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Old 09-25-2015, 01:00 PM   #1
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Mooring ball question...

How does one attach a line from the foredeck of a boat to a mooring ball eye when the ball is out of reach? We could touch the ball with our fully extended boat hook but had no way to attach the line. Standing on the swim step was not an option.
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Old 09-25-2015, 01:09 PM   #2
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We use a Robship Hook & Moor. Maybe I should say my wife uses it, she loves it so much that she won't let me use it. Great product!
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Old 09-25-2015, 01:10 PM   #3
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It sometimes just can't be done. If the mooring ball has no pennant attached then your foredeck is probably much higher than the eye of the ball. There are two solutions. One you have rejected- maneuver so that the ball comes up to the swim platform

the other is launch your dinghy. I hav done both.

Well, there is a third, but it takes brute force and luck. Work a light line, maybe 3/8" around the ball with a couple of loops. Then hoist the ball up near the top rail and hook up your pennant. This assumes enough chain clearance and a light enough chain/ball to haul up.

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Old 09-25-2015, 01:16 PM   #4
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Longer boat hook?


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Old 09-25-2015, 01:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
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We use a Robship Hook & Moor. Maybe I should say my wife uses it, she loves it so much that she won't let me use it. Great product!
We use the same. For someone who asked what if they didn't reach. They are almost 10'. If that wasn't enough then that's a time to take anything else you have that's long and wrap them together with tape to extend the length.
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Old 09-25-2015, 01:56 PM   #6
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I pick up buoys at the stern.

Before approaching the buoy I run a 35 foot mooring line from the starboard bow cleat to the starboard stern cleat. I then position the boat so I can reach the buoy from the starboard stern. I put the bitter end of the line through the loop on the buoy, then walk it forward to the port bow cleat, tie it off, and I'm all set. Easy to do alone, too, at least on my boat.
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Old 09-25-2015, 02:12 PM   #7
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We fortunately have a boat with a low freeboard. So we were taught to get onto a mooring buoy from the starboard boarding gate. The driver maneuvers the boat alongside the buoy and the person kneeling on deck simply reaches out and clips the carabiner of our mooring line onto the ring on the buoy. Or puts a line through the ring if we elect not to use the carabiner.

Most of the mooring buoys in this area have the ring sitting on top of the buoy attached to a chain running through the buoy. So it's possible to pick up the ring with a boathook from the bow and pull the ring up to the rail where a line can be put through it. However, this is sometimes pretty hard to do, say at high tide when there is not a lot of slack in the chain.

There are devices that let you reach out and thread a line through a ring and then pull the line back to you. I understand that these can work fairly well if there is enough resistance to activated the mechanism. They don't work so well here, however, because the rings on most of the buoys don't stand up but flop over onto the top of the buoy. So there is no resistance to push against.
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Old 09-25-2015, 02:57 PM   #8
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We were on our way back from Catalina Island, and stopped off in Newport harbor to fuel up and get a guest mooring ball from Balboa YC. Just pick up the bridle and drop it over the Sampson post. They had nothing available so we went to the Harbor Patrol and shelled out 27 bucks for a mooring ball. The clerk could tell us nothing about a wand, bridle, or mooring line, so we proceeded out to the ball where we discovered their was nothing attached to it. We could reach the ball with our fully extended boat hook, but that was all. Called the Harbor Patrol and they sent out a deputy who told us we merely had to tie a mooring line from our vessel to the mooring ball. WOW, why didn't we think of that? As this was not possible, we said goodbye to the deputy, mooring ball #24 and our 27 dollars and headed south to Dana Point. The downside: we paid 27 dollars for an inaccessible mooring ball. The upside: we have another addition to our long list of anecdotes to be shared with other boaters. Yes, I have written a complaint letter the Newport Beach harbor patrol.
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:13 PM   #9
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Please don't forget to check the weight rating of the buoy, many up in the PNW and Inside passage are not heavy enough for larger boats. Wonder if it's the same on the " other coast" ?
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:16 PM   #10
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You couldn't reach it from your side deck even? Did it occur to you to ask the deputy to help you? I mean how do you think all the other boats in the harbor got moored?

If I read the post correctly, this is a good example of why it is important to call the harbormaster of a strange port ahead of time and get the low down on how the moorings are configured and best practices for attaching thereto. Or if you forgot to do that, ask the clerk when you check in. Don't be a victim!
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:22 PM   #11
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We have a high bow as well, but we pick up moorings like we're doing a man over board drill, via the side door or the transom depending on conditions.


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Old 09-25-2015, 03:34 PM   #12
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They don't work so well here, however, because the rings on most of the buoys don't stand up but flop over onto the top of the buoy. So there is no resistance to push against.
We've experienced the opposite with the Hook & Moor. 100% success on the first try at dozens of WA State buoys and DNR buoys. The Hook & More will push or pull the line through every time. We typically pull, as it is easy to hook the ring even when it is laying down. A quick pull engages the mechanism, even if the buoy is one where the ring and chain can easily be pulled up (many are difficult to pull up to the boat).

And as previously stated, the 3-meter Hook & Moor extends to more than 9.8 feet. Our bow is 6'6" above the water, and it is no problem. Locking the head turns it into a regular, extendable boat hook, too.

It's actually one of the few boat "gadgets" I've found that, in the words of the old Ronco TV ads, "really, really works"!

Here's a video showing the product in action: https://youtu.be/rMsyxnryt-s
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:49 PM   #13
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I'd agree the Hook and Moor is a better design for "floppy rings" than the Happy Hooker, which may be what Marin is thinking of. It should be far better than a standard boat hook from the looks of it.
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Old 09-25-2015, 04:24 PM   #14
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I'd agree the Hook and Moor is a better design for "floppy rings" than the Happy Hooker, which may be what Marin is thinking of. It should be far better than a standard boat hook from the looks of it.
Yes, I was thinking of the Happy Hooker. I'd not heard of the Hook and Moor until now. Thanks.
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Old 09-25-2015, 05:26 PM   #15
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Given the height of my bow and the fact that the only way to get up there is to go out an aft door, walk up the side deck then step up onto the foredeck, I can't get onto the bow quickly enough to pick up a mooring. If I know I will be picking a mooring up I rig a bow line back from my samson post to the side deck with a loop tied in the end of the line. Then I come along side the mooring until it is next to my helm station. I then snag the mooring with my boat hook and pass the line through the ring and drop the loop on the end of the line over a midships cleat. I can then take my time walking the line up to the bow.

That said, we seldom see moorings without an pennant attached, which makes it much easier. Rental moorings here ALWAYS have an attached pennant and often a pickup wand.
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:35 PM   #16
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Fortunately, the few times I've moored to a float, there's been a boating pal in a dinghy to hook me up.



Otherwise, I'd be laying on my stomach at the starboard boarding gate attempting to thread a line through the buoy while the tidal current is sweeping me away.

Safe and secure, both bow and stern:

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Old 09-25-2015, 09:38 PM   #17
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The freeboard at the bow of my boat is pretty high, although not as high as some of the boats you guys are driving. In all the years that I have been boating in the PNW, I have never seen a mooring with a pennant. That is usually because the mooring balls here are put out by the state or county park systems and they just have a standing ring on the top.

I found the Easymoor to work really well. Being a sailor, I am inherently cheap. The Easymoor is less than half the cost of the Hook and Moor. The only downside is that to use it you actually have to be able to tie a sheet bend. It attaches to the pole of one of my boat brushes so doesn't take much storage space (also at a premium on a sailboat).
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Old 09-26-2015, 12:00 AM   #18
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The bow on a Krogen 42 is very high and it would not be possible to attach a line to a mooring ball. With the Roboship Hook and Moor we are able to do it as the Hook and Moor extends out 12 feet. Generally because of weight I feed a 1/2" line through the mooring ball ring and then once we are attached I substitute a 3/4" line. The weight issue is because with the Hook and Moor you have a 24 feet of line out (12' out, 12' back) and there is quite a bit of leverage that ups the weight.

Generally happy with the product. There have been times in the past where we were unable to attach to the mooring ball and had to hold position until someone with a dinghy/fishing boat came by to assist us.
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Old 09-26-2015, 06:44 AM   #19
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You will need to launch the dink.

Many mooring balls at the top loop are where the line for the pick up stick is attached .

The stick is ALSO attached to the mooring pennant under the ball which is attached to the mooring chain.

You need to attach or bring aboard the mooring pennant as the ball structure may not take a heavy load

The lower line is strong enough to moor the boat .

To not chew up some ones pennant we run our line thru the loop in the pennant , and our line goes over the bow perhaps being abraded .
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Old 09-26-2015, 01:32 PM   #20
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Next time at your local marine store buy 6' of 3/16" galvanized chain and two 1/4" shackles. Make a loop out of the Chain with two old mooring lines. (Line, chain, line) When coming up to the mooring you toss the chain around the ball. Then pull the lines tight. It cinches enough to give you time to wrassel with the mooring shackle. I have done this in a pinch using just a loop of line with a shackle for weight to get the line to sink around the ball. But you risk messing up a good mooring line.
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