Mediterranean Mooring: What Is It and Why?

By: Sailing Tips

The moment you step off your yacht in St. Tropez you realize that you have hit the sailing jackpot. Well…that is if your mega yacht is backed stern to the quay and you’re debarking with a quick walk across the passarelle in view of all of the onlookers sipping coffee in the sidewalk cafes. At that point you are royalty and the Mediterranean mooring has turned you into an automatic A-lister.

What is Mediterranean Mooring?

The Mediterranean Moor is a hybrid of anchoring, rafting, and docking used in regions where there is little room and tidal range. It takes its name from an old Mediterranean custom of mooring stern-to along a town’s quay or sea wall and it allows a lot of boats to fit in a small place.

In principle, you drop an anchor in the middle of the harbor and tie the stern to the quay, but the execution takes knowledge of how your boat behaves in reverse and skill in getting lines ashore.

Mediterranean Mooring

Diagram from ASA’s Basic Cruising Made Easy Textbook

Why the Mediterranean Mooring?
The ship will occupy less space and will allow the quay to accommodate more boats.
This type of mooring protects the boat from wake damage
Ease of access to shore

  • How Do You Mediterranean Moor?
    First, study the scene. Will you be tied to cleats or to bollards? If bollards, make sure to prepare dock lines to ensure efficient transfer of line to shore and back. Is there crew on the boats next to where you intend to moor that can help with the lines and fenders?
  • You will need two stern lines set up led fair and ready.
  • Place fenders on the stern and both sides of the boat.
  • Maneuver the boat to a point beyond where you want to drop the anchor.
  • Drop the anchor and get the boat moving stern first in a straight line toward the quay with enough speed to have steerage; pay out rode as you back toward your slot. Beware of snagging your neighbor’s anchor line.
  • When you are a boat length from the quay, begin snubbing the anchor but don’t lock it.
  • Use forward gear to stop the boat while your lines are passed ashore.
  • Once lines are secure take up the slack in the anchor rode.
  • Adjust rode and stern lines to settle the boat in order to get off and on safely.
  • Extend the passarelle, aka, the gangway.

All of this is easier said than done. Sailboats with extensive prop walk will wreak havoc on your plan to simply back up. Crosswinds will give you white knuckles and tight, busy marinas will drive you mad. The benefit of walking off your boat to a crowd of admirers will make it all worth it.

Charter Resources

  • Your First Charter Sailing Vacation Today bareboat chartering is the culmination of your sailing education. When you walk across the deck and get your sailing diploma you step on to the metaphorical boat of your future and you can sail it anywhere you want!
  • Charter Sailboat Resources Whether you have just begun to sail and have recently earned your ASA 101 certification or if you have already mastered ASA 114 and are a veteran of bareboat charters this resource should help you.
  • Bareboat Charter in the BVI Getting aboard your bareboat charter is the goal when you get your ASA sailing certifications. Where do you begin? For many, it is a sailing vacation in the British Virgin Islands.
  • Choosing a Charter Boat Company It’s time for you to set off on your own and explore endless shorelines and secluded coves. You have mapped out your plan and you have reserved your vacation time now all you need is a boat. How do you choose a charter company to rent a boat for a week?
  • Choosing The Right Boat for Your Sailing Charter When you decide to take a sailing vacation aboard a sailing vessel that you will call home for a week or two you’ll be surprised by just how much you think you need.
  • Sailing in Europe? Chartering overseas is on the bucket list of many a sailor, but making it happen comes with a stipulation or two. A sizable number of countries require an International Proficiency Certificate that lets them know the charterer is trained, qualified and prepared to take one of their boats out to sea.