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Sailing tips archive
Sailing tips archive


 
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Sailing tips for catamaran, bareboat or monohull charter in Greece

Berthing in Greek islands

 

 


Berthing in the Greek islands

 

 

Berthing in the Greek islands could be quite different than in most foreign countries. The reason for this is that most sailors are used to berth their boat in organized well protected marinas, using permanent mooring lines that are part of the marina’s facilities and having plenty of space to manoeuvre. It is also very common to berth with the side of the boat and not with the aft or the bow.

Sailing in Greece, we very soon realize that the situation is completely different. We may found a port to berth almost every where but most of these places are small, very crowded during the summer, we have to berth using our anchor and usually under strong wind.

But with a little bit of exercise and following a few tips, it is not as difficult as it appears in the beginning!

Remember three simple rules: Planning – preparation- and be cool!

1. Enter the port and inspect the place. Choose where to berth not only because of the availability of the space but mostly because of the safety that offers. Try to avoid a place with the wind blowing from the site of the boat.
2. Decide if you are going to berth with the bow or with the aft. Do not hesitate to go with the bow if there is strong wind. You control better the boat during this manoeuvre!
3. Make a plan about the approaching manoeuvre you are going to follow.
4. Prepare the boat. First organize your crew explaining to every body what you expect them to do and when. Put in position the fenders, the mooring ropes and the anchor. Have the boat hook ready to use.
5. Move the boat slowly. Try rather to use the impetus of the boat when possible than to move always with the gear engaged and reversing directly from forward to backward. Always spent a few seconds in neutral.   

 

Going with the bow

1. Align the boat to your berth and go to the quay with the bow.
2. Drop the anchor at least 3 boat lengths from the quay. Make sure that you have enough chain and rope to set there!
3. Stop the boat using the anchor as brake one length from the quay. Once you are sure for the holding release more chain and using the engine approach the quay.

 

Going with the aft

1. Prepare the anchor. Release half meter of chain to have the anchor ready to run.
2. Align the boat to your berth and go to the quay with the aft.
3. Drop the anchor at least 3 boat lengths from the quay. Make sure that you have enough chain and rope to set there!
4. Stop the boat using the anchor as break one length from the quay. Once you are sure for the holding release more chain and using the engine approach the quay.
5. Be sure that it is deep enough close to the quay. It is not rare to have less draft close to the quay (and under your ruder!) than a few meters away.
6. When leaving a berth, haul yourself out using the engine to loose the chain and then the windlass to have it up.

 


Anchoring in a bay

In case you choose a bay to anchor for a few hours or to spend the night, please pay attention to the following points:

The holding of the anchor depends on the length of the chain you drop, the force of the wind and the quality of the bottom.

Sand offers a good holding. Rocky bottom also but you risk to block your anchor (use anchor buoy). Avoid mud or seaweeds.

You have always to drop enough chain to secure the boat. If there is no wind drop at least three times the depth (i.e. depth three meters, nine meters length of chain).
If there is wind of 2-3 force then the length should be at least five times the depth.
With wind of force 3-5 the length should be at least seven times the depth.
With stronger wind use all the chain available.

If you are going to spend the night on anchor in the bay, it is good idea to dive and check the holding of the anchor.

 

And remember…..It is always better to be more cautious than less!

 



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