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Hunter 216 mooring

Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
I’m new to the forums so I hope I’m posting in the correct group. I tried to use the search feature without success so again my apologies if this has already been covered.

I have just acquired a 2004, 216 and am trying to determine the best approach to securing the boat to a mooring located on Lake Ontario. I’m hoping someone can offer some advice or share their experience with mooring the 216.

The mooring location is quite often exposed to 25 knot or higher winds and 3-4 ft wave heights. Occasionally the wind and wave heights are greater when a storm front moves through so my concerns are:

1) The connection point(s) of the painters to the boat failing.
2) Crew safety connecting and disconnecting the painters.
3) Scuffing of the gloss surface by the painters

The strongest looking connection on the boat looks like the ring and backing plate fixture where the trailer winch attaches. The cleat nearest the bow doesn’t appear to have a backing plate but the view is obscured by the inner liner of the cuddy so I’m not sure about that. However I’m guessing that maybe the 4 screws on the cleat are simply seated into the hull to topside overlap??? Maybe this is just as strong as having a backing plate but that hasn’t been my experience on other boats.

If I am accurate in these assumptions I have have the dilemma of either having to lay down on the foredeck (an area without non-skid present) allowing me to to reach the ring during cast off and pick up of the primary painter to the trailer ring point or alternately risk tearing the cleat off if I use it as the primary point.

To reduce the likely mad scramble to and from the tiller I’m thinking I could use the mast where it exits the cuddy area for the secondary painter and use this as my cast off and initial pick up point which at least leaves me in the cockpit as I quite often sail alone.

Any thoughts or opinions would be appreciated.
 
Jan 19, 2010
9,899
Hunter 26 Charleston
Rig the painter long enough to bring back to the cockpit but with a secondary loop about half way. You can pick up the ball from the cockpit without leaving the tiller. Once things are settled, you can go forward and secure to the second ring
 
Mar 20, 2004
1,656
Hunter 356 and 216 Portland, ME
I'm in a very sheltered spot - a tidal river hurricane hole - but I shared your concerns about going on deck because the river current can be very strong. So... I use the bow eye as the primary and the deck cleat as a backup, But I have a a short painter attached to a line loop that runs from the bow cleat to the stern cleat. When we return to the mooring I have the short painter aft, pick up the mooring in the cockpit, attach the short painter, and use the line loop to pull the painter around to the bow. As we leave in the dinghy, we bring the dinghy to the bow and secure the "real" pennants. you could tie a pennant around the mast but you would need chafe protection and a proper fairlead on the bow
 
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
Rgranger
Thanks for the idea of the second loop. I’ve missed the pickup a few times during mooring and anything that leaves me in the cockpit instead of a heaving foredeck is a blessing.
 
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
Chuckwayne
Thanks for your insight and for providing the correct term “bow eye”, for the life of me I couldn’t remember it during my initial post.

Since you use the bow eye as your primary connection and the cleat as secondary it appears I’m on the right track.

Did you modify the bow eye and/or deck cleat in any way?
Do you get any chafe at the point the painter to the cleat comes over the foredeck?

I like the line loop from bow to stern idea as it could serve other purposes but best of all it keeps everyone in the cockpit during pickup. I’ve had a bow crew go overboard during pickup which still gives me nightmares.

Can you expand your explanation of how you use the short temporary painter? Do you have a hook on the end to snap on a ring on the top of the buoy?

I think I understand why you would use your dinghy as a more comfortable and safe location to make the ‘permanent” connections however the typical wave action at my location makes me think I need to tackle this step some other way from the foredeck.

I was pondering putting a short length of painter on the bow eye and rig it so that it stays on the foredeck while underway, avoiding the on my belly leaning over the bow approach to connecting the primary. However that introduces more potential points of failure due to knots weakening the rope etc so I’m not sure it’s worth it.
Anyway I’m feeling more confident about the pickup process thanks to the help I have received.

I’m thinking of the following as a castoff process.

Disconnect secondary painter from the bow cleat and tie it to the mast short enough that it creates slack in the primary. Disconnect the primary and cast it off. Return to the cockpit, disconnect the “mast” painter, cast it off and depart the mooring. This leaves me in the cockpit, and shouldn’t create a chafing effect as the painter isn’t across the foredeck very long.
 
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
Can anyone enlighten me on the correct state to leave the 216 rudder and centreboard while on a mooring.

I assume I should remove the rudder board completely and leave the centreboard fully down? Should the release valve on the piston be closed or open when the centreboard is all the way down or should I drop it all the way and then put slight tension back on?
 
