Jump to content
  • Announcements

    Welcome! New around here? Take a look at the New Members' Guide for some pointers.

    You can Sign up or log in with your Facebook account and you can soon be chatting away with friends old and new..

    Check out our Handy Information section if you're after something quickly!

  • If you would like to support the forum, please consider visiting the forum shop, where you can purchase such items as NBN Burgees, Window Stickers, or even a custom Limited Edition Wooden Throttle Control Knob

    Forum Shop

Sign in to follow this  
MauriceMynah

Mooring With The Run Of The Tide

Recommended Posts

I have been advised here that where you have a fast flowing tide, to moor up one needs to come in against the flow of water. Why?

I moor up helm side (Port) to the bank. I have to do this as I am normally single handed. I have been doing this for some years now and fail to understand why I should change. Please advise.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because the tide acts as a break. It is possible to go against the tide with just enough power so that your boat is effectively stationary over the land. Allowing the flow of the tide to push on one side or other of your boat's bow will effectively move the boat sideways and into a mooring space, saves a fortune on bow thrusters. Going into a mooring with the tide under you means that you don't have the breaking effect that the good Lord provides for you.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You need forward motion through the water to get any steerage. If your coming in to moor and manage to slow the boat down enough but find you are still to far out from the quay heading, or the back is being caught by the current, or you are starting to be carried sideways, the only real way to correct this is to apply throttle to regain steerage. Off course any speed gained again is extremely hard to scrub off again if the tide is underneath you.

On the other hand when coming in against the tide you can easily scrub the speed off, have excellent steerage and manage to achieve everything at a much slower and importantly safer speed. At places like the Berney I have been able to stop in the water and use the rudder to take me sideways to the bank.

Like MM, when helming solo I prefer to moor port side, so on the South side am very aware of the tide times and where I intend to moor to ensure the tide flowing in the right direction for a port mooring. One of the reasons it is so annoying that Burgh Castle is closed. At any state of tide you could get a safe port side mooring at either Berney, or Burgh Castle. The direction of the tide dictated which one.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also most props are far less efficient astern so you won't stop as well as you go forwards. Bow to the flow also provides a clean profile to the water, so in effect you may be at zero over the ground but are still able to manoeuvre as Peter describes.

I learn't a valuable lesson mooring stern to the flow at Coltishall when next morning I discovered they had been weed cutting up stream. It was building round my outboard leg and against the transom faster than I could clear it. If I had been bow to flow most would have passed under the hull just leaving a bit to clear by tilting the outboard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gentlemen please, you misunderstand my point. I have for some years now managed quite happily to moor up with the tide coming from astern.

I put the engine in reverse till I come to a halt (over ground) then "pull the stern in" by gentle use of the helm. It isn't easy, it takes practice and I can look a complete a**e if and when I get it wrong... but it is possible... I can do it... but I'm told I'm wrong to do it and I fail to understand why. (not why I'm wrong to do it but why I'm being TOLD I'm wrong to do it.)

I'm well aware that it's far easier to moor into the tide, but equally I'd point out that when running solo, it's safer to step off the boat and secure the stern line first (This applies to aft cockpit boats only... which mine is!)

Ok, now I know what is going to be said... "well if you are happy and competent to do this then carry on" but I'm sorry this wasn't always the case. The first time I attempted to do this I was neither happy nor competent, but I find like everything else in life, the more I do it the happier and more competent I get.

The novice boater (the intelligent ones who have worked out that a boat isn't like a car, and understand why ) may well work out how to tackle this, and may wish to do so. Would members advise them not to, or would those members offer advice as to the best way to go about it? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John, I would advise anyone, novice or otherwise, to come in against the tide or the wind, whichever has the greater effect on the boat. Got to say that I don't see a problem in doing so. Both bow and stern ropes ready and available in the cockpit, just step ashore and make fast, where is the difficulty in doing that? Using the tide against stem and rudder to sheer the boat in against the tide is simple and efficient, why make life less easy by reversing in? You haven't got to do it in any particular way, your choice!!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a thought, John, once moored, bow onto the tide, I can sheer the boat away from the shore and tight against the mooring ropes by putting the rudder over and steering away from the shore, the tide working on the rudder. Much more comfortable than bashing against the fenders!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Single handed I like a warp on a central cleat. Whatever the wind or flow is doing once the boat is secured in the centre you have control. Also makes setting springs of the bow and stern warps easier when short handed.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed Chris, but sadly I don't have a central cleat

Peter, I have noticed that at Reedham for example sometimes the tide is going one way, but later it's running in the opposite direction so unless I turn the boat around when the tide changes your point isn't relevant.

When I step off my boat to tie up. I like to secure to the nearest post first. As Nyx is aft cockpit, that's the stern line secured first. The Bow line is going to be lied to a post at least 27 feet away. If I have come in stern to the tide, this is all pretty leisurely as the tide is keeping the bow to the bank. when mooring at Reedham on an incoming tide, then I'll be port side on but I have to tie up much faster before the bow swings out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MM I did interpret your question as why do it, as opposed to why are you being told to do it differently. Ultimately as skipper you should do what you feel the safest and most comfortable for you. I guess those telling you to do it differently are offering advice based on the perceived technically correct way of doing things, not knowing it may not work for your particular situation. My answer was based upon the way I originally interpreted your question.

Re your observations of the tide at Reedham. One thing I have also noticed is that at the turn of the tide, the water may still appear to be flowing inwards, whilst the level of the water is actually starting to drop. The reverse is also true at the turn of the low water.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, EastCoastIPA said:

Re your observations of the tide at Reedham. One thing I have also noticed is that at the turn of the tide, the water may still appear to be flowing inwards, whilst the level of the water is actually starting to drop. The reverse is also true at the turn of the low water.

It’s the same in a lot of places, must be confusing for new hirers when they are given instructions re approaching and leaving moorings against the flow! :default_wacko:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, vanessan said:

It’s the same in a lot of places, must be confusing for new hirers when they are given instructions re approaching and leaving moorings against the flow! :default_wacko:

I think its because until the incoming tide has reached the level of the outgoing tide it starts to hold the water back.  This causes a rise in water level until it has risen enough to push the water back up river, and vice versa.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's the way I read it too.

Oh and IPA, yes I think most people interpreted my question as you did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, JennyMorgan said:

Because the tide acts as a break. It is possible to go against the tide with just enough power so that your boat is effectively stationary over the land. Allowing the flow of the tide to push on one side or other of your boat's bow will effectively move the boat sideways and into a mooring space, 

Peter,  can you expand on this technique please,  wheel to port or starboard,  I tried it and the back end swung out. :default_dunce:

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, psychicsurveyor said:

Peter,  can you expand on this technique please,  wheel to port or starboard,  I tried it and the back end swung out. :default_dunce:

I've done this many times on the Thames when it's in flood, stronger flow than the tides at Yarmouth.  In everything from a 25ft Hampton to a 44ft Bounty, loads of different styles in-between and the odd narrow boat as well. 

You only need small rudder movements and only for a short period before returning to straight ahead.  You need to keep the angle fairly shallow, too steep and the boat starts going backwards and you loose control.  When getting closer to the bank steer the opposite direction slightly to cancel the sideways movement.  You can always practise somewhere where the flow is strong but away from the bank, other boats etc to see how your boat handles.  All will do it but some are more responsive than others.

I've seen a Dutch barge go through a bridge backwards in a strong flow and maintain perfect control - I've never handled anything that big so the bridge may have ended up as a pile of rubble if I tried !!

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Neil and would add that it is very important, when matching your speed to the tide, to keep your eyes straight up the river. Don't look too much at the bank - look straight ahead. This will tell you whether you are going sideways or not.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

May I add that doing this going astern into the tide it's also small movements on the helm, it's very easy to over cook it and lose the stern

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, MauriceMynah said:

Agreed Chris, but sadly I don't have a central cleat. But you could have, and very handy it would be too.

Peter, I have noticed that at Reedham for example sometimes the tide is going one way, but later it's running in the opposite direction so unless I turn the boat around when the tide changes your point isn't relevant.

 

But it is relevant, either turn the boat with the tide and then go back to the land of nod  or cast off for an early start and go with the tide. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, NeilB said:

I've never handled anything that big so the bridge may have ended up as a pile of rubble if I tried !! 

That's no problem, try it at potter and do us all a favour.:default_icon_twisted:

That bridge would make lovely hardcore!

  • Like 1
  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peter, As soon as pub hours are put in line with the tides, I shall do so. Meantime It would be foolhardy for me to try.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • NBN Mobile App

    Our new mobile app is available now on Android and iOS!

    Get it on Google Play

×

Important Information

For details of our Guidelines, please take a look at the Terms of Use here.