tying tender to swinging mooring - and letting go!

ChattingLil

Well-known member
Joined
3 Feb 2009
Messages
3,395
Location
Boats in Essex and London
Visit site
I've recently moved out of a marina onto a river mooring, so over the past few weeks I've been getting used to using my tender to get out to the boat. We've been leaving the tender on the buoy while off day sailing. Come back, moor up, then untie the tender to get back to shore. All pretty simple I thought.

So what are we doing wrong?! It's SO hard!

I have no problem picking up the buoy and making fast, but when it comes to finding room to attach the painter too, we get all fingers and thumbs, hanging over the side trying to find room and not getting all the ropes jamming against each other. We made the mistake of putting the painter through a lower link, but by the time we got back it was completely jammed between the two links and we had to haul the buoy up to release the tension so that we could get the rope out.

What method/routine do others follow?
 

SK700

New member
Joined
18 Jul 2007
Messages
130
Visit site
I hope this makes sence,

we used to be on a swinging mooring. The buoy had a rope and chain. when moored the chain clipped onto a U bolt on the fromt of the bow just above the waterline. The rope was wraped round the bow cleat. The rope had a separate pick up buoy.

When we wished to leave the tender was clipped to the chain and the rope was removed and the pick up bouy thrown into the tender.

When we returned the rope could be fished out with boat hook and tied on. Then chain swapped from tender to boat when we left.

Worked pretty well.

Does get easier after a few goes anyway.
 

jdc

Well-known member
Joined
1 Dec 2007
Messages
1,978
Location
Falmouth
Visit site
I suspect there are hundreds of different ways, but what I do is tie the dinghy painter to the handle of the pick-up buoy with a bowline. That way I do everything normally and the painter is already aboard once we're moored.

This works well enough, but (a) I have a long painter and (b) the pick-up buoy is attached to 3 - 4m of rope and this to the only slightly shorter chain loop we actually moor with. So it all sits quite neatly when we're away - or at least doesn't seem to tangle depite being qute exposed (for a mooring) and in the tide.
 

Evadne

Active member
Joined
27 Feb 2003
Messages
5,752
Location
Hampshire, UK
Visit site
If you have a big top ring on the buoy then the answer is obvious, loop the dinghy line through that. Or, if you're paranoid like me, tie it in with a round turn and 2 half hitches, then tie the free end to a different cleat on the dinghy.

If you don't, then can you tie a pickup buoy to the mooring buoy, then attach the dinghy to that?

To answer your question "what do you do?" My mooring buoy has been changed, but last year we had a chain between a swivel and the pickup buoy. Moored, we pick up the chain and drop the loop over the foredeck cleat. On leaving, the dinghy painter is tied to the pickup buoy, so on recovery we (i.e. SWMBO) has to pick up the buoy, the dinghy painter or the chain, whichever comes to hand. I then leave the cockpit to grab the chain and drop it over the cleat. The dinghy painter is threaded through the buoy, now on the deck, which can be unpicked at your leisure, if it has become tangled.

The main change this year is to replace the galvanised chain with stainless, to reduce rust staining of the foredeck. I don't like rope through the bow roller holding my boat when I'm away, because of the problems of chafe. The other change this year is to tie the pickup buoy to the main mooring buoy, as otherwise it sinks and the buoys are too close together.

To answer your question "what are we doing wrong?", all I can see is not allowing for the dinghy painter to become tangled. While you're away the dinghy will circumnavigate the mooring buoy at least once, so take it from there!
 

seanfoster

Member
Joined
5 Jan 2006
Messages
727
Location
Nottinghamshire
Visit site
I've never heard of attatching a chain to a U bolt on the bow, That's a really good idea! I suppose the only problem is you have to get into the tender to attach it, rather than letting go of the mooring from the deck?
 

ShipsWoofy

New member
Joined
10 Sep 2004
Messages
10,431
Visit site
I usually tie the dinghy painter to the strops, then as you arrive you gently nudge past the dinghy and pick up the painter with the boat hook; thus preventing that stabbing about with the hook around the buoy trying to get hold of the pick-up line.

Pull the painter onboard and you will also pull the boat into the strops, makes the whole thing simple and quick. Also makes letting go easier, loop through the 2 strops (loops) and tie a bowline, let go, and it will all be ready for your return.

hope this helps.
 

jdc

Well-known member
Joined
1 Dec 2007
Messages
1,978
Location
Falmouth
Visit site
I like this approach even better than mine provided the mooring has rope strops rather than a chain loop. And completely agree that picking up the painter is much easier than 'stabbing around'. Which do you reckon is better for this purpose, a floating (poypropylene) or sinking (polyester) painter? The one worry I always have is that someone sailing past will try to go between the dinghy and the mooring buoy, with obvious consequences.
 

pyrojames

Well-known member
Joined
9 Aug 2002
Messages
2,942
Location
Cambridge
transat2013.blogspot.co.uk
I have a main mooring strop and two back ups. I usually tie the dinghy to the main strop with a long painter. On return I normally pick up one of the back ups before making the main strop secure. The dinghy stays out of the way while I make fast. Move the dinghy alongside, secure main strop, secure second back up.
 

