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Old 05-13-2012, 02:29 PM   #61
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The little foot ferries in Vancouver that scuttle around on False Creek from landing to landing employ a very effective method of keeping the boat at the dock once it gets there and that is to use a very short midship breast line. Boat comes up to the landing, crew person puts the midship line around the cleat and pulls it up tight. The boat sits very nicely against the landing not going forward or backwards.

The technique will work equally well with a boat like ours but even though we have a fairly low-freeboard boat it's still too far to reach down the dock unless a long-armed person was lying on the deck. Of course a person could step to the dock with the midship line and then secure it up tight on a cleat or bullrail.

But the disadvantage of this is that even though this line will keep your boat in place, it probably won't keep it sitting nicely next to the dock in a crosswind that's trying to blow you off it. There is too much play in the line angling down to the dock and one end or the other of your boat will be blown off the dock somewhat. Which end gets blown off will depend on the boat's configuration and the placement of the miships hawse. In our case, it's the stern that gets blown off as far as the tight midship line will allow, which puts the rear half of the boat out too far to step across. Of course you can toss the stern line to the person on the dock and he can pull the stern back in.

The nice thing about the midship aft spring is that with power and rudder you can litterally pin the whole length of the boat to the dock and keep it there.
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Old 05-13-2012, 06:33 PM   #62
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The little foot ferries in Vancouver that scuttle around on False Creek from landing to landing employ a very effective method of keeping the boat at the dock once it gets there and that is to use a very short midship breast line. Boat comes up to the landing, crew person puts the midship line around the cleat and pulls it up tight. The boat sits very nicely against the landing not going forward or backwards.
That's how they do it in Venice, Italy too.
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:05 PM   #63
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Here's a safe and simple way to grab a mooring ball, even when singlehanding. It so simple, even a caveman could do it.

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Old 05-13-2012, 07:17 PM   #64
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That's one of those "gimmick" things they've been selling at boat shows for years. If I had a buck for every time I've seen someone who bought one try unsuccessfully to grab a mooring buoy with it we'd have our Fleming already. Works great on the boatshow floor. Not so well in reality from what we've observed over the years. Like those hooks you're supposed to throw to catch a bullrail. Occasionally they do work but most of the time they come loose at the most critical moment. That Happy Hooker thing shoud have a government warning sticker on it saying "Buyer Beware."
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:35 PM   #65
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Let me get this straight...You don't own one and you've never used one but your vast experience in observing others using one makes you declare that it doesn't work. OK, whatever floats your boat, marin.

All I can say is that I have used mine often and it works well. I did replace a plastic retaining pin with a screw and locking nut to make it function better. It looks like the SS model is an improved design. There is a slow and smooth technique that ensures success, but the quick jab and pull will often result in failure.

This idea also works well in grabbing that cleat just out of reach on the dock or a piling. A company sells what they call the Ship Stik, but it's essentially a length of pipe to allow a rig like those pictured below. A 4-6 foot piece of 1 1/2 inch PVC pipe works just as well.
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:51 PM   #66
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Let me get this straight...You don't own one and you've never used one but your vast experience in observing others using one makes you declare that it doesn't work.
Let's see.. We've seen dozens of people over the years struggle to get these things to work. Some of them have even dropped them overboard in their attempts. But because we didn't get suckered into buying one ourselves what we have seen other people doing didn't really happen. It's all been a figment of my and my wife's imaginations. It's hard to believe it was also a figment of the imaginations of some of the people trying to get them to work as they spent a lot of time afterwards cursing .

But I guess none of that really happened. Good to know, thanks. If I ever run into any of these people and remember them for what we saw them doing, I will reassure them that this guy in the SFO bay knows that their experience didn't occur. I'm sure that will make them feel better.

If it works for you, great. We saw people who had it work for them, too. But we've seen enough people struggle with it and finally give up and grab the buoy with a boathook to suspect that it's not the wonder cure the salesmen at the boatshows make it out to be.
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Old 05-13-2012, 08:05 PM   #67
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Let's see.. We've seen dozens of people over the years struggle to get these things to work. Some of them have even dropped them overboard in their attempts. But because we didn't get suckered into buying one ourselves what we have seen other people doing didn't really happen. It's a figment of my an my wife's imaginations. It's hard to believe it was also a figment of the imaginations of some of the people trying to get them to work as they spent a lot of time afterwards cursing them as being the biggest waste of money on the planet.

