Tips when maneuvering into or in a small port or marina.
- If there are some head winds, I normally find it easier to reverse into the wind and adjust my position to moor onto the quay or pontoon. You will have far more directional control when reversing, especially into any winds.
- Use the wind direction to your advantage; it could also help to drive past your planned mooring place, adjust your position and allow the wind to hold you in place or gently push you into your mooring position.
- When reversing into your mooring position.
With a quay side tailed mooring line:
As you slowly reverse into the quay have the (down wind) mooring line passed forward to the bow position and have your stern lines made ready. Your bow person can actually hold the yacht with the mooring line to some extent as he/she moves forward with the line against the yacht hull, if the wind is pushing a little. When you are perhaps 2 or 3 meters off the quay side, have the crew person on the bow, loop the mooring line on the bow cleat a few turns, then gently in tick-over, drive to stern and pull gently on the mooring line to tighten the mooring. Throw one stern line ashore, preferably the downwind line, level up and adjust your position, then throw ashore the other stern line. Then adjust the forward mooring line if required. With practice you’ll get used to your yacht size and find mooring quite easy and stress free. Same procedure when reversing into a mooring position; Using the forward anchor; drop the anchor far enough out from the quay as recommended, let the anchor run slowly as you reverse. If the wind is pushing you sideways, stop the anchor for a moment while still slowing reversing which will level you up against the wind. Again, when 2 or 3 meters off the quay stop the anchor, carry on reversing and pull on the anchor gently and throw a downwind stern line ashore and follow the same process as above.
Happy sailing from the Happy sailor!