Catalina Island - How to Pick up a Mooring
33°20.9'N - 118°19.5'W
Avalon, California USA

Mooring Tips (Use at your discretion!)
With the safety and convenience of a mooring comes a certain amount of anxiety.  Some of the best entertainment in Catalina is watching other boats trying to fetch a mooring can.  Nothing is better than pulling up to a mooring like you were on a track.  On the other hand, nothing is worse than over running the mooring, slamming your boat into reverse and having the stern swing around, giving you the opportunity to meet your new neighbor, "up close and personal".   In an effort to make things a little less entertaining, Nancy Wallace of the Dana Point Yacht Club has offered some helpful information on moorings and how to fetch them.

1. Locate your mooring buoy and float with wand.

2. Approach from the shore side of the mooring if possible.

3. As you approach note the wind direction and how other boats on your row have cleated their lines (Port or Starboard).

4. Have someone on the bow grab the wand.

5. Position your boat so your forward and wind momentum will stop with your bow at the float with wand and your stem toward shore. GOOD LUCK!! This is the hardest part. Be careful not to over run the wand and use as little reverse as possible to avoid swinging the stern from the engine torque.

6. As soon as the bow person can grasp the wand pull it on deck. The boat should have drifted to a stop by now. Put the boat in neutral and go forward to assist. Cleat the heavy yellow bow line on the same side as the boats around you and hold it in place. The bow person hands you the smaller yellow sand line (the one with the small lead sinkers on it) and holds the bow line in place. Walk the sand line on the side you cleated the bow. Pull up the slack as you walk to the stern. Cleat the heavy yellow stern line. Drop the sand line. GOOD JOB, your now safe and sound at the Island.

Anchoring at the Girl Scout Camp

There is no doubt that the best entertainment for the fleet is watching the various boats and their anchoring techniques. No one will ever say anything if you do a good job, but don't do it right, and you'll have plenty of advice on what you're doing wrong! Two techniques that 

Get rid of handling the usual messy sand line that connects the bow and stern hawsers.

This new product, called a MOORING-COIL,, lets you and the boat stay clean. Attached to a tether, it captures and slides along the sand line so that you can easily and cleanly retrieve the stern hawser, after cleating the bow hawser

At the same time, the MOORING-COIL, will give you better control of the boat over crosswinds that may push the stern away.

The substantial stainless steel MOORING-COIL, is $58.85 plus tax and shipping. Additionally, various lengths tethers, spliced on, are available - or you can provide your own.

The MOORING-COIL,is made by Yacht Rigging Associates. For info and orders, please call 310-823-2627

won't work are; first, to dump all the chain in one spot, and then back up at 2-3 knots to set the anchor. The second is to drop the anchor, and back up too quickly without putting out sufficient scope.  The technique that works for us is to drop the anchor, and as it reaches the bottom slowly back up until you have a scope of about 7:1 out. At that point secure the line if you're using nylon or connect a snubber if you're using chain. Put the engine in reverse, and slowly raise the rpm's from idle until you reach the rpm cruising speed you normally motor at.
Anchoring Tips
Stop at each 200-rpm increment to determine that you are not dragging. I do this until we are at about 1600 rpm's, and then we just sit there in reverse for about a minute or so, and then increase the speed to 1800 rpm's. Watch that line or snubber straighten out. Put your foot on the line, and if you can feel the line jumping the anchor is not holding, and you should back off to 200 less rpm's, and let it pull at that speed for a while. If it's still not holding, don't waste your time…pick up the anchor and drop it in a different place. Sometimes it'll work if you back down 180 degrees in the opposite direction. After the anchor is set, then you can pull in the extra rode, and anchor with a 5:1 scope minimum. If there are other boats in the anchorage, ask them how much scope they have out if you'll be anchoring near them. Ask what direction the wind blew from the night before, maybe they can tell you about a local condition that would effect the way you would anchor. After anchoring, if you think that maybe you're a little too close to another boat, ask them how they feel, and if they say that they also think you're too close, then reanchor. It's better to do it then than if the wind picks up in the middle of the night, and you have to re-anchor in the dark. Above all, never anchor up wind of another boat which would put your boat over their anchor. No matter which way the wind shifts you never want to be over another boat's anchor. Sometimes you'll run into a guy who thinks that, if you're within 1,000 feet of his boat, you're too close. Try to find out exactly where he thinks his anchor is, and how much scope he has out.  You'll then be able to determine if you're too close to his anchor. If you feel there's no problem, politely tell him so, and offer to re-anchor if you do get too close later, but remember it may be in the middle of a pitch black night, so get it right the first time.

excepted from Ground Tackle and Techniques by Jim Hughes, Baja Seafaris

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