But I guess none of that really happened. Good to know, thanks. If I ever run into any of these people and remember them for what we saw them doing, I will reassure them that this guy in the SFO bay knows that their experience didn't occur. I'm sure that will make them feel better.

If it works for you, great. We saw people who had it work for them, too. But we've seen enough people struggle with it and finally give up and grab the buoy with a boathook to suspect that it's not the wonder cure the salesmen at the boatshows make it out to be.
To get a job done, one needs the right tools and the knowledge and skill to use them correctly. Maybe your friends and associates lack one or more of those critical elements.

I never said failure of this item was a figment of anyone's imagination. Nor have I denied that failure has occurred. You're putting words in my mouth that I never wrote. Have another drink and calm down.

I said "there is a slow and smooth technique that ensures success, but the quick jab and pull will often result in failure." At best, I should have said "helps to ensure success." I just can't think of a more simple way to put it. If you need further assistance in understanding this, let us know.
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Old 05-13-2012, 08:22 PM   #68
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To get a job done, one needs the right tools and the knowledge and skill to use them correctly. Maybe your friends and associates lack one or more of those critical elements.
I don't know. None of our friends or associates have bought one.

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You're putting words in my mouth that I never wrote.
It's called implication. Big word, I know, but look it up and its meaning should become clear.

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I said "there is a slow and smooth technique that ensures success, but the quick jab and pull will often result in failure."
You could be 100% correct. I'm just reporting what we've seen over the years. Maybe every one of the people we saw was not using the proper technique although if they weren't it doesn't say much for the boat show salesman or the directions that come with the thing if there are any.

I'm just conveying an observation from real life to counter the euphoria boaters encounter from the boat show salesmen. People can make up their own minds if they think things like the Happy Hooker and the bullrail grab-hook-on-a-rope will be of any use to them.

And we look forward to these folks--- not all of them but some of them--- continuing to provide entertainment to the rest of us in the bay.
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Old 05-13-2012, 08:42 PM   #69
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FlyWright,

The pvc pipe and dock line is a real good idea. I am going to make up one to help grab a cleat or the exposed end of a bull rail.

On our boat, the only line ever passed to a line handler on the dock is the midships spring line. That one is first, then the stern line. The bow line is last. The only exception to the bow line being last is if a current is trying to push the bow away from the dock.

I have helped many boats dock at various docks in the northwest. Many, many boats approach and try to hand over the bow line. The only thing a bow line will do if pulled on, is pull the bow into the dock and the stern reacts be swinging outwards.

If I am helping a boat dock, I ask for the midships spring line. If they don't have one rigged, (lots of boats don't) I ask for the stern line. With a stern line, I can stop the forward motion of the boat from the dock by taking a turn on a cleat or under a bull rail. If the boat operator is going a little fast or not stopping soon enough, a stern line around a cleat can slow and stop the boat and make the docking look good.

Some boat operators are very good at docking, and the dock helper only needs to hold the line till the boat stops. Everybody has their own way of tying up their boats, so I don't cleat off lines for another boat, I only hold the boat at the dock until the operator gets off and takes over.
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:50 PM   #70
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Larry H,

I agree 100% with everything in your post. I also favor the spring line as the first choice and the Admiral is on board with that approach. Unless the wind is overcoming the effects of the current, the next line will be the up-current line, be it stern or bow. But once the spring line is on, the rest is normally a matter of routine. We have high freeboard from our side decks, so having an extension to assist in getting a line on the cleat is a big help for the Admiral. We don't leave the boat until a line, normally the spring line, but occasionally the stern line, is attached.

Marin,

Your condescension is not effective, justified, wanted or complimentary to you or your position. There is no reason to trod upon others in the conversation who have shared their own experiences in an effort to help others. I suspect that it makes you feel as if you're standing just a little bit taller on the backs of those you've tried to trample.

Regardless of how you feel or act, I am free to share my personal experiences here without fear of retribution from you or anyone else. I trust that the moderators of this group would support that position, even though they may not take action to enforce it.

