Mooring Stern-To with Lazy Lines | Sailing Blog - Technical Hints and Tips - Sailing Television

Mooring Stern-To with Lazy Lines

If you will be coming in to a marina like Port Louis in Grenada that has lazy-lines installed then you do not need to worry about dropping an anchor. It is one version of Med Mooring (see here for the other version) It is easiest if there are boats on either side already and you just need to come in between them. That way you will be pretty well secured in place as soon as you get manoeuvred in between your new neighbours.

Step 1 – Planning. Your approach will depend if you will be bow-in or stern-in. This is likely determined by your boat’s boarding options. Most boats are easiest to board over the stern and many are designed for this as it is common in Europe and the Med. However if you have lots of clutter at the stern such as a big wind-vane then it might be better to come bow-to. The marina will likely assign you a dock and you can see how the wind is blowing for your approach, whether stern or bow-to. With strong winds, or if you are worried about it many marinas can come out with a RIB tender to help nudge you in if you want help.

Step 2 – Prepare lines and fenders. You will need 2 lines to tie to the dock. Assuming we come stern-to these will be made ready astern. We put our fenders out as well planning for our neighbour boats. Generally fenders will go higher up since you aren’t coming beside a pontoon. If the neighbours have not left fenders out then you can hang all yours out. If they have a bunch of fenders out then we usually just have a couple of large ones over near the stern and the others tied on but not thrown out until we get in position.

Step 3 – Back up towards the quay and in between your neighbours. This is often tight but once you have the boat partially in place its easier since your fenders hopefully line up and you are now resting against the beam of one or both of your neighbours. Keep up the momentum and move back in lifting the fenders past neighbouring fenders so they don’t get tangled. We have one reserved as a “roving” fender in case we jostle our new neighbours. Once you get in between the other boats you have done the hard part. Now toss a stern-line ashore if there is someone waiting and pull in on the stern.

Here is an example of stern-to docking with no neighbours to help out. Its a castle in Sweden where you can dock in the moat!!
Vadstena 3

Step 4 – Pick up the "Lazy Line". These are usually left tied to the dock in the middle of your slip. Its often a light messenger line that extends down to the heavier stern line down on the sea bed. Hopefully a dockhand or fellow boater will grab the stern line and pull it up a bit so you can grab it with a boathook. Note you should be careful not to get the lazy line in the prop... Best to put the engine in neutral at this point. Lazy-lines are often VERY encrusted with an amazing variety of sea-life including slime, corals and more. Gloves are a good idea. You can "hand over hand" the line and walk forward to tie it on the bow cleat.

Step 5 – Tidy up. Tie on the other stern line, and adjust your two stern lines so you can get ashore. If there is another "insurance" lazy-line you can make that one fast too. Then make sure the lazy lines are tight enough to hold the boat off the dock in a blow. Adjust fenders etc...

Congratulations - you have moored up Mediterranean style!!

Here is a link to our video on mooring Med-Style with an anchor...

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