In our series on sailing school hints and tips – this week we are going to be looking at picking up a mooring buoy! Even the most expert sailors amongst us will have had moments of dropping that mooring buoy over and over again! Read our sailing school guide and remind yourself of the best method;
Check your marks….
Mooring buoys are most likely attached to a chain that runs along the ground on the sea bed, which in turn is attached to a heavy anchor of some form, buried in the sea bed.
The buoy itself needs to be heavy enough to support the heavy riser chain that allows the buoy to sit on the service, so you will often find a ring and a pick up line that sits on top of the buoy, that you will then attach your yacht to.
So when you are ready to pick up the mooring buoy, first begin by looking around the area and checking your chart and almanac to see which buoys you have permission to use. Then when you are ready to make your approach get your boat hook and mooring lines ready. Aim your boat into the tide or the wind, the tide can be identified by looking at the direction that the pick up line is lying in.
Slowly approach the buoy, whilst keeping the buoys position on one side of the bow so you can keep an eye on it, then when you are along side, hook it up (or the pick up line) and then have the boat reverse slowly whilst you attach yourself to the buoy! Done!
And that it’s! One of our top sailing school tips is that when you are attached always cleat off the line with a round turn and two half hitches, and even better to stay securely attached, you could use two lines.