Stern-to or bow-to mooring, either is generally unfamiliar to those coming from outside the Mediterranean sphere. For those sailing in Croatia it is an essential skill and will be required in more than 90% of all marinas and harbours.
1.First off practice reversing the boat. First day, first lunch stop, before you drop the anchor or pick up a buoy, stop, put it into reverse and get a feel for the boat going backwards.
2.In reverse it will turn more quickly in one direction than the other (largely due to prop wash).
3.Stop the boat, then put it into reverse and slow slow slow, let it start back in its own time, build up speed gently and if you can, keep it below 1-1.5 kts.
4.Once you have the prop wash sorted you can use this to help the turn.
5.Remember only half a turn on the wheel as you start to move backwards, any more than this and you will effectively stall the rudder and you are wasting its effectiveness.
6.Plan ahead - get fenders on both sides and if you have a spare one on the back - you may need the rear one anyway (at the expense of the side) depending on where you are mooring.
7.Get your aft mooring lines on both sides and passed under the guard rails on back onto the deck.
8.Ensure the crew know what they are doing and when.
9. Approaching the mooring work which way is the most effective for your boat to turn in in reverse.
10. Also establish on what side the dock hand is going to pass the lazy line up to and position the crew member who is going to take it on that side, aft, with the boat hook.
11. Don’t panic - its easy really.
12. There are three basic jobs
13. Steering (and speed control)
14. Picking up the lazy line (walking it forward and securing it)
15. Handing off the rear mooring lines (and receiving them back)
16. If necessary these jobs can easily be done by two people with little or no practice (one on the lazy line and one steering and handing off the rear mooring lines to the shore.)
17. Listen to the dock hands - they know what they are talking about.
18. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help or advice - that is what the dock hands are paid for and they moor boats hundreds of times every week.
19. The person taking the lazy line with the boat hook needs to move forward carefully but promptly. Watch for the fenders as it is easy for the thin carrier-line to get tangled under them.
20. Haul up the carrier-line until you find the mooring rope, get it through a fairlead (or straight onto the cleat). This is important particularly if there is a cross wind, because this line may hold the whole weight of the boat. It is better to have it on slack and adjust it later, than to loose it because you cannot hold the weight.
21. The aim is to be square to the dock - about 0.75 - 1.25 metres off it and not moving forward or back.
22. If you are not square changing the side of the lazy line (or picking up a second one) can often resolve this - it may be a current or prevailing wind which is causing you to skew. The tension on the lazy line also effectively determines you closeness or otherwise towards the dock.
23. Once you are tied on both sides at the back you can run the engine gently forward - this will keep you off the dock and generally square (if both stern lines are of the right general length) and will allow you either to swap the lazy line over or take in more slack off it.
24. Lazy lines can be dirty (oil, silt and algae) - many people take gardening-type gloves to handle them.
25. Also watch your clothes - its easy to get dirt onto a t-shirt or jacket in the scramble to get the line forward and pulled tight - and not always easy to get the stain out again.
26. Mooring alongside is unusual, except at some fuel berths and occasional harbour walls (Trogir, Split and Sibenik come to mind)
27. The days of dropping the anchor and motoring back onto a mooring seem to have gone almost completely (the only place we have seen this was at Veli Drvenik). Almost all facilities have laid moorings (lazy lines) now.
Thursday, 9 July 2009