Key Sailing Info
While sailing in Greece, skippers have an opportunity to learn Mediterranean mooring – what is essentially, stern to quayside, and securing the bow with the anchor (or permanent forward mooring line where available, such as in Lavrio).
Skippers, though you may think it’s tricky at first, by the end of the week you will master this useful technique with the following super tips.
Arrive early to have space to manoeuvre – 3 pm is ideal.
Go in slow! Marinas have a limit of 5 knots.
Use your fenders
Mediterranean mooring protects the yacht from heavy ship wash, wind changes, swells entering the bay.
More often than not, Greek quays have bollards preventing berthing alongside.
Neighboring crews do not need to cross your deck, which increases your privacy.
Casting off and departing is much easier, without having to be innermost yachts.
Mediterranean mooring manoeuvre in detail:
The best advantage for you is to arrive early and have your choice of berths and space to manoeuvre, so plan your day to arrive at the island marinas by 3 pm – really, no later than 5 pm or expect to remain without a spot.
Find the berth on the quay, and position your bow at the full length of the anchor chain away from the dock (or as far as possible), and prepare to drop anchor. Take into account crosswinds – go a little upwind to counter drifting out of position by the time the anchor touches bottom.
Put out all the fenders to protect the yacht. Prepare the mooring lines, one on each side of the stern. The length of each line should allow enough to go onto the quay and back to the yacht.
If there is room, try a gentle one knot in reverse to lower the chance of the anchor fouling and lessen potential drifting. Drop the anchor perpendicular to the quay spot you chose to avoid crossing the lines of neighboring vessels. Note the wind could blow from an opposite direction later on.
Just before the anchor reaches the seabed, put your engine in reverse, maintain low speed to allow manoeuvres, put the rudder at 45 degrees, then put the engine in neutral. The yacht follows the rudder this way. (In reverse, the propeller walk steers yacht sideways.) Also, you avoid lose lines, nets and other rubble near the quay by not using the prop.
While reversing, your crew on the foredeck should put mild tension on the anchor line to help the anchor take hold. Not too much tension or you lose speed or break the anchor out.
Brake by feeding the anchor less line.
With one line on shore (windward one if cross wind), it is time to put pressure on the anchor. Take in the anchor chain until the hanging curve becomes more of a straight line. If the curve reappears (sometimes immediately), your anchor has not set. If you have winched one third of the anchor line back on board, consider a second attempt.
In essence, during the Mediterranean mooring manoeuvre, the foredeck is in control and not so much the helmsman.
NOTE: it's a good idea to check with someone ashore if a permanent forward mooring line is available (like in Lavrio). Find the bow line and use that instead of your anchor.
Wind forecast is essential for sailing; please be aware of the meltemi wind (very strong Northern wind) that starts in June, with peak season July to August. The wind pattern during peak season for meltemi is commonly 4 to 5 Beaufort in early afternoon and dying out at sunset. Sometimes it reaches 5 to 7 Beaufort and continues during the night. The Cyclades area is generally more affected. Fortunately, except for the stronger winds of the meltemi, the Aegean is ideal for sailing. There are no shallow waters or tides, excellent visibility and hundreds of enticing destinations!
Meteo: Sailing maps for wind speed forecasts. The site is in Greek, but it’s easy to understand and navigate by area.