Jan 19, 2010
9,899
Hunter 26 Charleston
Rgranger
Thanks for the idea of the second loop. I’ve missed the pickup a few times during mooring and anything that leaves me in the cockpit instead of a heaving foredeck is a blessing.
You are welcome. I also keep an anchor in a tube on my stern rail, a coil of anchor rode already attached and then the line goes forward around my stanchion posts to the bow eye. I can pull into a cove, drop sail or cut the engine, then drop the anchor off of the stern. When the anchor bites, the boat rounds up into the wind. This is a great way to drop a lunch hook and it makes a nice emergency break if things go sideways too close to shore. You do not see the anchor rode in this picture but you can see a fishing rod holder just to the upper left. The rode usually sits coiled and looped over that holder and kept in place with a small bungee chord.

2016-06-09 17.57.37.jpg
 
Jun 8, 2004
8,844
-na -NA Anywhere USA
@rgranger @chuckwayne and others

Knowing the construction of this boat compared to fiberglass, in the original statement it said on a mooring the boat would be exposed to a constant 3-4 wave action or stated 3-4 wave heights as well as 25 knots or higher as well. There are two concerns first being the safety of crew and boat in those conditions as stated in the original post. The second of course is the construction as I sold but saw them being built and felt fiberglass construction was much stronger. I would suggest to look for a calmer mooring
 
Mar 20, 2004
1,656
Hunter 356 and 216 Portland, ME
Hi Dave, to clarify -
my bow eye painter is short - has to be for my mooring - and clips into the mooring ball directly. the pickup buoy has a slightly longer painter with a spliced loop for the deck cleat. I haven't peeled back the cabin liner to look at the cleat backing, but I suspect the bow eye is more secure.
Dave, I haven't seen any chafing on the cleat painter, but remember it's the secondary.
My mooring - on the York river in York, ME is very calm but the currents can exceed 5kts. Missing your mooring shot in this crowded harbor can be a real issue, especially singlehanded. That's why I like to pick up the mooring in the cockpit, not only safer but I'm at the outboard. The river makes a very tight S turn between ledges before getting to open water, so it's essentially impossible to sail in or out.
HU, regarding your other questions, I'd pull the rudder - it's very deep and you don't want it to hit something....I lift the centerboard because it tends to collect weed while down on the mooring.
I go beyond Dave's comments on your mooring - any boat constantly exposed to 3-4 ft chop will fatigue that pennant faster than you can say nylon melts - as well as any fittings and the hull. You didn't specify what you intend to use for a pennant, but I'd definitely add a shock absorber. Several years ago we were in Bar harbor and our Hunter fleet got hit by a microburst. All hell broke loose throughout the bay, but one of our boats with a brand new 3 strand nylon rode broke loose. It wasn't the wind loading - well within the line's rating, or the anchor; the sudden, steep chop was only a couple of feet, but the working of the nylon line on the deck caused it to heat up and melt through in seconds. Fortunately, we were able to rescue the boat, but it was a sobering experience.
 
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
I hope this doesn’t sound defensive and maybe I’m just lucky but I have had our current boat; an older C&C 24 which is likely more than twice the weight of the 216 at this mooring location for 6 years. My next door neighbour had a 22’ heavy daysailer moored for 20 some years and never had it break loose. I have only had one failure caused by a fluke where the primary pennant somehow got itself wrapped around the nav light fitting and sawed itself through, I guess that’s why you always use two pennants right! The foredeck fittings on the C&C are fairleads and a large cleat that show no signs of stress, however these components are not present on the 216 which drove me to seek advice. To clarify the pennants I’m using are 30 ft long 5/8 nylon braid with chafe sleeve protection at any critical points such as the fairleads and also have a hefty shock absorber. I replace the pennants every season to reduce the rope fatigue potential even though they all look fine other than the severed one. The wind strength and wave heights I quoted although frequent and typical are not 24/7 factors as the winds in the Kingston Ontario area are mostly thermal driven so cycle up and down throughout a typical day. The rare big days happen when a storm front moves through and things get pretty wild so I try to setup the mooring for the worst case scenario. One of the biggest factors of me moving to the 216 is that I can easily put the boat on the trailer if the forecast is nasty. The water depth at the mooring point is 12-14 ft with a limestone bottom so little weed growth to hang up on the centreboard. I’ve never owned or sailed a retractable board boat other than lasers etc so am interested on how much sideways “slopping” motion the 216 board might have while at anchor on the mooring. I’m sort of thinking that it might be better to have the board most of the way or all the way up and rudder removed and just let the boat slew around a bit to save wear and tear on those components and also likely cause less resistance and therefore drag on the pennants and connection fixtures on the 216.

