Tip of the day: Pull your dingy in close when mooring or anchoring

Photo by Macknal

One of the most common mistakes you see is people anchoring or mooring their boats with their dinghy trailing 20 feet behind them. Quite often they’ll end up driving over the painter (the rope that ties the dinghy to the boat) and getting the painter wrapped around the boat’s drive shaft.

Reading John Licthy’s account of driving over their painter and getting it fouled up in the drive shaft, I remembered our very similar experience.

(And this is a recent trip and we are supposedly “experienced”!)

We moved from the Bitter End to Leverick Bay in North Sound, Virgin Gorda. We had a catamaran that actually hoisted the dingy out of the water when we were sailing but since we were just going across the bay, we decided not to hoist the dingy out. Of course, when we went to pick up a mooring ball, nobody remembered that we needed to watch out for the dingy and we ended up backing up right over the painter. Once we got moored, the guys had a great time diving underneath with large knives in their hands to hack at the painter. The rest of us sat on the back steps, drinking our drinks and occasionally holding gear or knives. For the rest of the week we sailed with a great big knot in our painter where we tied the two pieces back together. It was rather embarrassing!

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