Mooring Your Boat Safely

boat insurance mooring pinTo state the blindingly obvious boats do not have any brakes or guaranteed immediate way of stopping (anchors can be used in emergencies but clearly even these must find suitable grounding). As a result when planning to moor your boat, there are two very simple but absolute paramount rules.

Kill Your Speed

This most critical of points speaks for itself. When preparing to moor, once you have set the appropriate course to the mooring platform, there is rarely anything other than a need for you to travel dead slow. The key advantage of dead slow means that should be need to make minor redirection as you get close to landing stage you can give an appropriate engine spurt with full turn applied that will make the adjustment but without the danger of suddenly taking on lots of additional speed. Failing all else you can also drop the boat into reverse but this is more complex and can overly put stress on your gearing/ engine if done without due care. For those that are new starters as a boat insurance company we would also always recommend that new starters should avoid attempting to moor down stream, the inevitable additional speed makes mooring much more difficult so better leave that to the experienced sailors until you've done at least a few sound still/ up water moorings.

Preparation

The second and perhaps not so obvious piece of advice with regard to mooring your boat safely is to ensure you are adequately prepared. Get those that will jump to the landing stage in place to wear sensible footwear and ensure ropes are positioned freely and sensibly to avoid tripping. This seems such an obvious advice but is all too easily forgotten or overlooked by even the most experienced boaters. 

When preparing also position your vessel early on to the correct angle of approach (in consideration/ taking into account any current) and survey what is ahead to ensure no potential hazards (e.g. other boats, shallow waters). Finally also have any mooring pins, mallets ready to hand and move away anything that may get in the way/ be a hazard.

For those new to mooring up their boats it can be a rather stressful time, particularly if there are lots of onlookers! Take a few simple deep breathes and remember if you've followed the basic advice you have little to worry about (whilst risks of something unforeseen always exist, you'll have massively diminished them by killing your speed and adequately preparing). Any problems are merely an opportunity to learn, just re-adjust and try again... enjoy!

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