back on a mooring after months in a marina - thoughts welcome

dylan winter

Super Anarchist
6,703
1,973
I spent Feb and March in Levington marina on the Orwell - 400 boats, three toilet blocks, you know the sort of place

While it was nice to have a bird crap free boat and lekkie , overnighting is a bit like kipping in the back of a lorry park.

We had a force 11 while I was there - felt as safe as houses. I really enjoyed it. It would have been fekkin horrible on a mooring

I could come and go at any time of day or night which was good. 

Every man I met seemed happy to be there.  Sailors are generally happy blokes I think we have found the font of contentment.

The boat was cleaner as I had a hose and no muddy foreshore, wellies  and dinghy ride before getting aboard.

We could take non sailing peole out for short sails  on the Orwell, stour and walton backwaters

- drive to the marina, get aboard, go sailing, come back drive home.

Lots of good things about a marina

But.... But....But

I am now back on the mooring

and every moment on the boat is wonderful -

The views from the cockpit are excellent and the bird life is top notch. 

The internet is just as good at the marina.

The row out to the mooring and back is all part of the experience. Rowing back in the gloaming makes you feel very close to the estuary.

When aboard I feel the pull of the tide - in the marina the only measure of the tide is the steepness of the pontoon ramp.

your thoughts chaps

D

 

ChrisJD

Member
255
172
Boston, MA
We pay less for a mooring but I'd pay more if I had to. The moment we set foot aboard it feels like we're already on vacation; we could be in another harbor halfway down the coast, either way it's gorgeous, quiet, and private. Waking up on a mooring is waking up on a mooring, whether it's in your home port or your dream destination. Sure, I wish I could come and go a bit easier, but no way in Hades I'd keep my boat at the dock just for the convenience.

We got a freshwater washdown to keep her clean, too.

 

dylan winter

Super Anarchist
6,703
1,973
Now there is a thing - a freshwater mooring. 

I sailed with a bloke who spent most of his life on one of the great lakes - he could fill his kettle just by sticking it over the side.   

I did some sailing on the norfolk broads - the water was brackish in some places but fine for washing bodies and dishes.

The marina was £43 a week in the winter

the mooring is about £250 a year.

 

Fah Kiew Tu

Curmudgeon, First Rank
10,094
3,259
Tasmania, Australia
I like my mooring. OK it's not as convenient as a marina berth, OTOH I don't have to bring a boat with a 2.3m bowsprit anywhere near all those expensive fragile plastic things. I spend more money hauling out for longer and that's when I get on with stuff I'm too lazy to do on the mooring.

I've tidal waterfront so need to factor that into planning boat trips and all, but not a huge deal.

We have a couple of moorings in different places. Sometimes we just go sailing, pick up the other mooring late in the day, chill and sail home the following day.

Cost-wise, a mooring here is $AUD 82/year.

I reckon I'll keep using my mooring until age & general decrepitude make it too difficult and then we'll see. Probably buy a slow mobo type motorsailer and keep it in a pen.

FKT

 

socalrider

Super Anarchist
1,390
749
San Diego CA
$AUD82/year?!?  

Jesus, I thought I'd won the lottery for mine here in San Diego for US$142/month.  A 50' slip here is $1000/mo+; I was paying $1200/mo at a fancy place before I moved.  

I like the mooring more.  Being on my boat I feel like I'm on a boat.  It's a tight (bow & stern) mooring field but I'm 40' from my neighbors instead of 3'.  

I felt like a criminal anytime I was doing the slightest bit of work on my boat in the marina.  Technically almost everything was forbidden - painting, varnishing, sanding... I never got in trouble (except for once when I tried to get a welder out to attach a 1" tab to my samson post).  Never buy the cheapest house in an expensive neighborhood - no matter how rich you are you'll feel poor.

 

Fah Kiew Tu

Curmudgeon, First Rank
10,094
3,259
Tasmania, Australia
$AUD82/year?!?  

Jesus, I thought I'd won the lottery for mine here in San Diego for US$142/month.  A 50' slip here is $1000/mo+; I was paying $1200/mo at a fancy place before I moved. 
That's why I have a number of moorings and generally have one available for visitors.

Keep in mind that I Iive in outer Sticksville by choice.

FKT

 

Bull City

A fine fellow
7,064
2,678
North Carolina
Interesting topic. 

In the 1970s I kept our 18' Cape Dory Typhoon on a mooring at Coconut Grove Sailing Club, Miami, Florida. It was a joy. I don't think I ever had to wash down the boat. The bay was salt water, but there were frequent showers. We could sail off and on the mooring pretty easily. One day, though, I had the fright of my life.

Peter Benchley's book and movie, Jaws, had just come out. One day, I was over the side, cleaning the bottom, and Mrs. Bull was in the cockpit reading a book. All was well until a large shadow moved over me. I turned to look over my shoulder and saw the flank of a large creature about 1 foot from me. In an instant, my 25-year-old body was on the foredeck, hyperventilating through my mask and snorkel. I looked down, and it was not a Great White Shark coming to eat me, but a gentle manatee cruising by.

