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  1. #1

    Default Mooring buoy and rafting up etiquette

    I need advice please on the etiquette on picking up a vacant mooring buoy where there is no-one around. Is it Ok to do this? Can you stay there while the owner is away? How do you know it is man enough for the job? etc.

    Also, I am not sure about rafting up. Is it taken for granted that this is what you do if there is not other space available. Is it courtesy to ask the boat you are about to raft up to. Are they within their rights to say no. What if they are not supposed to say no but still do?.

    I don't wish to offend anyone and get things like this wrong and would appreciate help.Also, if there is anything else along these lines I need to know, can you help.

    Thanks


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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    Default Re: Mooring buoy and rafting up etiquette

    All good questions!

    It is ok to pick up a vacant mooring buoy - but be prepared to vacate at short notice of the owner turns up. Whether the buoy is man enough for the job is a matter of judgement I'm afraid. Usually you can get a feeling by the size of boats on similar buoys nearby.

    Rafting up - sometimes you have to do it. Some people will try to put you off e.g. "we are leaving at 05:30 tomorrow!, or the worst people will tie dinghys alongside. But by and large most people will be courteous enough to let you raft up. It is usually in crowded visitors berths so there is often no option. Best just to go for it in a firm and polite fahion, always being very gentle to your neighbour's boat. Good seamanship means that if you have a 40 foot boat you do not raft up against a folkboat of course.


  3. #3
    Miker is offline Registered User
    Location : NW England
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    Default Re: Mooring buoy and rafting up etiquette

    Having come adrift when the rope eye on the buoy parted, I would echo the advice of checking the condition of the buoy very carefully.


  4. #4

    Default Re: Mooring buoy and rafting up etiquette

    If there is a harbour master they should be able to advise you.
    I checked a few weeks ago with Newtown Creek - their response was that red buoys (in their case) were ok to pick up on but are private and you should vacate if the owner turns up. Visitor buoys were marked as such and you could raft upto 2 deep (all the caveats apply on the rest of the thread).


  5. #5
    Twister_Ken's Avatar
    Twister_Ken is offline Registered User
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    Default Re: Mooring buoy and rafting up etiquette

    Unless the HM or YC bosun or equivalent has OK'd it, if you've picked up someone's mooring you don't leave your boat unattended, and you clear off without a whimper when the rightful owner turns up.

    Next time, it'll all be different.

  6. #6
    claymore's Avatar
    claymore is offline Registered User
    Location : In the far North
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    Default Re: Mooring buoy and rafting up etiquette

    Agree with all of that - plus - put the looped end of mooring lines onto their boat so that you can adjust from your end, this also means that you have responsibility for tying off your own lines. Run shore lines - make sure that you are not just hanging off your new neighbour, think about where your spreaders are in relation to theirs - you don't want them clashing, if its a drying harbour then get well fendered and don't leave the boat until it is totally settled (you need to know what the neighbour draws to save any embarrasment as he starts to hang off your lines - or you off his!)
    Be economical in the number of trips across his decks
    Always go around the front
    Regards
    John S
    If you come alongside me - keep your children bound and gagged, offer me a dram!
    Chat through when you are leaving and if they are off first be there to help them get away

    Sans Signature

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    Default Re: Mooring buoy and rafting up etiquette

    Now that's what I like to see.
    Encouragement for families to sail together!
    werent you a child once, or was it so long ago you've forgotten?
    Only joking..I think


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
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    Default Re: Mooring buoy and rafting up etiquette

    Not everyone takes kindly to their mooring buoy being used in their absence, even if it isn't doing them any harm.

    Also - if it's for a wee boat and you break it, then you won't be very popular with the owner (or your insurance company).

    I have occasionally picked up strange mooring buoys, but only when there was no real alternative or when I have received assurances from a local that it will be OK. It's generally best to anchor if possible IMHO, rather than risk a) upsetting someone b) tying your six ton yacht onto a buoy set up for a one ton boat or c) being asked to clear out at four in the morning by an irate owner.

    As for rafting up - I'd certainly prefer that people didn't raft up to me on a buoy because of possible problems, but would let them if there was no alternative and the combined weights were within the buoy's capacity. Generally in Scotland once the visitors moorings are full late arrivals anchor - it is rare to see boats rafted up on a buoy.

    Alongside, rafting up is the norm and while it is not a 'right' it is a churlish skipper who tries to prevent or discourage it. If the crew is on board it is polite to ask before rafting up. If not, don't raft up alongside a much smaller boat - and always take your own lines ashore, otherwise everyone ends up hanging on the inside boat's shore lines! (And be prepared to get up if a boat inside you is departing earlier than you).

    One other point of rafting etiquette - always go forward of the mast on other boats when going ashore or returning (for privacy).

    - Nick

    BlueMoment.Com
    http://www.bluemoment.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Mooring buoy and rafting up etiquette

    I don't mind people rafting up against me on a wall or pontoon, but dont like it when on a mooring, because of strength of mooring etc. I had one guy come up and tie up to me, I was asleep, when I was at anchor, when I awoke they had all gone to town, I wasn't too chuffed about that, should have just upped anchor and moved down the harbour a bit, that would have foxed them! But of course I didn't soft touch! But I did object to one or two people who wanted to raft up against me, on Poole quay, there was plenty of room on the quay, they just wanted to use me as a giant fender board, you find this when you have a large heavy wooden boat, in Holland it's the norm wherever you go, rafting I mean, because of the small ahrbours and lots of boats, plus the Dutch tend to be more social about it all. You will find yopurself going for drinks on ten boats rafted up, didn't get off the raft one night, fed, watered and fell into my bunk! Well it actually attacked me and I then fell in!

    If I agreed with you we'd both be wrong.

  10. #10
    claymore's Avatar
    claymore is offline Registered User
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    Default Re: Mooring buoy and rafting up etiquette

    Mine have grown up - no - I'll rephrase that - mine have reached an age where they no longer live with me. The experience was so traumatic that it has left me with a natural aversion - I cannot help it, I did my best - they are doing well, good jobs, friends etc.etc. The Doctor says that as long as I stay on the medication I'm fine - and to avoid situations which may bring on the old vapours - so when a family looks like coming alongside I say nothing, I scowl a bit and look unpleasant, I find leering at the Mother is a good one, and if that doesn't work I sing Scottish folk songs - as badly as you've ever heard - that never fails- they soon find a better place to park.
    regards
    JohnS

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