Mooring in a lock, how do we do this?
Mooring in a lock is the most exciting moment of the sailing holiday for many sailors. People with hooks on the foredeck, skippers who scream at the crew full of emotion, boats that end up backwards in the lock and the public that can enjoy this deliciously….
How do you prevent this from happening to you?
Below we try to give some tips for the correct mooring in a lock, so that it remains a pleasant day of sailing for everyone….
1. Make sure everyone knows what the plan is. It can come as no surprise how the lock is in relation to the wind, so a lock is perfect to discuss in advance with the crew! There are only 2 options; moor on the port or starboard side. Make sure that the skipper gives everyone a clear task. It may feel strange to command like this, but it is really the most normal thing in the world on a boat! Just look at boats where things go wrong, it is clear that there is no structure and they do not know what is going to happen or where the wind is coming from.
It may seem exaggerated at times, but have the boat ready to measure on both sides, so put out the fenders on both starboard and port sides, and lay out the mooring lines on both sides of the ship as well.
Mooring with the bow in the wind:
This is the simplest situation, you can enter the lock very calmly. By holding the engine in forward only slightly, the propeller continues to push water against the rudder, making the boat perfect to steer with minimal speed. The helmsman calmly steers the boat to the side, and the crew first throws the stern mooring rope around a bollard on the shore. The boat sails a little further forward, until the front mooring line can easily be placed around the next bollard. Since this is impossible from the pulpit on the deposit because the boat is narrow there, the foredecks will have to be just slightly in front of the widest point of the boat. This also means that if the foreshore rope is placed on the shore around the bollard, the boat has actually sailed too far and will sink back slightly again. This is a great method where little can go wrong.
Mooring before the wind with the wind from behind.
this gets a bit more difficult… The boat is more difficult to control and soon enters the lock too fast. The most important thing about mooring for the wind is the hinterland! Make sure that someone is ready with the mooring line and clearly indicate which bollard this mooring line must be placed on. As soon as this mooring line is around the bollard, the ship has to sail a little too far forward again so that the foredecks from the center of the ship can also lay the foreshore rope around the bollard. With the rear mooring rope, the boat can now be slowed down and pulled back to the rear. If it doesn’t work with the foreland cord, there is still nothing to worry about as long as the hinterland cord is fixed. Loosen the hinterland a few meters, put it firmly around the frog on board, and put the engine in forward a bit. Now the rudder starts working again as the propeller pushes water past the rudder blade. The boat can now be steered while stationary in the lock. By playing with the throttle and the rudder, the ship can easily be moored along the quay of the lock, and then attached to the foreshore. This method also works well if the wind is a bit offshore, or if the boat is upwind. Solo sailors also use this method to moor alone.
Mooring on the upper wall in the lock.
we prefer mooring at higher embankment, in other words where the wind comes from. The boat is blown away from the quay, making damage to the boat by the quay wall virtually impossible. It is important, however, that the mooring lines are fastened on time, otherwise the boat could end up in the lock backwards! The helmsman sails calmly into the lock, whereby the crew has received clear instructions. The helmsman clearly cares about which bollards on the lock the mooring lines should be laid. the crew is at the widest point of the ship, and first the hinterland rope is placed around the bollard. As soon as it is around the bollard, the helmsman can steer the tip of the boat slightly to shore so that the front crew can also easily reach the bollard. Sail a little too far again so that the foreshore rope can be easily attached. As soon as both mooring lines are fixed, the boat will blow away a bit from the shore, and the rear mooring line can be retracted so that the boat comes back into position. Should the foredecks fail to secure the forward mooring line, reattach the aft mooring line securely to the cleat on board and put the engine in forward gear. By turning the steering wheel to the shore, the boat will be slowly pulled to shore, after which the front mooring line can also be moored.
Below a nice video of the magazine sailing about passing or mooring in a lock: