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color of mooring balls #316660
03/25/2024 07:08 PM
03/25/2024 07:08 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 676
Lutz, FL
tangerine3 Offline OP
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Will someone please tell me what are different colors of mooring balls and what they mean in the BVI. I also read that there are "dive" balls where you are supposed to just use if you are diving for a couple of hours and people are taking them for the whole day or even the night has anyone ever approached this type of situation and asked them to leave because you want to dive. What are other things that we should be aware of right and wrongs? We will have a captain but would like to know before hand. Thank you.


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Re: color of mooring balls [Re: tangerine3] #316663
03/25/2024 08:16 PM
03/25/2024 08:16 PM
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GeorgeC1 Offline
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White and yellow are dive balls. Yellow was commercial diving but all the white balls with the exception of the old WillyT and Kodiak Queen have been replaced with yellow. Orange balls are day use for snorkeling. All the above balls are supposed to have a 90 minute limit. Avoid using the yellow balls from 10 to noon and you won’t interfere with the commercial guys.
In the anchorages you will find white balls for overnight as well as the red boaty balls that require a reservation. White balls are FCFS.
The only place boats overnighting on dive balls seems to be an issue is the old WillyT in Key Bay. You will occasionally find boats overnighting on orange snorkel balls but not a huge issue. A bigger issue is boats camping on the orange balls eating lunch or sun bathing with boats waiting.

Last edited by GeorgeC1; 03/25/2024 08:22 PM.
Re: color of mooring balls [Re: tangerine3] #316672
03/26/2024 01:53 AM
03/26/2024 01:53 AM
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Memphis, BVI, CT
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RatmansWife Offline
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There are also private balls. I've seen white, white with blue stripe and yellowish; they should say private or have a name. There recently was a well-publicized incident where a guy on a large cat, unauthorized, grabbed a private mooring, in poor conditions, with unfortunate results. The Boaty Balls have a different shape from traditional mooring balls.

Re: color of mooring balls [Re: RatmansWife] #316723
03/26/2024 07:40 PM
03/26/2024 07:40 PM
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Georgia & South Carolina
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Deepcut Offline
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Originally Posted by RatmansWife
grabbed a private mooring, in poor conditions, with unfortunate results. .


So are you saying all balls can't be used in all conditions? How is the captain suppose to know when conditions are not okay to use?


Wes
s/v Sea Tiger (2022 Lagoon 46)
www.BareBoatBVI.com

Re: color of mooring balls [Re: Deepcut] #316727
03/26/2024 07:56 PM
03/26/2024 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Deepcut
Originally Posted by RatmansWife
grabbed a private mooring, in poor conditions, with unfortunate results. .


So are you saying all balls can't be used in all conditions? How is the captain suppose to know when conditions are not okay to use?


I think RW is referring to this incident...a "You Tube captain" with an apparently impaired vessel moored on a private ball with a north swell which ended badly

http://www.traveltalkonline.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/312662/1.html

Re: color of mooring balls [Re: tangerine3] #316728
03/26/2024 07:56 PM
03/26/2024 07:56 PM
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Posts: 848
Redmond, WA
MrEZgoin Online content
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Ultimately, there is no such think as an "ok" ball - as in a ball where there is no risk of you coming adrift ... Ultimately no way getting around carefully assessing the risk and always having a plan.

Ben and Kay at Sunchaser dive down with and secure a backup mooring line when they don't leave someone on board.
That's on maintained dive moorings and with a smallish boat. The kind of thing I really appreciate about them!

Last edited by MrEZgoin; 03/26/2024 08:03 PM.

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Re: color of mooring balls [Re: tangerine3] #316732
03/26/2024 08:59 PM
03/26/2024 08:59 PM
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Memphis, BVI, CT
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Someone will know better than I do, but I think the cruising guides show the public moorings. There are also private moorings, which people create for their own needs - could be a small motorboat. Most owners mark them. Over time some may be maintained, others not.

Some cruisers decide to squat these moorings out of ignorance, cheapness or whatever. In the case of the You Tube captain, it appeared there was a degree of hubris.

Re: color of mooring balls [Re: Deepcut] #316737
03/26/2024 10:03 PM
03/26/2024 10:03 PM
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Posts: 7,117
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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Originally Posted by Deepcut
Originally Posted by RatmansWife
grabbed a private mooring, in poor conditions, with unfortunate results. .


So are you saying all balls can't be used in all conditions? How is the captain suppose to know when conditions are not okay to use?

