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Mooring - Boat to Bouy

Dec 1, 2020
CAL 27 Puget Sound (Kitsap)
I have moved my day sailing Cal 27 to the mooring ball "out back" as my wife would say.... (I think of it as the front-side).

The basic setup is a helical mooring with Nylon and chain to the ball you see in the images. Two Yale pendants from the ball (swivel) to either side of the boat. The pendants are 12' long 1/2" which Yale customer service said were okay for my application.

So now the boat slowly (3-5 minute transit time) moves back and forth sort of "sailing" on the mooring ball.

My question to mooring "experts" here is this: Is this back and forth normal? Is this a function of the pendant length or it's okay-stop over-thinking-it.

I did store the anchor below based on other comments from an earlier post.

Thanks in advance for your input....



Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
The windage on the bow, perhaps? Boats with high freeboard tend to sail around more than low freeboard boats. Any windage forward can cause a boat to sail at mooring or anchor. I'd remove the headsail bag first and see if that helps. Generally boats don't sail much around a mooring.
Jun 14, 2010
TBD Looking for my next boat CT
Normal. Agree with @TomY about windage forward as a contributing factor, but many boats are designed that way. In my experience, most boats sail at mooring or anchor, even power boats. A bridle also helps reduce it, that’s why you typically see a bridle in use on multihulls.
I was once at a transient mooring in the CT River when the wind was against current, and it caused our boat to spin around and around the mooring! Crazy.
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Oct 19, 2017
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
Is your exprience with anchoring not the same? I've never heard that the mooring was to blame for sailing at anchor, but I'd be interested to know if you have not exprienced it under other anchoring conditions? Or, is this just the first time you've been able to observe your boat on a mooring?

Some boats get pretty bad and there are small anchoring sails designed to reduce the tendency. It is wearing on the boat and lines. You could also try hanging a fin in the water of the transom or move weight foreword.

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Oct 22, 2014
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Think of it as the Ghosts of Sailors past rising up from Davy Jones locker and having a bit of fun. You left the boat out there. It will be much less when the water is calm ( no ripples = no wind).

Wait for the first storm to blow through.
Jan 19, 2010
Hunter 26 Charleston
Wait for the first storm to blow through.
That was my first thought. I'd stash the headsail at he very least and probably put a quick disconnect on the goosneck and remove the boom (w/main attached) and stow it inside. It would only take you five minutes at both ends of a sail but save a lot of greif and anx anytime a T-storm (or worse) pops up. You could use the topping lift to help swing the boom into or out of the galley with some ease and practice.
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Oct 2, 2008
Pearson/ 530 Strafford, NH
Just saw a trawler anchored with his bridal attached to a bow cleat and one midship. The boat was angled about 30 degrees or more to the wind and the boat was stationary.
Jun 8, 2004
-na -NA Anywhere USA
If bow eye is being used, make sure it is tight. You might want to check if the backing plate to see if it distributes the loading adequately
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Jun 3, 2012
Hunter 33 Steamboat Wharf, Hull, MA
The video above explains why whenever I rent a mooring while coastal cruising, I find the mooring bridal lines much too large for my bow cleat. I have to keep a short 3/4" line with braided loops on each end to attach between my cleat and one of the Queen Mary bridal lines.