Q&A Backing Out of a Bow-In Med Moor


Here in the [M]ed, I’m very anxious when parked bow-first to the pier [...] with my boat, which has a prominent prop-walk. The problem is that more or less in line with the boat is a block underwater tethering the mooring for the boats to the left and right. Often enough, those blocks are set in a way that I have about a boat-width of free space for the bottom of my keel.


First off, your fears are totally justified. That set-up, so common in parts of Europe, is a real pain in the neck and fraught with potential for disaster.

As an aside, I once, while in northern Spain, saw a catamaran foul not one but both props on the offshore lines while attempting to go stern-to in this kind of set-up—not a fun day.

Several other members have commented with suggestions that have merit, but I'm going to concentrate on the boat handling aspects of the problem.

The solution is the same as it is for all close-quarters manoeuvring:
using prop walk and wash to move the stern without putting any forward way on.

The Proccess

Since your boat has a right-hand prop, and therefore the stern kicks to port, you would:

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 25 years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 20 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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