How to use a swing mooring with Al McGlashan

Al McGlashan gives his best tips for using a swing mooring, including observation of currents, tide, wind and roles of the crew.
Al McGlashan: When you're coming to a mooring, you've got a few rules you've got to follow. First and foremost, assess the situation. Are there any other boats? Which way's the wind going? Is there any current? And then, make sure your crew know what you're doing. So, we've got Cooper up the front. He's grabbed the gaff.

So, as we're coming in, we look at which way the wind's going. Always drive into the wind or into the current. It's no different from a plane. You have your window open so that you can communicate with your deck hand. Just come in nice and slowly, just in gear, edging straight in towards it. Coop is my second set of eyes up on the front, just in case the rope's too long or there's something there. Now, we look and, Coop, do you see the end of the rope there yet?

Cooper: Yeah.

Al McGlashan: I'm just going to pull it out of gear there now and he's going to start leaning over the front of the boat there and pick it up, and what I want to do is, I want to hold it there. So, I don't want to go past the mooring. I don't want to come back off it because, if I come back off, he's got to hold all that weight, and then, we're going to hook it on, and Bob's your uncle.

These ropes, these mooring ropes, are huge, and even in the case of this, it really doesn't fit too securely. So, instead of using this, which is too heavy for us, what we simply do is have a spare rope ready to go, undo that one, put our rope through like so, let that one out, and then, fit that loop there, which I've done before, and then I let this one out, and then we do a couple of half hitches. And there you go. Secure. So that's one trick, and that way, you're safely on the mooring and you can relax.