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

Kris Cringle

Super Anarchist
3,294
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Up here, there are few dock options to keep your boat long term. Zero in my harbor and only a few very expensive long term docks in the bay.

That said, we've spent up to a month or more on docks down south, where the situation is reversed: very few mooring options at marinas. 

I'd compare it to living in a house with space and privacy vs. living in an apartment complex.  You're only real space and privacy in a complex is behind your door or companionway hatch.

If you just get on and go, the dock would be preferable. However, if you do things on the boat, maybe spend the night or a few hours doing some pleasant task, a dock would be dreadful for me. Some like close neighbors that will chat you up 17 times a day. 

As mentioned, the noise, the light pollution, the commotion of people moving is what we go off on a sailboat to escape. Our mooring gives us 90% of that space, without throwing off the loop. 

On the coast of Maine, moorings are the rule. Most are in public/municipal access areas so are part of a simple annual/biannual inspection system: Check and replace gear before it fails. Positive protection for your boat at minimal cost. 

Bufflehead sailing onto mooring.jpg

 

Whinging Pom

Super Anarchist
Mooring:  Aah, the joys of falling in and out of the east coast mud.  Rowing hard to catch the last of the ebb, lifting the box of provisions only to have the bottom of the box collapse from the dinghy's bilge water.  Leaning over and your phone falls into the deep. All whilst SWMBO mutters about the convenience of a walk ashore berth. 

My boat lives in a marina, but I can slip down the Orwell River and in half an hour and borrow someones mooring or drop the hook for the night.

 

kent_island_sailor

Super Anarchist
27,706
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Kent Island!
I have been in a slip, on a mooring, and now have one of each.

Mooring advantages (IMHO):

The boat always sits into the wind.

Hurricane prep is much easier, basically drop the jib and take the bimini down.

No worries about adjusting lines for extra high or extra low tide.

The boat can be left alone during a hurricane if need be, no requirement for me to be onboard to slack lines and re-tighten them.

Much nicer to spend the night aboard, no parking lot lights, no noise, much cooler in the summer than being in a slip.

Dinghy issues aside, less work coming and going, just one line to drop and retrieve.

Much nicer water for swimming and bottom cleaning, marina water can be gross.

Mooring disadvantages:

Dealing with the dinghy, you need a place for it ashore, bailing it, maintaining it, etc. etc.

Wildlife will move in, birds seem to love my boat when she is on her mooring.

No fresh water hose for boat cleaning and filling tanks.

No shore power. No air conditioning or heat.

Loading and unloading can be a pain, especially if there is no temporary dock to pull up to.

Boat projects take longer, add a dinghy ride both ways to every trip to the store.

You need to haul out for the winter or find a winter slip maybe. We have year-round boats on some moorings here and some really cold weather will have them iced-in some years. It doesn't seem to hurt them, but I couldn't do it myself.

General cold weather issues: Getting home on a cold winter day with blowing rain just above freezing includes a dinghy ride in that weather.

Sometimes when you get back at 2300 and just want to go home and get in bed you have to clear some asshole off your mooring who decided it looked like something they could use. I have my phone number on my mooring ball now, so at least people with half a brain can call and ask if I need it in the near future.

Maintenance of the mooring.

Issues with finding a good mooring spot. Maryland, outside of Annapolis and Baltimore, is basically a free-for-all, you just find a spot and put in a mooring. The problem is absent a setup on shore for a dinghy landing and parking, it isn't going to do you much good. I think you might wait a decade or two or maybe three to get a permit for a mooring in Annapolis City waters.

The "shipwreck cove/corrosion corner" issue. There always seems to be the spot where all the floating homeless gather. If you have a mooring anywhere near one of these, you are going to deal with boats getting loose or dragging along with some of the resident's thieving to support their drug habits.

