Mooring Your Dinghy While Ashore, Made Easy

JHHOMD1-9150780One of our favourite activities while out cruising is exploring remote islands and shores that don’t come with dinghy docks.

However, our increasingly fragile backs are less and less tolerant of lifting an inflatable dinghy, often with a small outboard attached, over slippery rocks all the way to well above the high water mark, as dictated by good seamanship.

And, of course, if you have a RIB, with a big outboard on it, dragging it up the shore is not a good option, no matter how young and strong you are—if you don’t have a bad back now, you soon will.

We have always carried a small anchor in the tender, and have used it quite often to cobble together a system to hold the dinghy off the shore while we went hiking, but it was always a bit ad hoc, and never terribly satisfactory, particularly in places with a lot of tidal range.

So a couple of years ago I set out to put together a purpose-built dinghy mooring system that would be:

  • Easy to store and transfer to the dinghy.
  • Ready to go at all times.
  • Easy and quick to deploy.
  • Keep the dinghy safe for long periods while we were off hiking.
  • Be easy to retrieve and stow.
  • Keep our feet dry—paddling may be fun in the tropics, but where we cruise, not so much.

Here’s what I came up with, complete with a video to show you how easy it is to deploy.

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John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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