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Old 05-18-2008, 06:09 PM   #1
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Grabbing the Mooring Bouy Ring

Discovered an interesting bit of math this weekend:

Until I get almost back to the stern, my freeboard is greater than the sum of my arm length and the height of a Washington State Parks mooring bouy ring.* Where I really wanted to be when grabbing it - just outside the stb'd side cabin door - I could just touch the top of the ring for about a quarter second as it went by.

I see that Worst Marine has a couple of products - a "Happy Hooker" that's supposed to feed a line through the ring and pull it back with one well placed thrust, and a latching hook with a bracket that attaches to a pole that will hold the hook on until it latches to the ring.* The hook has a loop on the back side that you're supposed to be able to grab with a boat hook to release it.

Anyone use any of these things, or is there a better solution?* Should I see about having one arm stretched by 12 inches or so??
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Old 05-19-2008, 05:10 AM   #2
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RE: Grabbing the Mooring Bouy Ring

Great question Chris. I am trying to learn the best technique myself.
With crew on board, best success so far has been to "thread" the line through the bout loop while near the stern. Then slowly reverse while the Admiral walks the line forward and ties it off. I also saw some pole, snap ring super duper stuff being offered but suspect it's not as easy as they would like you to believe.

I'm quite new to mooring balls, so any old hands want to set us straight?

DonW
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Old 05-19-2008, 05:34 AM   #3
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RE: Grabbing the Mooring Bouy Ring

The Happy Hooker works great.
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:34 AM   #4
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RE: Grabbing the Mooring Bouy Ring

I agree with Keith...the Happy Hooker works great. I've used it in the San Juans with great success.

You're biggest problem will probably be teaching the helms(wo)man how to properly approach and hold position on*the buoy so that you can snag it.

-- Edited by gns at 11:38, 2008-05-19
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Old 05-19-2008, 11:14 AM   #5
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RE: Grabbing the Mooring Bouy Ring

Hooker works fine, or grabbing with a pike pole works too. The WA State bouy mooring rings are attached to a chain which can be pulled up thru the floating bouy. The other half may not be able to do this when the current is running, but it can be done with a little muscle.

I generally use the pole method out the starboard door as that works best for me. If the tide and wind and luck are against me, I'll send the other half out with the happy hooker and once she has the line thru the ring I'll come out and pull my mooring line thru.

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Old 05-19-2008, 04:50 PM   #6
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RE: Grabbing the Mooring Bouy Ring

Sounds like the hooker may be a good way to go.

I'm typically operating the boat singlehanded - even if the FM is aboard, she's pretty tentative and it's just better if I handle stuff. With the lower steering station adjacent to the starboard cabin door, I just need to come up alongside the bouy.

Somehow I had it in my mind that I'd be able to just reach down with a mooring line and thread it right through the ring - but that's when the short arm / high freeboard discovery was made...
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Old 05-19-2008, 06:56 PM   #7
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RE: Grabbing the Mooring Bouy Ring

trying to delete a repeat of my earlier post.

I refreshed my browser and my post went up a second time.


-- Edited by DonW at 02:38, 2008-05-20
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Old 05-20-2008, 12:02 AM   #8
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RE: Grabbing the Mooring Bouy Ring

We use a buoy mooring line with a big karabiner on a stainless eye in one end. To snag a mooring buoy I simply coast up next to it, take the buoy down the starboard side and my wife, who is kneeling at the boarding gate about 3/4 of the way back to the stern, simply reaches out and slams the gate of the karabiner against the ring in the top of the buoy and there we are. We were shown this technique by the checkout skipper when we first chartered a GB36 some 12 or 13 years ago and we've been doing it on our own boat for the last ten. The only times my wife has ever failed to get the buoy on the first pass is when I've screwed up and didn't get the boat close enough. We always take the buoy with the boat headed into the wind or current, whichever is stronger. And while the buoy is back near the stern I never, EVER, engage the starboard transmission.
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Old 05-20-2008, 12:10 AM   #9
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RE: Grabbing the Mooring Bouy Ring

Just a boat hook here. Admiral up front with with the boat hook on a pole that's plenty long enough to reach the buoy. Bow thruster if my driving is a little off.
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Old 05-20-2008, 04:07 AM   #10
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RE: Grabbing the Mooring Bouy Ring

Our setup is an instantally launched dink.

