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Mooring / rafting advice for newbie

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Joined: 20 Aug 2017
Posts: 1
Location: Manchester, UK.

Mooring / rafting advice for newbie   Posted: Mon 09 Oct 17, 18:29    Reply with quote

Hi, I'd appreciate some advice about mooring and rafting options with a Dragonfly. I am a novice DF sailor, having only recently seen the light and decided to switch from a monohull this summer.

Firstly, if I were to moor my DF on a swinging mooring (not pontoon) then I assume I should keep the floats in the extended position - Is this right?

Secondly, is it possible to raft up a DF on a swinging mooring with other Trimarans, monohulls or motorcruisers? (If so, should the floats be extended or retracted?). Are there any principles to be observed to avoid damage over the ones that would apply to rafting a monohull?

Finally, if mooring alongside a pontoon, should the floats be extended or retracted, and is it possible to safely raft up inside or outside other Trimarans, monohull or motorboats? (I suppose one question here is whether if the floats are retracted and somebody rafts up outside a DF on a pontoon, would this be likely to cause damage to the floats?)

Lots of questions, and I'm sure most of them obvious perhaps but I have a lot of catching up to do. Please feel free to refer me to a suitable reference book if you know of one that you think covers this kind of introductory info for DF newbies.

Many thanks.
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Joined: 01 Nov 2006
Posts: 191
Location: USA, Long Island Sound

   Posted: Tue 10 Oct 17, 22:07    Reply with quote

There are a few posts on this forum regarding mooring (and anchoring), including my own detailed description. You should search and read all.

The short answers:

you should never have the boat folded except in protected waters or in a slip or at the dock. Even at the dock, the boat will be vulnerable if folded in strong crosswinds.

You can easily raft up with any other boats, monos, tri's or cats. Your position in a raft up really depends on the size of the boats. I've rafted with 5-7 boats from our club, but always was the outside boat. The boats were 26 to 40 feet. So even a 26 foot mono is close to the weight of my 920. Usually, the larger boats are inside, and the smaller lighter boats are on the outside. Usually, the heavy inside boats are anchored.

You should never raft up folded. There may be a lot of wear due to constant movement and side pressures. There are some posts on this forum from people having damage and avoiding damage while folded. read all.

Rafting on a mooring or anchor is very similar. I've rafted up with multiple boats on different moorings. No problems at all. I just always make sure to be the outside boat with only dinghies tied to me.

Now, for something completely different: one time while cruising with my family we were our own raft-up. The 920 is anchored. On one side is a Laser, on the other side is our dinghy, a windsurfer and a kayak are tied to the dinghy and behind are 2 floating mattresses and a variety of floating toys! We probably occupied a quarter of the available space in this small anchorage (Sand Hole in Oyster Bay).
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