If I ever needed to do some work that required power, the club had a good size dock that you could use for the day, although not on weekends.

Now, on a North Carolina lake, I have a slip on a floating dock. It's convenient, it has AC power and water at hand, but it doesn't have the gentle atmosphere of a mooring.

 
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Santanasailor

Charter Member. Scow Mafia
1,357
707
North Louisiana
Never had a mooring, but my father and his brother kept the E-Scow and later my uncle kept his first wooden C-Scow on moorings.  Used an engine block from a Model T Ford as the anchor.  Boat stayed right where it was supposed to.  The real point, the boats had to stay wet to stay water tight.  So, they had to stay in the water.  The last wooden scow they owned, a Melges C-Scow (Gale III) was tight and dry and lived on a lift.  (As had the middle fiberglass scow that was about as fast as an arthritic snail so it was gone pretty quick.  The Kirste’s did not take to finishing at the bottom of the fleet, or worse for very long).   I beleive, Friday is behind me in the picture under my name.  I was three of four at the time.  Friday was an ancient C-Scow that was very fast, even in her old age.  Winning races right to the last and boy was she tired.  

I remember my aunt and I discussing all of her (Friday’s) needs.  New deck, new mast step, new rigging, new sail, etc…and those new fangled fiberglass hulls were so nice.  No varnishing, no painting, a coat of wax on the deck, throw her in the water and away you go.  Except the fiberglass C-Scow (Gale I) was all show and NO GO.  So, Gale III came along and I was onboard the day they got her dialed in and finished second in the fleet.  Both Uncle and Aunt were happy.  (Gale II was a Chris Craft in case you are wondering) 

Me (that would actually be Brenda and I) keep our craft in a slip, on a lift, when they are not on a trailer.  Really keeps the bottom clean.  Only issue, Caney Creek Lake has a massive spider problem.  The fill the rigging with their webs, never eat more than they take (leaving the webs filled with black bugs) and of course, make sure the decks are covered in black spider poop.  I hate em.  

Sad times about Gale III.  She was purchased in 1962. The next year, my uncle took a new job which took him way away from the lake and did not get to sail her as much as they would have liked.  Then tragedy.  In 1964 At 40 years of age, he fell down a small flight of stairs and died, probably of a heat attack.  Then even Greater Tragedy!  Otto and Anna Kirste, lost their second and remaining son, just ten weeks later to the day.  At just 41 years of age.  The cause was confirmed, heart attack.  Otto and Anna both lived on for another 16 years, having buried both of their sons.  

But Gale III showed herself proud, finishing second in the nationals under her new owner.  She wanted Art and Jo to know…..

 

Jud - s/v Sputnik

Super Anarchist
6,241
1,716
Canada
My mooring experience is a yearly thing - 6 months of winter at a dock, since to keep the boat on our mooring in winter would court disaster (strong lows, SE’lies, blow directly into the bay where our mooring is).  So, six months a year on the dock, six on a mooring.  Costs about $200 a year - used to be free, but our local municipality stepped in after years of whining by a particular nearby property owner understandably unhappy about people who really had no clue abusing the bay by mooring boats year round, boats broke off and damaged docks, or sank and had to be salvaged - so the Muni got jurisdiction over the bay an imposed a $200 annual fee to have a mooring.  Oh well.

I generally dislike marinas - too crowded, too expensive (except winter moorage is cheap!) - but it’s an incredibly convenient way to get lots done.  No way I’d be where I am now in terms of project progress with a boat always on a mooring.  Days before heading out to do a project, everything has to be thought through carefully so you know what you’ll need to get/bring.  But it’s certainly a very affordable way to keep a boat.

I’m lucky I can simply keep my “mooring dinghy”, a tough old plastic beater of a dinghy that can be dragged over rocks and logs, right on the beach.  I can row out, untie, and be gone right away.   To me, a mooring feels like freedom.

But, as the cliche goes, freedom comes with a price.  I somehow neglected to maintain my mooring recently (it was installed four years ago) and it suddenly disintegrated - mere weeks before winter dock space was set to run out, leading to a last-minute scramble to install a new  mooring!

Have you had a diver check your mooring lately?

 
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Bones VIII

New member
21
1
USA
I've done mostly in a marine, a bit on a mooring and bit on the hook.

Pros and cons for all. 

Marinas- convenience, showers, restaurants, easy access. 

The others - quiet, seclusion, watching out for security (depending on where in the world you are).

On balance, talk to the cruisers in your area and choose what is best for you.

That is what makes sailing awesome!

 

Bones VIII

New member
21
1
USA
I've done mostly in a marine, a bit on a mooring and bit on the hook.

Pros and cons for all. 

Marinas- convenience, showers, restaurants, easy access. 

The others - quiet, seclusion, watching out for security (depending on where in the world you are).

On balance, talk to the cruisers in your area and choose what is best for you.

That is what makes sailing awesome!
What happened to the "edit button"? Do I have to wait for Twitter?