It’s not ok to use private balls under any conditions. There are weather conditions where it’s not prudent to use any ball. That’s where the part called being the Captain comes into play. You have to evaluate those conditions. There are obvious things to avoid like high forecast winds and or swell. Tolerance for those should be situation dependent. A Lee shore lowers my tolerance considerably. Even when you act prudently things happen. I have had two mooring balls release me over the years. It can and does happen. If however you pick up a private mooring ball intended for smaller boats in a large north swell in a unprotected area just off a Lee shore expect a bad outcome.

Re: color of mooring balls [Re: GeorgeC1] #316794
03/27/2024 04:24 PM
03/27/2024 04:24 PM
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Georgia & South Carolina
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Deepcut Offline
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Originally Posted by GeorgeC1
[quote=Deepcut][quote=RatmansWife]the Captain comes into play. .


Yep, much more to "Being the Captain" than just driving the boat!


Wes
s/v Sea Tiger (2022 Lagoon 46)
www.BareBoatBVI.com

Re: color of mooring balls [Re: tangerine3] #316825
03/27/2024 11:13 PM
03/27/2024 11:13 PM
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I watched an anchor alarm video on YouTube where the captain left an iPad on the boat (with a GPS and Anchor Pro on the iPad) - and then he used the app to monitor the location of the boat (when he wasn’t on it) on his phone. Has anybody else done this? It seems like a decent idea. Evidently the app will notify you if the boat leaves the zone through the app on your phone.

Re: color of mooring balls [Re: MrEZgoin] #316852
03/28/2024 01:46 PM
03/28/2024 01:46 PM
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Virgin Gorda, BVI
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Ben and Kay are the best!

Re: color of mooring balls [Re: tangerine3] #316865
03/28/2024 02:55 PM
03/28/2024 02:55 PM
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MIDiver Offline
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Agree VGR - they are so very helpful to all. They are one of the most professional and fun dive ops we have ever had the pleasure of diving with (and we have had lots of “experiences”). We won’t dive with anyone else in the BVI.

Re: color of mooring balls [Re: RatmansWife] #317064
03/31/2024 01:35 PM
03/31/2024 01:35 PM
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Hilton Head, SC
Steve27 Offline
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Originally Posted by RatmansWife
There are also private balls. I've seen white, white with blue stripe and yellowish; they should say private or have a name. There recently was a well-publicized incident where a guy on a large cat, unauthorized, grabbed a private mooring, in poor conditions, with unfortunate results. The Boaty Balls have a different shape from traditional mooring balls.


He actually had permission and had been on one of the three private balls for the restaurant and was on one of the balls the week earlier. One of the 3 balls failed and had no idea it was bad. The Representative from Aquila Yachts actually showed up with a 54 ft Power Cat (Same size boat) and stayed on a ball in same conditions for over 90 minutes without issue.


Cruising the local waters here in SC and GA. Love the BVIs and miss the Tradewinds!
Re: color of mooring balls [Re: tangerine3] #317066
03/31/2024 01:58 PM
03/31/2024 01:58 PM
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Memphis, BVI, CT
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I could go watch the video again, and maybe someone else can confirm. He called the restaurant the prior week and "someone" told him he could use a mooring while he went for lunch. He came back a week later and took another of the three moorings, which broke. I understood the three moorings belong to private owners, not the restaurant. He said he spoke with the mooring owner after the debacle.

So he did not have permission, and I have not seen anywhere what size boats those balls were designed for, or if they have been maintained. The fact that another mooring held for 90 minutes doesn't mean it was intended for a boat that size.

Re: color of mooring balls [Re: tangerine3] #317069
03/31/2024 03:44 PM
03/31/2024 03:44 PM
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Lee shore, huge swell, nasty seas - I don’t care what size mooring ball you are on mooring in those conditions is a very poor decision.

Re: color of mooring balls [Re: RatmansWife] #317070
03/31/2024 06:15 PM
03/31/2024 06:15 PM
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GeorgeC1 Offline
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Originally Posted by RatmansWife
I could go watch the video again, and maybe someone else can confirm. He called the restaurant the prior week and "someone" told him he could use a mooring while he went for lunch. He came back a week later and took another of the three moorings, which broke. I understood the three moorings belong to private owners, not the restaurant. He said he spoke with the mooring owner after the debacle.

So he did not have permission, and I have not seen anywhere what size boats those balls were designed for, or if they have been maintained. The fact that another mooring held for 90 minutes doesn't mean it was intended for a boat that size.