I challenge you, C. Marin Faure, to back up your defamatory claims and show me EXACTLY where I implied that the failures experienced by others was a "figment of my (sic) and my wife's imaginations" or "that their experience didn't occur." You make this stuff up and fail to support your ridiculous claims with facts. It's time to stand by your words or take them back.

As far as grabbing a mooring ball is concerned, I'm just sharing my experiences with a product that was recommended to me by close friends and has proven successful to them and me and others to whom I've recommended it. Most everyone I know who frequents Ayala Cove carries a Happy Hooker. I never saw one hawked at a boat show, so I can't address the veracity of claims of salesmen, but they are commonly sold via internet sales, including West Marine. Happy Hooker Mooring Hook Tip (Marinetech Products) - Boat Hook Accessories

If people think it's better to have the Admiral on her knees on a hard, wet deck with a karabiner on a line while maneuvering alongside the ball than to use a tool properly that is proven to simplify the task and make it safer, that is their choice. Personally, I prefer to take advantage tools at my disposal to make my experiences and my wife's experiences safer, less stressful and more enjoyable. Either way, I think it's better to encourage discussion about various options than to disparage the experiences of others and attempt to shut down discussion of other tools at the disposal of fellow boaters.

I will continue to share my experiences in the limited areas in which I am familiar. If you would be considerate enough to do the same, I suspect we all will see fewer verbose arguments about subjects with which you have limited or no familiarity.

To those who have taken to time to send PM's of support and agreement, thanks. I think we all agree that eventually, the playground bully needs to be held accountable for his words and actions.
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:21 AM   #71
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I challenge you, C. Marin Faure, to back up your defamatory claims and show me EXACTLY where I implied that the failures experienced by others was a "figment of my (sic) and my wife's imaginations" or "that their experience didn't occur."

"You don't own one and you've never used one but your vast experience in observing others using one makes you declare that it doesn't work."

Sarcasm and implication together. And don't try to pretend that you weren't trying to cast aspersions on my observations. I've had enough exchanges with you on and off the forum to know where you're coming from.

Of course you're free to convey your experiences. We all are. That's what forums like this are for. But if someone has had a positive experience with a product is it wrong for another person who has had--- or has observed other people having--- the opposite experience to convey that too so that people on the forum who might be interested in a particular product can have both sides of the story before making up their own minds? Or is anyone's experience that does not jibe with your own automatically invalid?

PS--- Since you seem to be keeping score, I guess I should also thank the people who've sent me PMs expressing their opinions of your "input." The moderators are certainly free to do what they wish with this silliness but I wanted to make sure that you, like the folks who might be interested in the Happy Hooker, had both sides of the story.
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:00 AM   #72
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I would like to know what kind of moorings both FlyWright and Marin are talking about.

The Washington marine parks use a bouy with a metal pyramid on top of a tire float. The actual mooring attachment point is a ring at the end of a chain. The chain can slide thru a pipe in the center of the pyramid. If you can get hold of the ring with a boat hook or hand, you can pull up and the chain slides up thru the center of the float pyramid.

Marin, is this what you are referring to?
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Old 05-14-2012, 01:34 PM   #73
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That's one type, yes. Most people try to grab the ring with a boathook from the bow and haul it up high enough to get a line through it. However this seems to cause a lot of problems for a lot of people, partly I suspect because the ring and chain can sometimes be very hard to haul up. Plus it only takes moments for the wind or current or both to start moving the boat away from the buoy. We've seen a lot of boathooks pulled out of people's hands as a result.

This is why were were advised so many years ago to grab the buoy from the boarding gate some 2/3 of the way aft on the boat. The karabiner part we added a few years later ourselves after talking to a friend who uses one.

However at the private island where we have property there are a number of private mooring buoys in the bay. These buoys are big round balls with a hole in the middle for the chain going down to the concrete anchor. On these buoys the ring usually lies flat on top of the buoy. They can be hard to snag with a boathook when they're lying down but it's an easy matter to snap the karabiner on the ring even if it's lying flat.
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:13 PM   #74
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Here's a safe and simple way to grab a mooring ball, even when singlehanding. It so simple, even a caveman could do it.

