What is the issue?Mediterranean mooring, also known as 'med mooring', is a technique for mooring a vessel to the pier at a perpendicular angle. This style of docking is often mandatory as it saves dock space and protects boats from wake damage. Mediterranean mooring is usually stern-to, and occasionally bows-to the quay, depending upon the convenience or preference of the crew.
The absolute pleasures of being in the heart of an ancient and beautiful town quay is somewhat offset by the complications of coming alongside, but mostly by the poor berth they provide. The problem with stern-to is there is absolutely no privacy from the footfall along the bustling town quays. It also leaves the boats movements wide open, to be observed by thieves and makes it highly accessible for a quick raid. The problem with bow-to is that it is almost impossible to board the vessel over the high prow and pulpit.
Why address this?Whichever way round you choose to go, once you moor it is either difficult to enjoy the berth and feel secure or difficult to board.
How to address this?Have a specially constructed ladder built for your vessel so that it is easy to deploy from the bow. The ladder does not have to be overly large, as illustrated below, but needs to be a custom fit so it securely attaches to your vessel - the below example securely attaches to the CQR anchor.
All the ladder has to do is reach to the pulpit and from there the furled headsail makes an easy arm-hold to help the crew come aloft. This then eliminates the disadvantages of bow-to mooring whilst enabling all its privacy and security when alongside. Thiefs will find it much more difficult to observe the vessel and will be less likely to walk the length of the vessel's deck to case the boat. The structure is also much less likely than the traditional stern gangplank, to assist vermin such as rats and cockroaches etc., to get on board.
Photo: Alex Proimos
Docking bow-to also tends to be the easier of the two approaches. Much more steerage control can be had whilst letting the stern anchor off and the effects of prop walk are greatly reduced. It does require a good stern anchor, which should be carried in such a way that it can be easily deployed. The ideal solution is a stern-mounted anchor roller but a sturdy bucket can work if required.
After the initial mooring is complete it is worth making a balancing bridal and connecting it to the rode via a chain hook. Without the bridal, the boat will sag to one side or the other depending upon which quarter the stern anchor is deployed from. Running the ends of the bridal to the winches will provide the power required to adjust the tension into a central position and will tighten things up in the bow.
With thanks to:Angie Langley Jeffs, SY Yacht Camilla
Med Mooring a Yacht Part 1
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