*Marinas*

 

olaf hart

Super Anarchist
$AUD82/year?!?  

Jesus, I thought I'd won the lottery for mine here in San Diego for US$142/month.  A 50' slip here is $1000/mo+; I was paying $1200/mo at a fancy place before I moved.  
I have a few moorings in the same place as FKT, full disclosure, they are freehold moorings so I had to buy them from previous owners, and have to pay to service and repair them every two years.

The $82 figure is just the government registration cost, although it is in South Pacific Pesos, so it’s really around $US 60 a year.

The rules changed a few years ago, so all new moorings are now leased from the state government. However they have grandfathered the old moorings, so they can still be bought and sold. This is where it gets interesting, if you have a mooring in an area that is full, the prices have skyrocketed. Mine are worth about four times what I purchased them for ten years ago.

The local marina is quite expensive, and the fairways are tight. I use a mooring in preference, it’s much easier to get going and moor up, just a fifty yard row to the shore and we live over the road, so no dinghy storage issues.

 
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dylan winter

Super Anarchist
6,703
1,973
My mooring experience is a yearly thing - 6 months of winter at a dock, since to keep the boat on our mooring in winter would court disaster (strong lows, SE’lies, blow directly into the bay where our mooring is).  So, six months a year on the dock, six on a mooring.  Costs about $200 a year - used to be free, but our local municipality stepped in after years of whining by a particular nearby property owner understandably unhappy about people who really had no clue abusing the bay by mooring boats year round, boats broke off and damaged docks, or sank and had to be salvaged - so the Muni got jurisdiction over the bay an imposed a $200 annual fee to have a mooring.  Oh well.

I generally dislike marinas - too crowded, too expensive (except winter moorage is cheap!) - but it’s an incredibly convenient way to get lots done.  No way I’d be where I am now in terms of project progress with a boat always on a mooring.  Days before heading out to do a project, everything has to be thought through carefully so you know what you’ll need to get/bring.  But it’s certainly a very affordable way to keep a boat.

I’m lucky I can simply keep my “mooring dinghy”, a tough old plastic beater of a dinghy that can be dragged over rocks and logs, right on the beach.  I can row out, untie, and be gone right away.   To me, a mooring feels like freedom.

But, as the cliche goes, freedom comes with a price.  I somehow neglected to maintain my mooring recently (it was installed four years ago) and it suddenly disintegrated - mere weeks before winter dock space was set to run out, leading to a last-minute scramble to install a new  mooring!

Have you had a diver check your mooring lately?
  Here on the estuary you have to have the mooring lifted and checked every year. The lifting is £70. Then there is usually a swivel or some such to be replaced. The whole nine yards for relacement is £600.  The rental for the space is £120.

A marina around here would be about £4,000 a year.

Dylan

 

socalrider

Super Anarchist
1,390
749
San Diego CA
OK, feeling better about this now.  The San Diego Mooring Company maintains the mooring - included in the price.  I'm lucky enough to be in America's Cup Harbor where we're sheltered from all directions, so no swell or wakes to worry about.

Was hoping to get out there today but work got in the way... maybe Friday.  

 

Fah Kiew Tu

Curmudgeon, First Rank
10,094
3,259
Tasmania, Australia
But, as the cliche goes, freedom comes with a price.  I somehow neglected to maintain my mooring recently (it was installed four years ago) and it suddenly disintegrated - mere weeks before winter dock space was set to run out, leading to a last-minute scramble to install a new  mooring!

Have you had a diver check your mooring lately?
I have my moorings professionally serviced every 2 years. The standard cost is $360 currently if nothing needs to be replaced.

Still cheap.

Olaf is quite correct about the availability. When I bought my land over 20 years ago it was dead easy to get permission for a mooring in the bay out the front of my house. Now the bay is full IMO with ~3X the number of moorings there used to be.

Interestingly my favourite strong wind hidey-hole in Barnes Bay where Olaf also has a mooring, is almost empty of boats ATM. I find this quite a change, it used to be full. The moorings are still there but for some reason most of the boats aren't. We were over there on the weekend.

Like Olaf I have little or no problems with keeping a dinghy on the shoreline adjacent to the mooring, which makes life easy. Out the back gate, load stores etc into the dinghy, 500m out to the boat.

FKT

 

dylan winter

Super Anarchist
6,703
1,973
I was out on the estuary this morning admiring the light.

I remembered how much light pollution there is from a marina. Pontoons, carparks, loos

Lights coming in at you from every direction. 

All through the night -

being in a marina plays havoc with my sleep patterns as it never gets dark.

If you had asked me what time it got dark while I was a marina dweller I would have said 5.30 or so

when I left the marina and came around to our estuary I realised that it did not get completely dark until closer to seven.

Ditto at the other end of the day.

I also love just dropping the mooring line and drifting off without ever starting the engine. I can do that in the winter time but in the summer there are so many occupied moorings that I owe it to my neighbours to be ready with the engine and throttle.

D

 
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