Marina mooring in Cannes

We arrived in Cannes yesterday after a no wind trip under engines from St Tropez.

Having dinner on Superyacht Row in St Tropez

Having dinner on Superyacht Row in St Tropez

I had called ahead to reserve a marina place at the Port de Cannes and they were ready for us when we arrived. It’s a huge marina with Superyachts docked all over the place. There are also some sections for regular boats, which is where they put us.

Port de Cannes

Port de Cannes. All the boats dock stern in, with a single bow mooring line attached to a point under the water at the front of each boat, and there is little to no room between each of the boats.

When we arrived, we had to figure out how to dock and tie up securely in the marina, which was a bit different to our berth in La Grande Motte, and nothing at all like what we are used to back home in Australia.

Getting into the dock is pretty easy, just have to be sure to have plenty of fenders out to protect against contact with your neighbors. If there’s any wind from the side (there usually is) you will be blown against one of the boats beside you once you are fully back to the dock, which seems to be a normal part of the process, and nobody had any issues when it happened to us. I also noticed the exact same process being followed by other boats arriving after us.

Be sure you have enough fenders and they are well positioned to protect from contact with your neighbors.

Be sure you have fenders out and positioned to protect against contact with your neighbors. There is little to no room between boats in these marinas, so positioning your boat square to the dock is important.

In Australia, and other marinas we have used, there is a dock finger on one side or the other (and sometimes both sides) which is used to keep your boat in line with the berth by controlling side to side movement. That is not the case here, instead they use an underwater mooring line in front of the boat to control the bow, and you attach your aft mooring lines to set the distance from the stern to the dock. Then you set your aft spring lines to control the side to side position of the stern.

The bow mooring line is connected to a small pickup line connected to one of the dock mooring cleats

The bow mooring line is connected to a small pickup line attached to one of the dock mooring cleats. It goes under the water, so you have to grab it and work your way along it as you walk down the side deck of your boat towards the bow. Be careful that you don’t get it caught in the propellers if you still have the engines running.

How you deal with the bow line depends on the wind direction. If the wind is blowing from astern, then you can attach your stern mooring lines and stop the engines while you attach the bow line. If the wind is from the side or ahead, you will need the engines to keep your boat away from the dock and off your neighbors while you attach the bow line.

Bow mooring line after attachment

Bow mooring line after attachment.

In this photo, I have pulled the bow line out of the water and over the mooring line bow roller on the front crossbeam. I untied the pickup line and attached it to the roller frame because it wasn’t long enough to pull onto the foredeck. I used a second line attached to the mooring line with a rolling hitch so I could pull the mooring line in with the electric windlass capstan.

Attach a pulling line to the mooring line using a rolling hitch so you can use the anchor windlass capstan to tension the mooring line

I attached a pulling line to the mooring line using a rolling hitch so I could use the anchor windlass capstan to tension the mooring line

The lower line in the photo is attached to the mooring line with a rolling hitch on one end, and then to the windlass capstan on the other, which makes it easy to put tension on the mooring line. If the wind is blowing from ahead, you need quite a bit of force to pull the boat away from the dock.  Of course you can use your engines to move the boat forward and set the mooring line, but using the windlass like this allows you to adjust your docklines after the wind shifts without having to restart the engines, and you can also do it single handed to precisely position your boat in the mooring space.

Using the windlass capstan to pull in the mooring line. I've added a loop onto the end of the mooring line and hooked it over the winch beside the mast, so if the pulling line were to slip the mooring line will stay attached

Using the windlass capstan to pull in the mooring line. After the line was tensioned, I added a loop onto the end of the mooring line (top line) and hooked it over the winch beside the mast as a safety measure, so if the pulling line were to slip the mooring line will stay attached.

The next step is to center the bows so the boat isn’t twisted to one side or the other. A twist takes the stern out of square to the dock and will cause one of the transoms to come too close or maybe bump into the dock. It also pulls the bows over towards one of the neighbors which isn’t good.

Because the mooring line is offcenter, it twists the boat to starboard, so we use a bridle line from the mooring ring to the starboard bow cleat, which pulls the bows back over to port.

Because the mooring line is off-center, it twists the boat to starboard, so we use a bridle line from the mooring ring to the starboard bow cleat, which pulls the bows back over to port.

I use a bridle line from the mooring ring to the starboard bow cleat to square the bow and stern to the dock. Once the boat is square to the dock, the stern spring lines are attached. These keep the stern from moving from one side to the other.

Attach spring lines from each inside stern cleat to stop the stern from moving out of position

Attach spring lines from each inside stern cleat to stop the stern from moving out of position sideways

It sounds more complicated than it really is, but following this method allows you to position a catamaran in a stern-to dock without any damage while keeping the sides away from the neighboring boats. Everything remains adjustable, so if you need to fine tune position, or compensate for changes in wind, it’s very easy to do so.

4 Comments on “Marina mooring in Cannes

  1. How long did it take from the start of the process to the end?

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    • It takes about 30 minutes to get the boat into the berth and tied up like this, then another 30 minutes or so to get power and water hooked up and fine tune the mooring lines and fenders.

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  2. thanks for sharing all details of you trip, including these technical ones, as they are very useful to know and all part of the experience. You are living a dream that i also hope to achieve some day so I’m fascinated to learn of your voyage and comments you make. Wildling is an amazing boat.

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  3. Very nice pictures and useful sharing about mooring, it is very helpful to know that. I am looking forward to getting more info from your new posts.

    Like

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