MB19565

Mooring Ball Etiquette

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Are there common or local rules/etiquette around using  mooring balls that are not yours?

 

This past season I did a lot of fishing alone from my Boat (20' CC) in and around the Piscataqua River.    I found that when fishing alone from a boat I was driving and maneuvering the boat almost as much as i was fishing. **(For the Record- this is not a complaint- I am very Grateful that I am able to own and use a boat to fish!)

 

At or nearby several of my typical spots there were almost always empty morning balls, some I never had seen a boat tied up to.  I would have loved to hook onto one  to keep in one spot.  I never did this, as I wasn't sure who owned the mooring and therefore couldn't ask for permission- I felt like that was the right thing to do.  

 

I had a buddy out with me near the end of the season who has been fishing a lot longer than me.  His opinion was that if the mooring is empty then it is generally acceptable to hook onto it.  Of course if the owners boat were to come over I would vacate. 

 

Just thought of this today as I drove over the big Bridge, saw a bunch of empty moorings and was dreaming of next season!

 

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and feedback!

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I tie up, but what I'll usually do is NOT use their mooring lines.  In complete disclosure, 99.9% of the time I'm tying up to neighborhood moorings which are "storm moorings", since their boats are tied up to their docks when I do this.

 

To tie up, I secure a line to one of my bow cleats, run the free end of it through the eye on top of the ball and then secure the free end on my cleat.  This way if an owner comes by I can untie myself without even going back up to the ball, and they can't accuse me of damaging their mooring lines.

 

 

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There must be a way to find out who owns what moorings, I would think that if someone came back from a long day on the water to find a stranger tied up to their mooring, they might not be super friendly, but who knows

Edited by stripedbassking

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As the owner of a mooring... a few things I would say.  As a starter, I would liken this to parking in someone else’s driveway, so ask first, and don’t be surprised if you get a weird or unwelcoming reaction. It is someone else investment or cost. 

 

If you must....

 

1. Don’t use their lines and don’t get their lines stuck in your prop. 

 

2. Never leave your boat unattended, otherwise it is likely to be displaced depending how urgently they need it. 

 

3. A reason for “no” from my real life.  You don’t have any idea what type of anchor, chain or lines they have,  even doing everything right could blow their line.  My mooring ball was just tied via light rope for the season, as I needed a new chain, and I just didn’t want to loose my anchor, anyone, even in a row boat, probably would have snapped the line and left me SOL. 

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Lol I bet you would park in a handicap parking spot if it was open.... terrible logic

 

so after a long day on the water working hard, you come back to your mooring to a stranger tied up, I don’t think the response would be good

Edited by stripedbassking

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 My take is ..... even if the owner of the mooring is not using it at the time...it is not okay for anyone else to use it without permission

Use your anchor....or look into a gps controlled trolling motor to hold to a spot if anchoring is to much trouble.

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I own a mooring and I wouldn't take kindly to someone using it without asking first.  To me, it seems odd that anyone would feel entitled to do so.  There are lots of good reasons listed in this post regarding why it's not a good idea.  How would you feel if you returned to your truck in the local shopping center parking lot and a stranger was sitting on your tailgate?   "Well, no one was using it...I am not hurting anything."

 

Bottom line, it's not yours.   Ask first.

 

Someone else said it.   Just drop your anchor.

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Just now, Topside2 said:

I own a mooring and I wouldn't take kindly to someone using it without asking first.  To me, it seems odd that anyone would feel entitled to do so.  There are lots of good reasons listed in this post regarding why it's not a good idea.  How would you feel if you returned to your truck in the local shopping center parking lot and a stranger was sitting on your tailgate?   "Well, no one was using it...I am not hurting anything."

 

Bottom line, it's not yours.   Ask first.

 

Someone else said it.   Just drop your anchor.

Unfortunately, respect has fast been removed from millions of Americans and being replaced with a belief that everything is part of the collective. Dangerous times are approaching...

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Mooring's are generally permitted by the town so the harbourmaster will have a list of mooring owners otherwise I say stay off a mooring unless u have permission! Nothing worse than coming in at an odd hour and finding some one else on your mooring. Many towns regs do not allow none owners from using a mooring. This is to prevent the mooring owner from renting out the mooring to visitors . Nothing wrong with grabbing an empty mooring for a few minutes to eat ur lunch or rig some gear though........

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I appreciate the responses. Thanks for weighing in.  

 

For those who mentioned that I would park in a handicap spot, or your driveway, use your bathrobe and (my favorite) that I might be responsible for the removal of respect from society and contributing to the “dark times ahead” please read the original post. 

 

I specifically said that I never tied up to a mooring because I didn’t know who owned it and therefore could not ask for permission, which felt like the right thing to do.  I got some advice from a friend that I wasn’t comfortable with and wanted to bounce it off this group.  

 

Happy New Year everyone! 

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Just so u don’t take things the wrong way. Some of the comments weren’t directed at you but at some of the other members responses. For example the handicap parking comment was in response to another members comment not to your original post 

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