How to Use a Trot Mooring

Written by keith dooley
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How to Use a Trot Mooring
Connect your boat to trot line mooring when anchoring is not allowed. (Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

When arriving at a destination by boat, it is necessary to secure the vessel before departing. Tying to a dock or dropping an anchor is often the method used to hold a boat in place and prevent excess movement. However, there are situations when a solid structure is not available or anchors are not allowed due to potential damage. Trot line mooring is a solution and involves floating mooring buoys attached to riser chains. Often a heavy chain along the bottom will have several risers in place, creating a trot mooring line.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Boat hook
  • Anchor rope with carabiner hook

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  1. 1

    Reduce the speed of your boat as you approach the mooring buoy. Determine the direction of the current. Turn the boat into the current. If a strong current is not present, then turn the boat into the wind. If wind is also not a factor, steer the boat parallel to other moored vessels.

  2. 2

    Locate the mooring buoy and tethered pickup buoy floating in the water. Steer the boat toward the buoys, keeping them to the left or right of the bow for a visual mark.

  3. 3

    Position an assistant or crewman on the bow with a boat hook. Have the assistant stand slightly to the side so that you have a clear view of the buoys as long as possible.

  4. 4

    Instruct the assistant to reach forward with the boat hook and capture the pickup buoy. Pull the buoy on-board. Throttle the boat engine to hold the boat as steady as possible as the buoy is pulled in and the main mooring buoy is pulled within reach.

  5. 5

    Attach an anchor or mooring rope to the eye on top of the trot line mooring buoy. Snap a carabiner hook on the end of the anchor rope to the eye of the buoy. Make sure the carabiner gate closes completely to secure the boat in place.

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