WE get a line on the mooring (some have no rode or pickup stick) and tie a fender to the end.

A caution , it is best to use your line in the rode or ball eye as then there can be no comments

( Your use chafed my line , you owe me!) as the mooring stuff is left overboard and the only line subject to chafe from coming aboard is yours.

FF.
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Old 05-20-2008, 05:10 AM   #11
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RE: Grabbing the Mooring Bouy Ring

What, nobody here swims any more? Jump off the boat, swim over and tie it up! Do it quickly if it's windy.
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Old 05-20-2008, 07:18 PM   #12
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RE: Grabbing the Mooring Bouy Ring

Uhm, well, I think the water temp was in the mid 40s when I*moored last Thursday.

But it does give a pretty heroic image, swimming through the waves with the line firmly clenched between*my teeth...

Once everything was hooked up, it did end up being a heck of a nice couple of days...

*
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Old 05-20-2008, 08:46 PM   #13
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RE: Grabbing the Mooring Bouy Ring

Looks like Ewing Cove.
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:30 PM   #14
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RE: Grabbing the Mooring Bouy Ring

You know your islands, my friend!!
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Old 05-21-2008, 06:15 AM   #15
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RE: Grabbing the Mooring Bouy Ring

Thanks for sharing the pic and feel free to do so any time. I feel we sometimes get bogged down in all the technical crap and it is nice to see someone out enjoying their boat!!!!!
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Old 05-21-2008, 02:26 PM   #16
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RE: Grabbing the Mooring Bouy Ring

More of the Sucia Island trip at

http://www.flickr.com/photos/1386440...7605143707178/

And if you're really in need of an insomnia cure* , more boat pix at

http://www.flickr.com/photos/1386440...7602077531617/
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Old 05-21-2008, 08:37 PM   #17
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RE: Grabbing the Mooring Bouy Ring

Chris,

Great shots of your cruising, and really a beautiful boat!* Really gets the juices flowing to get out there again this year (okay, when the rain stops!).

We, who are stuck at the dock varnishing, salute you.

Thanks for sharing.

Mike Wiley
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Old 06-05-2008, 04:57 PM   #18
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RE: Grabbing the Mooring Bouy Ring

I've used both the Happy Hooker and the one that utilizes a large caribiner which fits temporarily on the end of your boat hook in a special holder until you hook the bouy eye. It then slips right off. I prefer the latter. I recommend against getting your stern anywhere near the bouy, because the rode on the bouy is only chain at the top, then nylon line swirling around in the current below. That nylon has lots of slack at low tide, which may not be much of an issue in the Gulf, but with Washington's eight to ten foot tides, there is enough line to grab your prop and rudder. Been there, done that. Twice. I never said I was a quick study. One time it required a diver.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:11 PM   #19
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Made an adapter for use with the Happy Hooker so that it will screw into the top of a standard West Marine boat hook. I took a paint roller handle, cut off the metal part that goes to the roller and mounted the Hooker to the handle with a hose clamp. Now when needed, I screw the hooker onto the boat hook and away we go.

Proof read: I just noticed that I wrote screw the hooker.....I crack myself up.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:41 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Baggiolini View Post

Proof read: I just noticed that I wrote screw the hooker.....I crack myself up.
It is nice to entertain one's self.

When Lou had shoulder surgery I would just pull along side the mooring until it was beside the cockpit. I would go back, reach down and hook it, and walk it to the bow. It was so easy that we just started doing it as a matter of practice.
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