 

dylan winter

Super Anarchist
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good point

no more fender juggling. They stay in the locker for months rather being constantly moved on and off the gunwhales

blooming big things

D

 

h20man

Anarchy Organiser
591
88
ocean
good point

no more fender juggling. They stay in the locker for months rather being constantly moved on and off the gunwhales

blooming big things

D
inflatable fenders... a lovely invention.... I would not use for a hurricane... but.. great with a cover to protect them a bit (and remember.. you are paying for SPACE! or the lack of wasted space):

194.jpg
196.jpg
195.jpg


and for those enquiring minds.. that is NOT my boat.. so no cracks about the chair on the deck... ;)

 
@Kris Cringle

Nice looking gaffer. Is it a Bud McIntosh design or build? Looks familiar.

I’ll take a mooring over a dock anytime. I like being able to sail up to and off it without getting yelled at. 

When we both had location based careers we lived full time on a city dock. We were happy to do so since there were no moorings available and the only other alternative was living in a box with a balcony that looked out on another balcony.

We usually tried to get away from the dock every weekend but if we couldn’t we still had the Otters, Racoons, Eagles, Blue Herons and ducks as neighbours.

Since we’ve flocked off it’s been mostly on the hook or a mooring which is awesome but if we have to tie up it’s as a rare treat. We get to walk around the docks, look at boats up close, talk to our new neighbours and get some projects done. For the short term it has its own fun.

A shot of a “getting shit done” dock visit.

D8402C97-2030-40C1-B8B3-BE9FEEA23DF8.jpeg

 

kent_island_sailor

Super Anarchist
27,706
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Kent Island!
I don't get yelled at for sailing in and out of my marina, but the narrow channel and two 90 degree turns make it very rare to be physically possible.

I once managed to look very cool by pointing the auto pilot at the mooring under sail and then rolling in the jib, dropping the main, and having the boat run out of momentum right next to the buoy so I could causally walk up and grab the line. I acted like this happened all the time :D

 
don't get yelled at for sailing in and out of my marina, but the narrow channel and two 90 degree turns make it very rare to be physically possible.

I once managed to look very cool by pointing the auto pilot at the mooring under sail and then rolling in the jib, dropping the main, and having the boat run out of momentum right next to the buoy so I could causally walk up and grab the line. I acted like this happened all the time :D
Nice one!
On the BC coast we got yelled at regularly often with the “is that legal” comment. On the entire east coast sailing in is a tradition so no one noticed and barely put down their coffee to watch our antics.

When sailing in close quarters it seems that appearances are everything.
No matter how badly I cock up the sail in or out if I move really really slowly while walking up to the foredeck to untangle shit then coolness abounds.
if I run then the cool factor is screwed. Harebrained running also seems to get any spectators attention as well.

 

Jim in Halifax

Super Anarchist
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Nova Scotia
Like some others denizens of this forum (Messers Bottles and FKT come to mind) I am very blessed to have moorings in front of my own waterfront. I can sail on and off the mooring and I can bring her into my floating dock at any tide - as long as the wind is below F4 - to load up. I could not afford this if we had not purchased the property over 30 years ago. I replaced the dock four years ago at a cost of $25K, with my BIL and I doing all the work except setting the pile bents, which was done by a marine contractor with a pile-driving barge. The going rate for a turn-key dock like this would be twice that. My mooring is a 3500# concrete block with 5/8" chain that gets changed out every four years. I feel like I have found my own 'little pot of gold'...

pot of gold.jpg

 

kent_island_sailor

Super Anarchist
27,706
5,545
Kent Island!
Nice one!
On the BC coast we got yelled at regularly often with the “is that legal” comment. On the entire east coast sailing in is a tradition so no one noticed and barely put down their coffee to watch our antics.

When sailing in close quarters it seems that appearances are everything.
No matter how badly I cock up the sail in or out if I move really really slowly while walking up to the foredeck to untangle shit then coolness abounds.
if I run then the cool factor is screwed. Harebrained running also seems to get any spectators attention as well.
When I was a sailing instructor we had to sail in and out of Back Creek in Annapolis. Tacking up a narrow creek full of weekend powerboat traffic with students at the helm was interesting and we got a lot of rude comments from the powerboats.

