Technical maintenance

Mediterranean style anchoring with a line ashore (part 2)

NauticEd is the #1 in nautical e-learning.

March 3, 2023

NauticEd is the #1 in nautical e-learning. Based in the United States, they specialize in boater training and navigation certification which is internationally recognized, not only by federations but also by charter companies! Today, this Wikipedia of online nautical training, gives us some tips on setting up a Mediterranean mooring.


In the first article on the subject, which you can read by clicking here, you discovered what this mooring method consists of. In this new article, discover tips and techniques to ensure that you are securing your boat correctly when you use a Med Mooring.


The anchoring maneuver

It is essential to ensure that the anchor is properly held on the bottom. In crosswinds you cannot take the risk that the anchor will drag and the boat end up on the shore.


Setting up:

Regardless of the mooring line, you need to use a 5:1 ratio (ratio of horizontal distance and water depth). There is a simple way to estimate this by using the length of the boat as a unit of measurement when you look at the water. It is much easier to visualize 5 boat lengths than a distance of 65 m or 200 feet.


-If the depth is 6 meters (20’), you will need 5 x 6 m. For a 40-foot (12 m) boat you’ll need about 3 boat lengths.

-For a depth of 18 m (60’), you will need 5 x 18 m. For a 40-foot (12 m) boat, this means about 7-8 boat lengths.

You can see that when the depth is greater at the anchoring position, it becomes more difficult to maintain this 5:1 ratio. But you mustn’t modify this ratio. For more information on completing this approach, click here.

To anchor, position yourself at an appropriate distance, with the stern facing the shoreline. Drop the anchor, but do not start coming astern until it has hit the bottom. Then start backing down. If you start to go astern too early, the ratio will be compromised.

The crew member in charge of the anchor must notify the helmsman so that he can control the speed of the boat so that the anchor does not drag on the bottom. The windlass operator must be fully-informed on this point. The anchor chain must be at a steep angle. If you use an anchor rode, the rope should not be under tension when the boat is in motion. The windlass operator can give instructions to slow down or keep going astern as required.

Once set in its final position, the helmsman informs the windlass operator that they must stop letting out any more anchor line and that they can begin to take up the slack. The helmsman can then leave the engines in slow astern to maintain station with the anchor line taut until the mooring lines are secured ashore.



All the points mentioned above imply knowledge and consideration of the tide. When the water level changes with the tide, you may need to ease or tighten the anchor or the mooring lines. Also, make sure that in the event of a change of tide, you have taken this into account in your preparation.


Techniques to use when short-handed:

If you are sailing short-handed, there is a way to perform the Med-style mooring.


Once you have chosen your anchorage position, you (or your crew) can take the mooring line ashore with the tender and secure it to a tree or rock. This will be your windward mooring line. Bring the free end back towards the boat and attach a float (buoy or fender, etc.). This will allow the free end of the mooring line to remain in the vicinity of the chosen location long enough to allow you to complete the maneuver.

Once your partner is back on board, anchor at the chosen point and move back towards your float. Pick up the free end and tie it off onto a cleat. Put a little tension on the mooring line to stay in position, then you can take your time getting your leeward mooring line ashore and getting back to the boat. Cleat this off, tensioning the mooring line.

Mastering the Med-style mooring is essential for boat owners and on charter boats, in all boating areas, especially the Mediterranean. Train in your sailing area or with your sailing school by following the steps mentioned above.

We hope you found this article useful! This information doesn’t constitute strict rules and the responsibility for maneuvering a boat remains with the captain. Only the person in command can and should make decisions to maintain the integrity of the safety of his boat and crew.


Other articles are to follow, thanks to our Club Lagoon partner: NauticED. Check their preferential rates for club members, by clicking here.


© Nicolas Claris