As preparation for the new nautical season is already in full swing, despite Covid, or perhaps exactly because of it, we have decided to get involved in the preparations. We have chosen not only an interesting, but also a very important topic: “Secure mooring, what is it?” Although this was the (sub) topic of many individual articles in our magazine, we have decided to dedicate space to it now through a series of articles starting with with this issue, and we have entrusted the helm to naval engineer and famous seadog Jack Šurija. Let him introduce himself to you…

About the author

In the attempt to answer these questions, I have summarized my maritime knowledge and skills: knowledge obtained at the nautical department of high school and college, and skills acquired on merchant navy ships and over fifty years of skipering yachts. To this I can add the experience of a court expert for vessels and the vast practice in maritime damage assessment of insured persons, my company clients or other insurers’ clients, over the last 25 years (on average 500 damages per year!). I hope this qualifies me to write about a secure mooring, how to choose one and how to tie mooring line properly” …

Jack Šurija

If we exclude regattas and other sports competitions at sea, over 80 percent of damage and somewhat lower percentage of endangerment of life, health and the environment in nautical circumstances occurs on vessels at rest, or as it is usually said – at berth.

How important is the choice of berth and mooring line knot?

When it comes to finding a secure mooring, a safe harbor, or continuing to sail, the judgment of the helmsman at any time is crucial to the safety of the crew, vessel, belongings, as well as the environment. In this regard, we will write about: how to estimate safety of berth or risk of continuing to sail, how to properly moor and what to take into account when staying on a moored boat or when leaving it for a short or long time, all in order to make your nautical experience as pleasurable and safe as possible.

What is a secure mooring and how to tie mooring line properly?

With these lines, I want to answer systematically both questions and help with know-how and practical advice, primarily for sailors who are not professionals, but sail for “sports and leisure” (as defined by legal nautical regulations). As I have already said, the text is about choosing a safe mooring and the right mooring type, but also about everything else that needs to be taken care of when the boat is moored.
First of all, I wish to remind you that all actions related to mooring are under the responsibility of the skipper! Therefore, in this way, I want to advise captain-enthusiasts on what they should take into account when choosing the position of mooring and how to act: what actions, in what way and in what order should be performed. Also, I think that everyone in and around the nautical industry will find it useful, including ship insurers, to define the concept of a safe mooring more accurately and precisely in their insurance conditions.

Good Marine Practice (GMP)

Knowledge and skills in choosing and mooring a boat are mostly practical knowledge. Although all knowledge relies on theory, practice is what we most often encounter in everyday life. Application of theoretical knowledge in practice is: the best way to implement theoretical knowledge on a specific occasion, or in short – good practice.
Nowhere is maritime practice taught as a school subject, but it is acquired as the term says – by performing practical tasks, learning from older and more experienced colleagues on board.
Amateur captains or skippers do not have the knowledge and are unaware of the lack of it, so they quite often put their crew and boat in jeopardy. That is why it is important to point out how good maritime practice dictates how to act in certain situations: on various forms of temporary berth with or without a crew, on a permanent berth and with a ship in disarray.

(To be continued)

Jack Šurija, Naval Engineer
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