Mooring Up

Rings or bollards - Use rings or bollards where you can, they will be firmer than spikes. Tie ropes fairly tightly to reduce movement caused by passing boats which can pull out spikes or break ropes.

Spikes - Drive mooring spikes deeply into the ground, to reduce the chance of them being pulled out by a passing boat. And tie the rope as close to the ground as you can. Tie the line to the spike, don’t just pass it around - if the spike comes out at least it will stay attached to the rope! Where there are steel pilings, try placing the spike immediately behind a pile - it reduces the chance of it being pulled out and keeps the spike off the footpath. Where the spike is close to the towing path, attach some means of warning.

Setting spring lines - Are you fed up with having your mooring pins pulled out by boats going by too fast? Fed up with being rocked? Try mooring like this - it is called setting spring lines. You take a mooring rope forward and behind the mooring cleat to reduce the potential for the boat to swing back and forth.

Don't leave space - Please don’t leave spaces between boats on popular moorings - very often the sum of the spaces left by not sharing bollards or rings would have enabled another boat to moor.

Breast up - Be prepared to ‘breast up’ side by side at crowded moorings where the waterway is wide enough. Offer an incoming boat the opportunity to moor alongside you - it could be the start of an enduring friendship.

Don't block the towing path - Don’t block the towing path by tying to a fence or tree in the hedge - even temporarily. It can be dangerous as well as annoying to tow path users.

Centre ropes - Centre ropes are useful for holding a boat in position temporarily but don’t rely on them when mooring properly. A well moored boat should need no more than bow and stern lines.

Mooring at waterpoints and lock landings - Don’t moor in such a way as to prevent another boat arriving from using the facility - leave all the space (70 feet if you can!) ahead or astern rather than a short bit at each end! Moor only to use the facility, and then move off. Don’t stop there for a meal or - worse - leave the boat moored up with no one in attendance. If you don’t have an alternative, at least leave your hose connected to offer to others wishing to fill with water, and invite them to come alongside. It takes the aggravation away!

See also:

Buying a Boat
Hiring a Boat
Living Afloat

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