Picking up a Mooring:

Aim: To pick up a mooring buoy & tie off using the painter. 



  • Locate a mooring buoy & ensure the area is a safe & clear of other obstructions
  • Brief your crew as to what you'd like them to do (i.e. prepare the painter / boat hook)
  • Establish the direction of drift (wind / tide effect)


  • Position the boat into the direction of drift (wind / tide effect)
  • Approach the buoy at a slow speed maintaining visual contact with the buoy
  • Ensure your crew are ready to pick up the buoy / attach the line


  • On arrival ensure you are 'stopped' next to the buoy, ideally with it located approximately 1/3rd back from the bow. 
  • Tie off onto the mooring buoy


  • If things don't go to plan engage neutral gear until you have drifted away from the buoy. 

DEPARTURE: When you're ready to leave the buoy.. 

  • Brief your crew & start the engine
  • Check for hazards, if clear, untie the painter and allow the boat to drift away from the mooring buoy
  • Once clear of the buoy, drive away

Ideas on how to deliver a picking up a mooring session:

Implement E.D.I.C.T.S. teaching structure



  • What you are going to do
  • Why and When you would want to pick up a mooring 
  • How to decide which mooring you're going to pick up?
  • How to tie onto a mooring buoy (knots)


  • Brief your crew and issue tasks i.e. boat hook / attaching painter (knots) etc
  • Carry out a demonstration similar to that detailed further up this page
  • If you do not manage a 'perfect' demo, then admit your errors and carry out another demonstration


  • Get each of your students to carry out the task


  • Where areas of the activity need to be improvement, give the student/s positive, constructive feedback


  • Allow your students time to have another go / goes in order to ensure they can perform the task. 


  • Confirm understanding with your students and highlight the key teaching points.