern. However, it's perfectly possible to use the bower and its rode off the stern, attached to the stern by line flaked out over the length of the deck before dropping the hook. (The chain eventually lies underneath the boat.) Takes a bit of getting your head around, but simple enough once mastered.

dab123: don't fret too much. All sorts of numpties seem to manage (more-or-less) OK. I'm sure you'll be fine.
 

Monique

Active member
Joined
1 Feb 2010
Messages
2,239
Location
Baleares
Visit site
Many places have "lazy lines" (LL) already laid in place. Then the process is to wedge the boat between its neighbours (lots of fenders.... I use 7 per side), :D:D back into your spot, set the stern lines, pickup the "lazy lines" and walk them to your bow and presto, as you continue retrieving the LL you will find a lovely big chain on which two bow lines are attached. Fasten to your bow cleats.

Loosen your stern lines, take up the slack on the bow lines, then tighten your stern lines... lastly, I (personal preference) use a second pair of criss crossed lines to limit lateral movement during strong crosswinds.

Quite easy... GL
 

gonad

New member
Joined
9 Jun 2002
Messages
203
Location
b b b brazil!!!!!
Visit site
bow to

always! when you leave the boat for the day no worries about surge or wash from others breaking the aries or touching btm with the rudder more privacy little ladder to get off with
 

jacaldo

Active member
Joined
5 May 2009
Messages
194
Visit site
I've been stern and bows to mooring for the last ten years in the Med, it doesn't matter how many times you do it you will still have the occasional problem. My advise is don't get flustered, your confindence will grow and others will see this. If it's blowing across the mooring why not anchor off and wait for conditions to improve. You will find everyone will help as you would if you were on the quay. Good luck
 

Roaring Girl

New member
Joined
16 Jul 2009
Messages
316
Location
On the boat. But sadly right now she's in Malta w
www.sailblogs.com
We avoid stern to like the plague - not only a load of kit but a dinghy in davits and a solar panel mean it would be really really difficult to get off that way.

So far we have only twice had to use a stern anchor. The first was very far from pretty and led to a lot of modifications of the set up in order to make it work better a second time. Yes, getting out took a long time, and frankly we'd go and then come back for it. Otherwise, so far, we've always found lazy lines. These too were scary the first time but we're used to them now.

We do have quite a high bow, and the one big disadvantage of our beloved Rocna is that it is not nearly as good to stand on as a CQR, and it sticks out a lot more over a low quay. So now we drop it a bit and hoik alongside the bows, and put our small (45lb) cqr on to act a step. (Sounds more work than it is). The we climb off the anchor/set up a passarelle, put a step on the quay or whatever works.

It's worth having lots of choices!
 

charles_reed

Active member
Joined
29 Jun 2001
Messages
10,413
Location
Home Shropshire 6/12; boat Greece 6/12
Visit site
Hi all

A question about Stern Too, mooring in the med..
Because I have windvane steering system on my stern, difficulty going astern , and also for privacy,
is it practical to moor bows too..?

What recommended system to use when using anchor and chain off the stern..

I sail single-handed, have a Navik wind-vane and moor both ways round.

You do need an effective stern-anchor and mounting system to anchor bows to, which has a number of benefits - less risk of rudder-damage, greater privacy - and use my genniker A-frame to get ashore, the stowed anchor does as an alternative. The secret is to check the boat in on a tightly controlled stern-line under about 1/3 forward power

For stern-to mooring, you need a long passarelle - I use my dinghy to get the mooring-lines ashore and choose where there are other boats to both lean against and, possibly, be given a hand.

Where there are lazy-lines, usually in expensive and popular places, I far prefer bows-to - a prop-wrap is no laughing matter and wearing a shaft-cutter cutter a highly (IMHO) antisocial act.

On the whole anchoring is the simplest and invariably the most economical.
 
Last edited:

jimbaerselman

New member
Joined
18 Apr 2006
Messages
4,433
Location
Greece in Summer, Southampton in Winter
www.jimbsail.info
Rutting stags

And when you do moor end on, whichever way round, and with or without a lazy line, stop and imagine some rutting stags.

That's what mastheads play at when a big ferry rolls in - or past.

So shuffle those lines out a bit, or in bit, so masts are not aligned with the neighbours. That advice has lost many windvane and aerial manufacturers some trade.
 

Allan

Well-known member
Joined
17 Mar 2004
Messages
4,614
Location
Lymington
Visit site
Not the Med but on my home mooring I choose to moor bows to. One thing I would add to the above, we have a Fenderstep. It makes getting on board from a low pontoon/quayside. Hope it helps.
Allan
 

affinite

Well-known member
Joined
2 Feb 2005
Messages
1,239
Location
Eastern Med
Visit site
Last edited:

Grehan

Well-known member
Joined
11 Jun 2001
Messages
3,729
Location
Inland France + Oxon.
www.french-waterways.com
Charles has posted a good summary and we agree with that and many other points made. Like Roaring Girl we also had a lot of stuff on the stern and found it much better to go bows-to. I made up a passarelle pole that extended out sideways that the plank went onto. Worked very well.
2003-4_pulpit.jpg

You can just about see it (green) in the pic. The pulpit damage was caused by some unknown *!!** releasing one of Grehan's stern lazy lines, following which a gale swept through Gib and she bashed her nose on the concrete jetty.
 

VO5

New member
Joined
14 Sep 2009
Messages
3,046
Location
Gibraltar, RGYC.
Visit site
A tip for all you stern moorers and aspiring stern moorers.

The key to effective stern mooring is effective boat control in terms of diection and in terms of approach speed.

The first step is to play about with the boat in open water away from obstructions in astern mode.

Get familiarised with going astern in a straight line with confidence.

If you are making sternway and her head goes to stbd put your rudder gently to the same side until you find the sweet spot that allows you to steer her in a straight line. The opposite for crabbing to port.

Each boat has a rudder angle that suits this manoevre. This is because of the effect on transverse thrust of the propellor and keel profile. You find this sweet spot by persistently experimenting until you master it.

Now do this excercise backing into wind.

Then do it with the wind ahead. Then do it with the wind on the quarter, then the wind on the bow, and then finally with the wind abeam.

You will get the hang of it through practice.

For the next obstacle course again, but this time get familiarised with the effect of tide / current additionally.

Try all of this at different speeds until it becomes second nature.

Then stern mooring will not present the daunting prospect that causes so many such anxiety.

The secret is to master the art by degrees, and not by trying to master it in one go, and at the last minute.

Once you master stern mooring you will even be able to do it at night.

Then you can include anchor work to complete your skill sets in this regard. I hope this helps.

Any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.:D
 
Top