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Mooring to Shore

Sketch: Mooring Technique Here is a little diagram of the mooring technique. The mooring object on shore is typically an old tree. Two lines are used. The first line is a long length of nylon mooring line that spans from the shore to the boat. Call this the "boat line."

The second line is usually heavier and shorter. It needs to be long enough to loop around the mooring object. For this I tend to use an older piece of line because there is always some pine tar on trees or moss on rocks, etc., and the line will be discolored and sticky after use. Call this the "shore line."

The shore line is passed around the mooring object once and looped back towards the boat. The line is not tied to the mooring object; the reason for this becomes clear in a moment. The two ends of the mooring line are tied into two bowlines, forming two loops or eyes, through which the end of the boat line is also tied into a bowline.

Thus all three pieces of line are joined with bowlines. Now an important detail: this joining should take place over water. This will make it very easy to un-moor yourself the next morning. You can just haul yourself over in the dingy to the point where the shore line meets the boat line. You just untie one end of the shore line and pull the remaining end around the mooring object and back to the dingy. If everything works right, you won't have to set foot ashore at all. If you are cruising with the family dog aboard, this may be a moot point.

Using a nice heavy line for the shore line will ensure it does not chafe through, and its larger diameter will reduce the tendency to try to saw through the tree bark.

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Author: James W. Hebert