This article is an excerpt from NauticEd’s online Skipper Large Keelboats Course, a comprehensive online sailing course for beginner to intermediate sailors to learn how to sail large sailboats 26 ft (8m) and above. The Skipper Large Keelboats course is part of the Skipper Course Bundle of online courses, also teaching you how to master maneuvering under power and docking!

You can learn to sail and improve your sailing with NauticEd, the international leader in sailing education.

Mooring a Sailboat

Mooring a vessel means attaching it to a float that is firmly and permanently anchored to the sea bottom.

Some cities and communities provide mooring balls in lovely serene bays and coves; some free, some not. Many times, private individuals own the mooring balls. Some are available for rent and some are not. You will need to check the local cruising guide. Sometimes the mooring ball itself will have contact instructions.

To obtain a mooring ball, check the local guide to see the procedure. Sometimes you can call the harbormaster and make a reservation beforehand. It is no fun to arrive at a spot where you intend to moor and discover there aren’t any balls available. Other times in popular chartering areas, you need to arrive early to be assured of a ball.

There are different types of mooring balls.

Below is an interactive photo series from the BVI. Tap the images to cycle through the various mooring buoys you will encounter. Worldwide, white mooring balls with a blue stripe are designated as overnight mooring balls for recreational vessels.


You can learn more in the Skipper Course....

Knowledge and theory for longer distances and overnight sailing in diverse conditions. The Skipper Course is a comprehensive online sailing course for beginner to intermediate sailors wanting to learn how to sail larger sailboats 26ft to 56ft. Or upgrade to the Skipper Course Bundle of online courses to also master maneuvering under power and docking!

Source: Skipper
Topic: Anchoring and Mooring
Authors: Grant Headifen, NauticEd Global Director of Education
NauticEd is a fully recognized education and certification platform for sailing students combining online and on-the-water real instruction (and now VR). NauticEd offers +24 online courses, a free sailor's toolkit that includes 2 free courses, and six ranks of certification – all integrated into NauticEd’s proprietary platform. The USCG and NASBLA recognize NauticEd as having met the established American National Standards.