 

nota

Anarchist
well bull you were lucky it was a seacow

I have seen 10-11 ft hammerheads swimming in water the shark had more draft then the water did not far from there in DK around that time

but other then a sailing club I fail to understand paying for a mooring

we lived aboard over 20 years and fought many more against that EVIL IDEA that one should PAY to moor

while the city got their moor field we retain the right to set a mooring or just anchors out side the area the city stole for their moorings

so why pay the powers to regulate and tax/fee fight for you rights

 

kent_island_sailor

Super Anarchist
27,706
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Kent Island!
well bull you were lucky it was a seacow

I have seen 10-11 ft hammerheads swimming in water the shark had more draft then the water did not far from there in DK around that time

but other then a sailing club I fail to understand paying for a mooring

we lived aboard over 20 years and fought many more against that EVIL IDEA that one should PAY to moor

while the city got their moor field we retain the right to set a mooring or just anchors out side the area the city stole for their moorings

so why pay the powers to regulate and tax/fee fight for you rights
We don't pay for moorings here, but there are drawbacks. Since anyone can put one in, you get abandoned moorings that take up space but can't really be used. No one trusts them or knows what is on the other end of them and you don't know when the owners might come back. You also have no idea who owns them if you want to get in touch about using it  or removing it.

The Navy here has a bunch of hurricane moorings that USED to be free for all when there isn't a hurricane, but they had a hard time clearing people off for one hurricane and now they are off-limits.

 

accnick

Super Anarchist
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Like some others denizens of this forum (Messers Bottles and FKT come to mind) I am very blessed to have moorings in front of my own waterfront. I can sail on and off the mooring and I can bring her into my floating dock at any tide - as long as the wind is below F4 - to load up. I could not afford this if we had not purchased the property over 30 years ago. I replaced the dock four years ago at a cost of $25K, with my BIL and I doing all the work except setting the pile bents, which was done by a marine contractor with a pile-driving barge. The going rate for a turn-key dock like this would be twice that. My mooring is a 3500# concrete block with 5/8" chain that gets changed out every four years. I feel like I have found my own 'little pot of gold'...

View attachment 508580
Are you up on the Northwest Arm somewhere?

Looks like a bit of heaven in the photo.

 

Jud - s/v Sputnik

Super Anarchist
6,566
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Canada
Like some others denizens of this forum (Messers Bottles and FKT come to mind) I am very blessed to have moorings in front of my own waterfront. I can sail on and off the mooring and I can bring her into my floating dock at any tide - as long as the wind is below F4 - to load up. I could not afford this if we had not purchased the property over 30 years ago. I replaced the dock four years ago at a cost of $25K, with my BIL and I doing all the work except setting the pile bents, which was done by a marine contractor with a pile-driving barge. The going rate for a turn-key dock like this would be twice that. My mooring is a 3500# concrete block with 5/8" chain that gets changed out every four years. I feel like I have found my own 'little pot of gold'...

View attachment 508580
Looks fantastic.  
 

I’m happy not to own waterfront property where I am in BC - the crazy increase in property values over the last decade has been very nice, for sure, but the taxes for waterfront would have made me sell by now to avoid the annual tax burden!  I have fantasized about waterfront and a dock, but am glad instead to live a 5 minute walk to my dinghy beach, allowing me to be a big-time cheapskate sailor...how else to afford this refit madness? :) :)  (being on a mooring half a year is a major cost savings)

3BF93C8F-8F0F-405F-8138-9EAF4DDF7D9E.jpeg

 
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Jud - s/v Sputnik

Super Anarchist
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Canada
Yes - last summer was bad.  If I’m not at the boat at least every couple of days, it gets bad.  Seagulls...

One of my projects very soon is to string up some thin lines to prevent birds roosting...something that is very quick and easy to remove when going sailing.  

 
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dylan winter

Super Anarchist
6,760
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My enemy is the Osprey, a prolific and fast nest builder and dropper of dead fish parts :angry:

I also had a dumb-ass duck lay eggs in the cockpit :rolleyes:
that is funny... I am so excited when I see an Osprey

seen em in scotlandf and once down here on the deben... but only once.

 


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