How to moor a boat

You can moor a boat at a quay, wharf, jetty, pier, anchor buoys and mooring buoys.  Its important to know how to do this properly as getting it wrong can lead to a very expensive day out!  You could potentially damage your own boat or even worse, someone elses!

 When you see the spot at which you wish to moor, follow these simple pointers:

1. Start to slow down

2. Approach the moorings against the tide – if you are not then drive past the spot, and turn around so that you are against the tide. Don’t forget to maintain sufficient power to retain steering control.

3. As you enter the mooring space, go into neutral and glide in. As you come alongside move the gear lever into reverse and give a few short bursts of the throttle to bring you to a standstill.

4. Your nominated crew member can then step carefully ashore with the bow mooring rope. Do not jump ashore, as the bank or quay may be slippery or uneven. Tie up the bow rope but not too tightly at first.

5. Gently drift gently in and tie the stern rope firmly and then retighten the bow rope.

6. Keep your engine running until you have safely moored up.


The way you tie your craft will vary greatly on the nature of the mooring and the variety of your boat. There is no single definitive way of tying up but there are a few simple steps to follow in order to ensure your craft is safe and secure.

At most mooring sites there will be rings, bollards or cleats on the quay or jetty. It is best to take your mooring lines from your boat, through or round the mooring apparatus on the quay and secure them back onto the cleats on your boat (locking in place with a cleat hitch). This way you are able to untie and cast off whist on board your boat, rather than having to step off and untie from the quay.

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