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Catching mooring ball solo #68635
09/21/2015 10:03 AM
09/21/2015 10:03 AM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 961
Petoskey, MI
CottageGirl Offline OP
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CottageGirl  Offline OP
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Petoskey, MI
Any thoughts, tips, ideas for catching a mooring ball solo? My husband and I want to know we can handle a 40' cat by ourselves. So if he's driving us up to the ball, I know I can hook it but in the past I've had 2 crew with me to run lines thru the eye and back to the cleats. If it's just me, thinking I get one line through and secured and then go get the other line and finally adjust them both. Is there a better way?

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Re: Catching mooring ball solo [Re: CottageGirl] #68636
09/21/2015 10:15 AM
09/21/2015 10:15 AM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,198
Cape Coral Florida (Texas tran...
stoneyusaf Offline
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Cape Coral Florida (Texas tran...
That isn't solo to me but....I get why you say that. That is a team of two and you should have no problem since you have experience with grabbing it already. If he approaches correctly you should have plenty of time to do what you need to do. What I have done with my mates is, I tie the lines off well before the approach on the starboard and port bow cleats and I have my mate just concentrate on one cleat line, not both! I have her secure one line and then I shut it down and then I go forward and secure the second line myself and adjust both lines. It takes a lot of the pressure off of her having to try and secure both cleat lines. So, simply put....what you wrote is correct but, I complete everything....I feel better knowing that everything is secured properly.


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Re: Catching mooring ball solo [Re: CottageGirl] #68637
09/21/2015 10:19 AM
09/21/2015 10:19 AM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 322
Redmond, WA
MrEZgoin Online content
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What you describe will certainly work, though if you prepare both lines routed conveniently with the bitter ends close at hand, it should be no problem to get both through the pendant eye before dropping it, especially if the helmsman helps keep the boat close.


M4000 "Lio Kai"
Re: Catching mooring ball solo [Re: CottageGirl] #68638
09/21/2015 11:18 AM
09/21/2015 11:18 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 91
The Blue Mountains
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macpete Offline
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The Blue Mountains
My wife and I handle our Leopard 40 in exactly this way when mooring. I ghost up to the ball, she hooks it and gets 1 line secured, usually the starboard side as I can see her signals better, then we work on the port side line and adjust as needed. Get one line secured, you're not going anywhere, then worry about the other side.
Work out hand signals ahead of time, things like engines neutral, ahead slow, port, starboard, reverse. And remember, if there is ANY yelling, you're doing it wrong. We have our system working well, guests are asked to sit on the louver steps, they get underfoot otherwise.

Re: Catching mooring ball solo [Re: macpete] #68639
09/21/2015 11:25 AM
09/21/2015 11:25 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,610
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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My wife usually has the ends of both lines ready to go (at least I think this is what she does). Then she feeds them both through and secures on and then secures the other.

At any rate, just do what works for you. You can easily just deal with a single line and then attach the second line after.


Matt
Re: Catching mooring ball solo [Re: maytrix] #68640
09/21/2015 01:35 PM
09/21/2015 01:35 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 364
Ohio
jagmansr Offline
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Ohio
My wife and I have sailed by ourselves and have not had any problems with our cat. Big difference though is we have a single line already attached to both cleats, in the very center of the line we have a loop reinforced with a metal ring and locking clasp. Once we nab the mooring ball, you can quickly thread the loop through the mooring and secure it with the locking clasp. Bottom line, like Stoney said, It's easy for just two people. Now, anyone know how to secure a cat single handled? Or has anyone even tried? As long as the mooring field is NOT crowded and there is NO wind I'd think it could be done with lots of pratice

Re: Catching mooring ball solo [Re: jagmansr] #68641
09/21/2015 02:05 PM
09/21/2015 02:05 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 144
We come from the land of ice a...
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Subaqua Offline
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We come from the land of ice a...
My wife does the driving... I prepare the two bitter ends near each other, usually just starboard of center.. Feed one through and tie off quickly and then feed the other... If it happens that the pendant gets away before getting the second line through, well, we are at least attached by one until things settle and I get the other.

