the top, tall enough to be reached from
the bow of the boat. All you have to do is
retrieve that mooring pennant and attach
it to a strong point on the bow.
To secure your boat to the mooring,
follow these six steps.
1. GET READY. As you enter the harbor
and while you’re trying to identify the
mooring you need to pick up, a crewmember should take a boat hook and a
short ( 6-10 feet) length of line to the bow.
The line should be the size and strength
of your docklines, large enough to hold
the boat but small enough to double on a
bow cleat. Secure one end to a bow cleat
and run the other end through a fairlead,
if your boat has one.
2. GET POSITIONED. Once you’ve identified the mooring you want to pick up,
determine the direction of the wind.
Approach the mooring from dead-down-
wind, which means the bow is pointing
into the wind.
3. APPROACH THE MOORING. Head
toward the mooring slowly, with just
enough throttle to keep the boat moving into the wind. The crewmember on
the bow should continually point at the
mooring with the boat hook. The movement of the boat hook and its angle will
give you a good idea of how quickly you’re
approaching. At the same time, the crew
on the bow should indicate the distance
to the mooring in boat lengths, not in
feet. It’s easier to estimate one or two boat
lengths than 30 or 60 feet. On smaller
boats, they can call out the number; on
larger boats, hand signals work better.
4. STOP THE BOAT. Before the bow
comes to the mooring, put the engine
in neutral. Unless the wind is strong, the
boat’s momentum will carry it forward
a bit before the wind starts pushing it
back, giving the crew on the bow time to
you reach pickup
buoy, shift to
buoy with your
it up till you get
to the pennant
loop, then decide
if you want to
use your own
line, or use the
Or, place the pennant
loop over your center
bow cleat directly, and
store the pickup buoy
Either pass your own line through
the pennant’s mooring eye splice
(loop) to form a bridle that you
secure to two cleats on deck