SK700

New member
Joined
18 Jul 2007
Messages
130
Visit site
yes you have to do it from the tender but that became routine when I got on board I attached tender to stern if I was staying on the mooring or onto bouy if intending to leave. Still forgot once or trice.
 

ShipsWoofy

New member
Joined
10 Sep 2004
Messages
10,431
Visit site
Do you know, I have never thought about it, my painter happened to be a piece of 10mm 3 strand I had hanging about, one of my old halyards I think.

When we were on swinging moorings, the painter would be tied off long enough to ~ bring on board through the fairlead and tie to the strops while they were still over the cleats / stanchion, plus a little bit so you have some to play with if it is a bit bouncy on your return. This means a painter, maybe a little longer than the strops, so most certainly, your mooring wont take any more space than if you were still on it.

Any skipper that passes close in front of a moored dinghy deserves to get caught up !

You could if it was a concern, wrap some lead strips around the painter, this should sink it and the dinghy move up to the buoy, you would still have the visible line from the dinghy to the water to grab on to.

When we had a rope riser connected to the lifting buoy, I used to tie the painter off to the rising line. then as we left, toss the buoy into the dinghy. In this method, the dinghy becomes your buoy; again, as you approach the dinghy, you can hook the painter from the front of the dinghy before it goes into the water. If you give more slack on the painter, you can also hook the buoy from inside the dinghy, best only with a hard dinghy as a hook and material floor might not be a great combo..

I think one of the important parts of any set-up, is to have plenty of fendering on the tender, there will be times most often in fact, when you need to nudge the dinghy away on approach.
 

ghostlymoron

Well-known member
Joined
9 Apr 2005
Messages
9,889
Location
Shropshire
Visit site
I have a spring carabiner on the end of the dinghy painter which I clip through the chain on the pickup buoy when we leave the mooring. When we return we pick up the buoy, unhook the dinghy, slip the chain loop over a cleat and transfer the dinghy to one of the rear cleats.
 

simonfraser

Well-known member
Joined
13 Mar 2004
Messages
7,443
Visit site
i tie the side of my dinghy tight to the riser buoy, about a quarter in from the bow.

this ensures that the pick up line from the riser buoy / long mooring loops stay in the dinghy.
 

alan_d

Well-known member
Joined
15 Mar 2002
Messages
2,351
Location
Scotland
Visit site
My swinging mooring has a chain strop which is attached just below the (main) buoy and ends in a loop that goes around a cleat on the foredeck. The pickup buoy is attached to this chain loop with 10mm polyester a little longer than the chain strop, so that when the mooring is vacant the pickup buoy floats close to the larger buoy.

My first approach when leaving the tender (a small RIB) on the mooring was to tie the end of the dinghy painter to the loop of the pickup buoy, so that when returning to the mooring I just had to scoop up the dinghy painter with the boat-hook, retrieve the pickup buoy and haul the chain strop aboard. This worked well for a while, but once when there was quite a tide running I miscalculated slightly and missed the dinghy painter with the boat-hook. Then somehow the vessel went between the dinghy and the pickup buoy and I ended up tethered by the stern to the mooring with the dinghy painter caught between my (transom-hung) rudder and the hull. By the time I had disengaged the dinghy and retrieved the pickup buoy, two of the three strands in the painter had parted. At that point I decided I needed a) a stronger painter for the dinghy and b) a better system.

The next arrangement for leaving the tender on the mooring was to tie the dinghy painter to the chain loop and to drop the pickup buoy into the dinghy. When returning to the mooring all I had to do was nudge up alongside the tender and reach down into it with the boathook, pick up the loop of line attached to the pickup buoy and use that to retrive the chain strop and the end of the dinghy painter.

This second system worked splendidly for day-sailing, but when I returned to the mooring after the lapse of several days and twice as many tides I discovered that I could not retrieve the strop with the line from the pickup buoy because there was some kind of underwater tangle involving the riser chain. Both the dinghy painter and the line from the pickup buoy disappeared into the murky depths and seemed immovable. Eventually I had to cut the dinghy painter and this seemed to be enough to release the tangle.

I now need a) a new dinghy painter and b) a better system ....

I shall follow this thread with interest.
 

William_H

Well-known member
Joined
28 Jul 2003
Messages
13,794
Location
West Australia
Visit site
I have a large buoy which remains in the water (obligatory but not recommended) (the authority provides the buoy)
The chain comes up to the bottom of the buoy from where the rope goes to a U bolt on the bow a little above the water line. This is the primary tethering and is clear of chafe both from my gunwhales but also from any other boat that might come adrift.

From the top of the buoy I run another strop which goes to the cleat on the foredeck. This is a backup not normally loaded except on pick up and departure. On to this strop I tie the dinghy painter which is about the length of the big boat. This means that when the dinghy is tied to the buoy it does not bump the big boat when we are moored. It also gives a big target for the foredeck person to pick up the strop/painter anywhere along its length with a boat hook. You can if necessary use the middle of the painter top wrap around the deck cleat if you can't pull it up to the strop.

Yes you need lots of padding fenders on dinghy. good lcuk olewill
 
Top