Moorings, What are they and which types are there?

Every good sailor knows a multitude of concepts, techniques and things related to boats and their navigation. One of the main and most essential is how to moor a boat. In Spain, it is a basic requirement to be able to pass the PER exam (Patrón de Embarcaciones de Recreo) and that is why we have decided to make a specific article about it.

What is a mooring or what does mooring a boat mean?

Mooring or mooring a boat refers to the manoeuvre of tying your boat to a fixed element, such as mooring at a quay, or to a mobile element, such as another boat. As you can imagine, the mooring must be effective. This means that it has to withstand the wind, tide, current, waves and other forces that will pull on it.

What terms are used when talking about boat moorings?

In order to understand the language of mooring, we need to be clear about the basic concepts of mooring and the most common words used when talking about mooring a boat:

  • Tack: to pull a line to pick it up with a machine.
  • To haul: to pull a line in order to pick it up by hand.
  • To tighten: to tension a line.
  • Lash: to slacken a line that is currently working.
  • Tauten: to pull a line taut, although it is also used when referring to sails.
  • Ease: To slowly slacken a line.
  • Slack: To slacken and let a line run, although also used when referring to sails or the flag.
  • To lengthen: To let go of a line completely.

What about mooring lines?

When berthing a boat or mooring a yacht or other vessel, it is essential to have a good command of the mooring lines. You need to be clear about the following mooring manoeuvres:

  • Stern mooring: The stern of a line is passed through a bollard, bollard, or ring of the quay and both whips are made firm on the boat or yacht. This way of mooring facilitates unmooring.
  • Capping a rope to a bollard: The rope is passed over the top. If there was already another one, it is opened and passed inside, so that the two boats can leave without disturbing each other.
  • Pick up in coils: coils are each of the circular turns of a line.
  • To take turns: To hold a line or cable, turning it in an infinite loop over any of the elements on board to tie up ropes.
  • To make firm: To fix a line with knots or twists, thus preventing any movement.

Different types of moorings

We always talk about the same types of mooring, which apply to all categories of boats, whether you are mooring a yacht, a boat of 6 metres in length or more, or up to 90 metres. However, it is vitally important to choose the right berth for your boat.

Long Ties

These are the most common and work towards the same head as the one from which they exit. This means that if they leave from the bow, they work towards the bow and vice versa.

It will allow you to place your boat or yacht in a very comfortable position to leave and will prevent it from moving towards the bow or stern, depending on the case.

Traverse Moorings

These are moorings perpendicular to the bow-stern line. The aim of this type of mooring is to leave the boat as close as possible to the quay and to prevent your boat or yacht from coming off the mooring. Although it will be more difficult to get out than with a long mooring, it is a mooring that avoids any transversal movement.

Spring (or Sprin) Moorings

Moorings that work diagonally. It is used if your boat or yacht is moored, as it is a mooring that will prevent longitudinal movements of the boat.

Groundline moorings

They are positioned perpendicular to the exit point and prevent any movement that could cause the hull to hit the quay, as they keep the boat away from the pontoon.

How wind and current affect the mooring of a boat at a dock

Simply give the long bow line first if there is a wind from land or current and give the stern bow line first if the wind is from the sea.

Where to rent a boat mooring?

Whether renting a mooring or buying a mooring for your boat, you will have to look at marinas that have this service. At Marina Vela we have 130 moorings for boats from 12 to 90 metres in length, so we are sure we can find the ideal mooring for you.