Re: Catching mooring ball solo [Re: jagmansr] #68642
09/21/2015 02:53 PM
09/21/2015 02:53 PM
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Posts: 227
Charlotte
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Knotthead Offline
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Charlotte
In about two weeks I drop off my crew and will spend the last 3 days actually single handing my 44 foot cat. I have a wichard snap hook shackle rigged with a loop and plan on easing up over the ball and snagging the pendant as i drift back. Should be interesting. I think I have also read about a solo sailor running a long line from front to back along the side of his boat and attaching that through the eye, let the boat drift back down then rearrange the bridle after the boat comes to rest. Anyone have any other good tips?

Terry

Re: Catching mooring ball solo [Re: Knotthead] #68643
09/21/2015 03:55 PM
09/21/2015 03:55 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 741
Middleburg, VA
cwoody Offline
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Quote
Knotthead said:
I have a wichard snap hook shackle rigged with a loop
Terry


Wichard

Been bringing down a wichard for years to grab mooring balls with cats and monos. Secured to the middle of 30' 5/8 braided dock line. Quick, easy hookup for one person. Just hook it to pendant Eye. Never failed.


Chuck W.
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Re: Catching mooring ball solo [Re: Knotthead] #68644
09/21/2015 03:55 PM
09/21/2015 03:55 PM
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Posts: 2,027
Charlotte, NC
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NCSailor Offline
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If you are single handing a cat or mono attach a line to a midship cleat and run it back to the cockpit. Pull alongside the pennant and grab with a boat hook as it gets to the cockpit or swim platform. Tie up then transfer the pennant to a bow line.

Re: Catching mooring ball solo [Re: NCSailor] #68645
09/21/2015 04:06 PM
09/21/2015 04:06 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 961
Petoskey, MI
CottageGirl Offline OP
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Sounds like I'm on track with my thinking. Thanks for the reassurance!

Re: Catching mooring ball solo [Re: CottageGirl] #68646
09/21/2015 04:23 PM
09/21/2015 04:23 PM
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Posts: 81
marisol Offline
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We do the same as Subaqua. We have been bareboating for over 20 years. I steer the boat and my husband gets the mooring ball. I always think that I have the easiest job. Just make sure you have hand signals worked out before hand.

Re: Catching mooring ball solo [Re: NCSailor] #68647
09/21/2015 04:23 PM
09/21/2015 04:23 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
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The Wichard is exactly what we use, works great. I already have the bridle ready and snap hook the pennant.

Re: Catching mooring ball solo [Re: sail2wind] #68648
09/21/2015 05:15 PM
09/21/2015 05:15 PM
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Posts: 2,857
VI,GA,AZ
sail445 Offline
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Wow! Einstein would be impressed.

Re: Catching mooring ball solo [Re: sail445] #68649
09/21/2015 05:17 PM
09/21/2015 05:17 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,206
Somewhere out there
kneafseym Offline
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Been using the Wichard for years also and do a lot of singlehanding. The key is lack take it slow.


Mike
Re: Catching mooring ball solo [Re: kneafseym] #68650
09/21/2015 06:03 PM
09/21/2015 06:03 PM
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StormJib Offline
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It is the helmsman's responsibility to bring the boat to the ball and hold it there while the available crew accomplishes the work. Inappropriate speed and approaching from any direction other than directly upwind/current are the two primary helmsman errors. In some cases it is best to practice that without even considering picking up the ball.

With the boat stationary at the ball the rest of the work should be without challenge.

Re: Catching mooring ball solo [Re: NCSailor] #68651
09/21/2015 06:16 PM
09/21/2015 06:16 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 821
Louisville, KY
NoelHall Offline
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I like the idea of getting one line through the eye of the pennant of the mooring ball and back to the cleat, preferably on the starboard side as stated. Now the fellow at the helm is prohibited from screwing-up the whole operation. If he has done a good job (probably not) at bringing the boat to a stop with the pennant centered, then you can easily retrieve the eye by pulling on the secured line, threading the second line (port side) and back to the cleat. You can then tell him to cut the engines and go get a beer while you are adjusting both lines for a secure overnight stay. Be sure to compliment him for the excellent job of operating the boat.


Noel Hall
"It is humbling indeed, to discover my own opinion is only correct less than 50% of the time."

