This was NOT a Good Idea

This was NOT a Good Idea

Sailing is a never-ending thread of challenges that can make me feel like a total boss or the biggest idiot. Most of the time one sentiment immediately follows the other.

This week was a shining example of the biggest idiot part and we just so happened to catch it on camera. We’ve been going through a bit of trial and error with figuring out our mooring situation. We still don’t have a solution, but we know of at least one more way it should NOT be done.

We like to think of these videos as a public service of sorts. In less than half an hour we demonstrate how not to do things and prove that one can recover from almost any mishap.

Socrates was considered the wisest man in Athens because he alone was prepared to admit his own ignorance rather than pretend to know something he didn’t.

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”
― Socrates

Well, that makes it official then doesn’t it. According to Socrates, we must be the wisest sailors on the seven seas. Because more than ever, we know we know nothing.

Despite the frustrations, we really do enjoy the challenges and can’t fathom living any other way.


As I write this, Jason found the foul smell brewing in our galley. It’s a couple of rotten eggs in the batch we just brought home from the market (a common occurrence in the islands). He separated them out by placing them on the counter…and almost immediately knocked them on the floor. What was a slight funk hard to track down is now an overwhelming perfume filling the entire boat.

Now we’re the wisest and funkiest sailors.


I know the mooring part of this video leaves a lot of unanswered questions, so I’ll do my best to explain a bit more to help people that want to learn from this.

First off, we know how to tie up to a mooring, but what we’re trying to accomplish is figure out the BEST way to tie up our Leopard 43 to a mooring ball. Meaning: No chafe, easy to tie up upon approach and easy to release when it’s time to leave.

This bridal test proved that it may be the best solution for no chafe but tying up and releasing was quite the hassle.

Let me start by explaining this mooring. There are no lead lines on the mooring ball, so it is challenging to run lines through it from the boat unless there is no wind.

Running an extra ‘retrieval’ line to the mooring does not work because any slack lines end up wrapped around the base of the mooring ball. Then the weight of our entire boat will be held by this one line.

We already talked about running lines to the forward side cleats in the vid, but just as a reminder, it creates major chafe on the lines (not safe in a cyclone) and destroys the gelcoat on the boat. Plus, when getting pulled in strong winds it still creates massive downward pressure on the crossbeam which could still damage our rigging.

A system like the Mantus mooring snap shackle would work for some mooring situations, but the attachment point on this mooring is a very thick line, and too thick for the Mantus Snap Shackle. Plus, the breaking strength of this snap shackle is 10T and I don’t know that I trust that with our 16T boat during a cyclone (but I will reach out to Mantus to see what they say). Sadly, it’s all a moot point because it’s nearly impossible to get things shipped here during COVID times. By the time it could arrive, cyclone season will be over and we’ll be on our way to another country.

What we need to get is an official statement from Leopard and Robertson & Caine (the boat builder). We need to hear how they recommend tying up our boat to a mooring, that way we’re not guessing, or using a jury-rigged solution that might not be covered by insurance if anything happens during a storm. With this information, we can feel confident we’re tying up to a mooring ball the correct way. And most importantly we know if another cyclone comes barreling through, we’ll be connected to the strongest points on the boat with no chafe issues. If we happen to break loose and the boat gets damaged, we can show our insurance company that we tied up the way the boat manufacture recommended.




Ups, downs and all arounds, we share it all. We’re able to do so because people like you show up each week, read, watch, comment, share, shop our gear, and toss a tip in our production jar. If you like what you see, there are lots of ways you can show your support.