I didn't read ALL the back and forth on this but I will speak from personal experience . I USED to have one of these. Yeah they work great on the boat show floor, and great at the Commodore's Roast when I was forced by all my great friends at the Yacht Club to stand in a dinghy in the middle of the dining room and spear a line onto a bucket or something, to show everyone how "easy" it is and that I am just a whiner because I couldn't get it to work in actuality. they even gave me a gag gift "happy hooker game" with a picture of a bikini clad woman using one to easily pick up a mooring. I left the happy hooker with the "friend" who organized the skit.

That being said, I believe they have redesigned this since my bad experience with it so maybe the new ones work better.
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:24 PM   #75
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So now that I have left behind my happy hooking days, we usually take the easy way out and use our dinghy to get the moorings. At Ayala Cove, we can pull up to the end of the dock and get ourselves set up (dinghy deployed, 200' lines ready in their bags at bow and stern). Then we get the boat between the two mooring balls we want to pick up and I use the dinghy to bring the line to the mooring and back to the boat, then repeat on the other end. (Ayala Cove requires bow and stern mooring). I like to run the line through the mooring and back to the boat as I find it makes for a quick and easy departure. Picking up the moorings is easiest at slack tide. Like so many boating maneuvers.
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:48 PM   #76
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This idea also works well in grabbing that cleat just out of reach on the dock or a piling. A company sells what they call the Ship Stik, but it's essentially a length of pipe to allow a rig like those pictured below. A 4-6 foot piece of 1 1/2 inch PVC pipe works just as well.
I have a piece of 1 1/2" PVC pipe in my shed. Just found a use for it.

Thanks FlyWright
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:20 PM   #77
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Marin, you have proven yourself unworthy of even a nanosecond of my further attention. Using your relative immunity of the Internet, you spew unsubstantiated claims and, when challenged, refuse to provide either an explanation or an apology. In a room of real men you would find yourself, at best, ostracized and banished.

I decline to even acknowledge your ridiculous and fallacious claims any further. The good people of this forum have suffered enough of our differences and your hyperbole. I refuse to spend any more time down at to your level in an attempt to shed light on the fallacies and flaws of your heretic claims.


Good day and God bless.
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:21 PM   #78
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As PG mentioned, Ayala Cove is bow and stern mooring. We also run the lines to and from the moorings to allow easier egress. No close-ups of the mooring balls in these pics, but here are a couple of shots that give you the idea.





The proximity to Raccoon Straight causes some significant current through the cove. You can see the effects of the tides in the shots. If you don't arrive at slack tide, you need to have a system in place to get hooked up quickly.

I like PG's suggestion to launch the dingy to assist. When we travel in numbers, the first one moored launches to assist the rest of the crowd. There is also ample opportunity to provide dingy assistance to other arrivals, if they so desire. It's a great way to meet new friends and expand the party!
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:24 AM   #79
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The proximity to Raccoon Straight causes some significant current through the cove. You can see the effects of the tides in the shots. If you don't arrive at slack tide, you need to have a system in place to get hooked up quickly.

I like PG's suggestion to launch the dingy to assist. When we travel in numbers, the first one moored launches to assist the rest of the crowd. There is also ample opportunity to provide dingy assistance to other arrivals, if they so desire. It's a great way to meet new friends and expand the party!
Sounds a bit difficult except under ideal conditions. Of course it can be done. Still, this dinghy-less boater wouldn't mind some help at least for the first time. But first need to get another 100-foot-long line.
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:51 AM   #80
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You know, that was my issue, too, Mark. I wasn't going there until I had a good plan for grabbing the moorings and at least one loooong line to allow for a stress-free capture.

I found a guy on Boatered.com who was selling an 80-90 ft nylon line (as best I can recall), so I grabbed it. I had a 30 ft stern line that, while not ideal, would suffice...and it did.

Since then, I scored a great deal on a 100 ft length of line from a Friday Harbor, WA second hand marine store for this purpose and then I stumbled upon a $20 deal from Bass Pro on what turned out to be a 125 ft length of 1/2 in nylon braid.

80-100 feet is enough to allow you to span 40-50 ft from the bow mooring, getting you very close to the stern ball. Then a normal 30 ft line will suffice to grab the stern mooring. After that, tightening up the bow line will put you equidistant between the 2 moorings.

If you need a long line, we should talk about my 80-90 footer. It's nylon and it's fairly stiff, but it works very well in this application. And since I do have a spare...
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