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Re: Catching mooring ball solo [Re: NoelHall] #68652
09/21/2015 07:26 PM
09/21/2015 07:26 PM
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Posts: 402
St Thomas, USVI
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Kimber Offline
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St Thomas, USVI
Following is my reply to the same question 4 months ago on a sailing forum.

Picking up a mooring alone need not be an issue. There are probably as many ways to do it as there are people sailing. My employment causes me to move a variety of cats and monos from 36'-50' alone and I've come up with a method that has served me well for many years. Rather than the "standard" way of slowly motoring directly into the wind, I aim for a spot 6'-10' upwind of the mooring with the boat on a 45 degree diagonal to the wind. With the bow(s) a few feet past the mooring and a shot of reverse to completely stop forward motion, one can casually walk forward with the boat hook as the boat is slowly drifting down to the mooring. I just did this Monday at West End Tortola with winds 25 gusting to 30kts on a 44' cat without issue. For me it's much more difficult to stop a boat dead into the wind with the nose right on the mooring and not have the boat blow away before the painter has been retrieved and connected via a line to a cleat. Since I'm jumping from boat to boat I rarely get a chance to spend a lot of time really getting used to the manners of all the boats in all situations. Letting the wind push me to the mooring while I am patiently waiting with the boat hook makes it nearly foolproof.

Re: Catching mooring ball solo [Re: Kimber] #68653
09/21/2015 08:10 PM
09/21/2015 08:10 PM
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SailOrion Offline
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I second the importance of hand signals. Finger up = Forward, Finger down = Aft, Finger Left or Right = Port or Starboard, Fist = Hold. You'll be fine :-). Thanks - Mark

Re: Catching mooring ball solo [Re: SailOrion] #68654
09/21/2015 08:20 PM
09/21/2015 08:20 PM
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Posts: 914
Michigan
rhans Offline
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Let’s not leave out the middle finger.
= You shouldn’t have had that last Red Stripe. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" />

Re: Catching mooring ball solo [Re: rhans] #68655
09/21/2015 09:36 PM
09/21/2015 09:36 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 994
JAX
jphart Offline
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Quote
rhans said:
Let’s not leave out the middle finger.
= You shouldn’t have had that last Red Stripe. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" />

Saw that one coming... <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/circle.gif" alt="" />

Re: Catching mooring ball solo [Re: kneafseym] #68656
09/22/2015 08:47 AM
09/22/2015 08:47 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,857
VI,GA,AZ
sail445 Offline
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kneafseym said:[/b]
Been using the Wichard for years also and do a lot of singlehanding. The key is lack take it slow. [/quote]

How easy is it to disconnect under pressure in a 20k wind if your single handing?

Re: Catching mooring ball solo [Re: sail445] #68657
09/22/2015 09:35 AM
09/22/2015 09:35 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,206
Somewhere out there
kneafseym Offline
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You just motor up to create slack and disconnect. Just as easy as connecting. I then just clip the hook on my seagull striker.

In 20 years I have had 1 clip fail. When I was training a crew, the mate did a great job hooking on, but the skipper in training didn't slow AT ALL.

Years ago with Mike Beswick and I started using these he had an Airbus engineer do some kind of testing. Basically our boats were about 17,000 lbs dead weight, but nothing floating weight.

You can always run a safety line as a supplement. When I would run a safety I would go to the top of the ball back when the top had eyes. Now I just do one very slack loop to the pendant.

A fun story, year ago we were at Marina Cay, a couple came in yelling at each other trying to get a ball. We left to get water then I came back next to them. Jenn was breastfeeding Lilly, grabbed the ball and clipped on the clip. Their reaction was priceless, but Jenn and I are very experienced crew and mate, so don't try that at home.


Mike
Re: Catching mooring ball solo [Re: kneafseym] #68658
09/22/2015 10:28 AM
09/22/2015 10:28 AM
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Posts: 2,857
VI,GA,AZ
sail445 Offline
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It has a lot of good features if you have someone at the helm but in a blow by yourself by the time you get to the bow the wind have already pushed you back or sideways.
I found using a 15' dock line with the loop over a cleat and sliding the open end through the the pennant and quickly tying it off works well and releases almost instantly in a blow.

