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Author Topic: Pile moorings - getting on and off are a team effort!  (Read 442 times)

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Monster Mummy

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Pile moorings - getting on and off are a team effort!
« on: July 01, 2012, 07:25:17 PM »
To say that I approached the task of getting on or off my pile moorings with nervous trepidation was an understatement.  Here I was - just having purchase my first boat - I'd only ever done a couple of day sails on champagne sipping no hands on ropes conditions and I was now the new proud owner of a 24 foot yacht but on PILE moorings tied fore and aft.  YUCK! Add to this slight problem but you can only get out of the pile rows in one direction i.e. one end of the pile rows is too shallow for keel boats - as my boats previous owner found out on the day he brought her round for her survey and ran her aground.

Man oh man - you've to add together the current's effect on the keel and the wind all pushing you onto your lines that you need to somehow keep away from the prop whilst you do a sharp u-turn to miss the boats moored parallel to your pile line 10 metres away.

I successfully worked on engaging my 'team' to understand what to look out for and what their role was in getting us safely away from the lines and turned around without running into anyone else or running over our lines with the prop.

I'd have a girl up on the bow sprit who would unclip the lines and affix to the stay behind float whilst still hold the boat fast ready to turn.  I'd likewise unclip lines and affix to the rear lines float and ready to hard tiller turn about and clear of the lines.  When lucky enough we'd have a third person holding the tender midway along the yacht which is where we roughly assessed our turn centre would be so it would be in the least area to push the yacht's turn off balance.

The girl up the front would hold the lines out as far right as possible to effect the bow's turn to the left to assist the prop's over wash over the rudder to get a tighter turn. 

All in all it always worked out to be a very tidy performance of crack precision work that made us all feel conquerors of the world.

Every time motoring out into the leads though I'd be still shaking as to the adrenalin in me as I know full well the consequences of dropping the lines too early and running over lines and fouling a prop with a nasty current and nasty wind quickly pushing you into unforgiving piles and other people precious boats.

They sailing is all about overcoming adversity and this for sure was one baptism of sailing experience that I am thankful for however detrimental to my health it may have been.


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