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Clothesline Mooring

A tide-beating tie-up.
Boating Safety

Here's a technique that's useful when you need to get off your boat in water shallow enough to wade ashore, yet also secure the boat so that a drop in water level won’t leave it high and dry. Whether you call it a clothesline moor or an outhaul, it’s slicker than mossy rocks. And it’s easy to do, once you collect a few pieces of gear.

The clothesline needs two anchors to work — one on the beach and one in the water. The shore anchor can be in situ, like a boulder or tree. Lacking natural blessings, you can use a spike, sand screw, grapple hook or another boat anchor. It all depends upon your boat and the specific topography of the landing you’ve chosen. Do what you think is best, making sure your boat’s firmly connected to terra firma.

The second anchor is your boat anchor, which you already have. Again, sizes and types vary with region, boat and preference. Whatever anchor you’d feel secure swinging to in the specific location is the one to use.

The two anchors are connected by a loop of line. (See where this is going?) So you’ll need a length of line equal to twice the distance between your seaward and shoreward anchors.

Finally, you’ll need some miscellaneous bits: a pair of galvanized rings or pulleys (aka blocks) and some shackles. First, shackle a ring or block to each anchor’s chain, where you’d normally attach the rode. Note: In weedy waters, a ring is less likely to get jammed, though it’s a bit harder to heave the boat in than it is with a line rove through blocks.

Step 1
Wade ashore and secure an anchor. Get back in your boat.

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