Re: Catching mooring ball solo [Re: NCSailor] #68659
09/22/2015 11:11 AM
09/22/2015 11:11 AM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 322
Redmond, WA
MrEZgoin Online content
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Here's my snap hook story:

We chartered a Moorings 4000 cat out of Raiatea and had arrived at MaiKai yacht club in Bora Bora, where an employee come out in a dinghy to help us hook up to one of their moorings. The boat had a bridle with a large snap hook on it.

I didn't see it at the time (my mistake) but learned later that the guy couldn't fit the snap hook over the spliced eye in their very thick pendant rope, so he passed the bridle through the eye and clipped it to itself.

Casting off the next morning, I found the snap hook hooked on the strands of the thick mooring pendant with the gate opened.

I pieced together the story (my son had seen what the guy did but didn't think to mention it). The side-loaded carabiner had unclipped itself from the bridle and fortunately caught on the thick rope in the process.

It still makes me ill to think how close we came to going adrift in the middle of the night.

And, yes, lesson learned.


M4000 "Lio Kai"
Re: Catching mooring ball solo [Re: MrEZgoin] #68660
09/22/2015 11:59 AM
09/22/2015 11:59 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,206
Somewhere out there
kneafseym Offline
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I forgot the easiest way. Motor slowly over the pendant, give it time to wrap your prop, once you hear a little chime and the boat gets quiet, you are hooked on and shouldn't go anywhere. You also get a great breeze blowing unobstructed into your cockpit. The release can be tricky single handing, but can be done.


Mike
Re: Catching mooring ball solo [Re: kneafseym] #68661
09/22/2015 12:34 PM
09/22/2015 12:34 PM
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RJC86 Offline
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I second this method. So simple any idiot could do it! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Banana.gif" alt="" />

Re: Catching mooring ball solo [Re: RJC86] #68662
09/22/2015 12:48 PM
09/22/2015 12:48 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 961
Petoskey, MI
CottageGirl Offline OP
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Ok rule #1 for our crew: no grabbing a mooring ball while you're breastfeeding <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Rofl.gif" alt="" />

Re: Catching mooring ball solo [Re: CottageGirl] #68663
09/23/2015 10:21 PM
09/23/2015 10:21 PM
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P323 Offline
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Quote
CottageGirl said:
Any thoughts, tips, ideas for catching a mooring ball solo? My husband and I want to know we can handle a 40' cat by ourselves. So if he's driving us up to the ball, I know I can hook it but in the past I've had 2 crew with me to run lines thru the eye and back to the cleats. If it's just me, thinking I get one line through and secured and then go get the other line and finally adjust them both. Is there a better way?


Definitely depends on wind conditions, but my method for single-handed ball pickup on a CAT is:
Prepare lines to each bow cleat, bring both line ends to the side that the helm is located on (under lifelines, around the forestay for the far side line), lay mooring hook on the helm-side deck. I place the helm-side line, properly coiled, on the deck, and drape the free end on the life-line so that it is readily available when I raise the pendant eye. (Take care to route so that it will not be not over the lifeline when loaded). Motor dead into the wind, putting the ball just outside the helm-side hull, a quick burst in reverse to stop forward momentum, walk forward, pick up mooring hook, lift pendant, run helm-side line through eye, snug the line to helm-side cleat and cleat it down (the eye is now <12" from this cleat). Feed the opposite line through eye at your leisure, pull the free end back around forestay, motor up toward the ball(as necessary), let some helm-side line out to bring the eye to the bow center, and pull the opposite side line to it's cleat. Permanently cleat both line down on their respective hull cleats. Have a cold one...
I have successfully picked up mooring balls by myself on 40' CATS (Leopards are easy, Lagoons hulls are tall) more than a dozen times. Winds do make a difference, but I have missed only once on first attempt. Marisol (above) is selling herself short- it is all in the helm, so she is making it happen. If the position is right, the pickup is smooth and easy.
I am a single-hull guy, but have had to go over to the dark side due to the Admiral's preferences (one level, back issues).
I have never understood the "committee" approach to mooring a CAT. Putting 5-6 people up on the tramp, yelling, with (different) hand-signaling, bending and stretching, and general confusion is entertaining, but... It is so much easier to just treat it like a mono-hull and put the ball just outside the hull that the helm is on. Easy-Peasy. No discussion. All in the helm, because you can see the ball, just like in a monohull. If you are two, the stopping point and reverse burst is when you see the forward person bend down.


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