Your version is correct. He did not have permission from the owners and on another forum it was posted the balls were sized for center console boats. His boat weighed 54,000 lbs! His boat is too large for even the overnight balls however virtually no one seems to observe that limit with the ever larger charter boats.

In the British Virgin Islands each mooring is suitable for a single vessel with a maximum length of sixty (60) feet and a maximum weight of twenty (20) net tons.

Last edited by GeorgeC1; 03/31/2024 06:18 PM.
Re: color of mooring balls [Re: GeorgeC1] #317122
04/01/2024 11:01 AM
04/01/2024 11:01 AM
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GeorgeC1.....too true! In the last week or so with strong N/NW conditions and a solid N/NW ground swell the anchorage in East End Harbour and from Taboo past B-Line Bar and out to the East end of Little Jost van Dyke saw ~ 70 boats on mooring balls or at anchor seeking these relatively sheltered anchorages.

The area was pretty congested with no vacant moorings which lead to a number of large Cats and Monos attempting to moor on the three private moorings in Bakers Bay which are only sized for max 30 ft centre console type power boats. 40' and up Cats and Mono sailing yachts far exceed these three moorings capability. One of those yachts was from a well regarded Charter Yacht company which begs the question what information self skippered charter yachts renters have in front of them and whether or not charter yachts are tracked by the respective companies using AIS of similar

Several other vessels were anchored on sea grass or sand quite close to the lee shore of East End Harbour which allows no margin for error. Its not a picnic eh

At some point the number of charter yachts in BVI also needs to be thought through as secure mooring capacity at times is exceeded

Challenging boating conditions last week or so.

Re: color of mooring balls [Re: Steve27] #317123
04/01/2024 11:01 AM
04/01/2024 11:01 AM
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Virgin Gorda, BVI
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I mean, regardless of permission or not and being on one of the balls before or not, the decision that day was inarguably an extremely poor one as he quite literally ended up on the rocks.

Re: color of mooring balls [Re: tangerine3] #317245
04/03/2024 09:41 AM
04/03/2024 09:41 AM
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Posts: 676
Lutz, FL
tangerine3 Offline OP
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GeorgeC1 thanks for being clear on colors and such, also good reading here, sounds all too hectic . . .. so at the old willy T and Kodiak only commercial diving? If so ok after 12pm? Has anyone that wanted to snorkel at a certain spot asked a boat to leave if they were obviously trying to stay for the whole day?

So it sounds like if you want a decent or specific spot you have to get to your anchorage what at 9am sad rofl

If you want to do things during the day visit snorkeling spots, dive etc. what is a good time to head out in the morning and be at your next anchorage for the night? We are thinking we want to spend our nights starting will start on a friday; no particular order:

1. Cane Garden Bay
2. JVD would like with little harbor or great harbor

other 3 are open

What about just anchoring? Where is yes ok and where is hell no

thanks!


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Re: color of mooring balls [Re: tangerine3] #317252
04/03/2024 10:00 AM
04/03/2024 10:00 AM
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GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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The old WillyT and the Kodiak Queen are white balls available for anyone. They do change colors as they tend to use whatever is available for replacement. In Jan they were all white balls. It’s not all that hectic. The key to the balls is just be courteous. If we are diving and come out of the water if a boat waiting we drop our gear on the deck and get off the ball. Then we sort out the gear. The commercial boats tend to do most of their diving from 9 to noon. Occasionally might see a boat out at 1. Same applies to snorkeling. We don’t sit on a ball for hours having lunch and sunbathing if others are waiting. You will find much of the time however no one is waiting. The Baths and Indians after about 8 am to noon or so being the exception.
If we don’t win the boatyball lottery at Cooper we will often just get there around lunch and grab a FCFS ball. There are multiple dive sites that can be reached by dinghy from Cooper. If it’s a nice day going to the Rhône is not even a problem by dinghy.

Last edited by GeorgeC1; 04/03/2024 10:02 AM.
Re: color of mooring balls [Re: GeorgeC1] #317386
04/04/2024 06:47 PM
04/04/2024 06:47 PM
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Lutz, FL
tangerine3 Offline OP
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thanks georgec1 that is good to know about taking the dinghy from cooper. What sites would they be? I do remember friends diving at rhone from the cat and captain let me and husband take dinghy to salt island. BTW do you know if the gravesites are still on salt island or did they get blown away by Irma?


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