I did investigate the cleats more and on the 216 I have and the four screws on all of the cleats go through the deck to hull flange so no backing plates on mine. That leaves no option to retrofit with plates other than moving the cleats inboard. Likely pretty strong anyway given they are stainless and the flange looks pretty thick. They cleat wouldn’t be under load unless the primary failed and I could also use extra long painters secured primary to the bow eye and secondary to cleat and then take them loosely to the mast as a backup if the fitting(s) failed.
 
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
Dave, Chuckwayne:
As I read your posts in this group and the daysailer one I wanted as a newbie to extend my thanks to both of you for sharing your extensive knowledge.
 
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
Dave
I have a many nicknames one of which is “Captain Safety” others I won’t mention as there may be kids present!
Because of this predilection towards safety I picked up my 216 last Wed and it hasn’t touched water yet as I want to get everything sorted first. Driving my buddies crazy but not many injuries on my watch either.

Your history of working with Hunter during manufacture and repair lends a lot of weight to your safer mooring comment so I’m going to approach a home owner in a more sheltered (from prevailing wind) location nearby to see if I can set up an alternate mooring there.
Thanks again.
Keith
 
Jan 19, 2010
9,899
Hunter 26 Charleston
@Hunter216
If your pennant is 30' I think you could leave it attached to the bow eye and run it along the gunwale, outboard of the stanchions to the cockpit for an easy pick up. Just stall upwind of your mooring and let the wind push you sideways to the ball.
 
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
@Hunter216
If your pennant is 30' I think you could leave it attached to the bow eye and run it along the gunwale, outboard of the stanchions to the cockpit for an easy pick up. Just stall upwind of your mooring and let the wind push you sideways to the ball.
My mooring is setup like this:

2 large stainless pins drilled into bedrock and "glued" in. Short length of chain connecting these. Long chain attached to this chain and the actual anchor weight preventing the weight from dragging. This chain reaches to the bottom of the buoy but has a kellet attached to increase the "elasticity" of the anchor rode (the boat moving backwards has to pick the kellet off the bottom before the chain tensions to the weight. The painters are attached to the long chain with a large shackle and swivel. The buoy is also attached to the shackle but it's purpose is simply float the chain, it has a ring in the top but I would never use that other than in an emergency or a very temporary connection. The 30 foot pennants with shock absorbers increase the rode length to a point where the boat has stayed put in gusting to 60 mph winds.

When I depart the mooring I leave my dinghy and a small pin buoy with a tall color coded stick attached to a clip on the bitter end of the secondary pennant. When I'm all set to cast off I have the primary pennant with a different color stick buoy connected the same as the secondary. If single handling I simply walk down the "upwind" side of the boat as it bears off and step into the cockpit. When I return I turn upwind at the correct time and come alongside the colored mooring sticks with the intention of grabbing the correct one for the primary, walk forward and cleat it off, once securely attached to the mooring stow the sails, connect secondary etc. If usually have the outboard running in neutral for just in case but have rarely had to use it once I get used to the handling characteristics of the boat. If for some reason I think I'm going to drastically overrun or come up short I just tack away and try again. If I have crew aboard I verbally go through the drill before we depart and again before we return as trying to shout over wind and sails flogging has never proven effective!!

I've never figured out a way to stay in the cockpit during pickup but the line down the side idea has a lot of merit.
 
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
I should have clarified in the previous post that the depart and return process is for my C&C 24. I have yet to launch the Hunter 216 and had to figure out the safest approach to mooring it. To bad the original design did not include fairleads and a hefty deck cleat but the designer was likely thinking that he boat was more likely beached rather than anchored in exposed waters.
 
Mar 20, 2004
1,656
Hunter 356 and 216 Portland, ME
Your welcome! Thanks for the clarifications - sounds like you've got the mooring setup well sorted out. the 30 ft pennants should give you a lot of shock protection - our harbor moorings are packed way too tight for anything like that. Keel up, the 216 will hunt but I think it's better than having the keel down and banging around.
 
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
Chuckwayne:
Well just goes to prove your never to old to learn something. I have never heard the term ‘hunt’ used in a nautical sense and my old standby Wikipedia failed me so here is what I found acccording to Merriam- Webster

: to oscillate alternately to each side (as of a neutral point) or to run alternately faster and slower —used especially of a device or machine

I am a bit spoiled about the space I take up mooring but maybe that’s because few are dumb enough to moor where I do! A long rode however accomplished is the key to secure mooring/anchoring in my book. Other boaters think I’m anti-social when I drop the hook for lunch so far from them but nothing disrupts a quiet break more than noticing you are dragging your anchor and having to scramble around resetting. Permanent mooring fields by design are max density/$ so I would have to really adjust my style or install zodiac balloons all around my boat!!!

Thanks again for all your sage advice!