Jon Sharp devises an easy marina mooring pick-up using a hoop on a pole

We’ve devised a simple method for picking up lines on our finger pontoon mooring that may be of interest to others, writes Jon Sharp.

It consists of a pole made of 20mm plastic pipe that has a rowlock attached at the top.

The base is attached to an angle bracket with a couple of bolts (a short length of dowel is first inserted in the tube with the bolt holes drilled through it, to stop the tube being crushed).

A largish ring (made of plywood in our case) hangs in the rowlock and is attached by a medium-thickness braided line to a heavier line attached to the end cleat on the finger pontoon.

A boat moored along a finger pontoon at a marina

Jon’s easy marina mooring pick-up: The hoop is easy to grab with a boathook when coming alongside. Credit: Jon Sharp

As the boat approaches the hoop is caught by the boathook from the foredeck and the line pulled-in to secure the heavier line over our midships cleat.

This acts as a backspring and keeps us away from the nearest danger – the bow and the main pontoon.

The normal bow line can then be taken ashore and the helmsman can take the stern line.

As the finger pontoon is shorter than the boat, having this spring in place stops the bow moving forward as the stern is pulled in.

We later replaced the pick-up spring with a larger spring but you could just use the same rope.

We did try attaching the line at both ends of the pontoon to act as a both-way spring and to help pulling-in if being blown off the pontoon but in practice, for us, this was harder to attach to the cleat and often made the bow veer out if pulled too enthusiastically.

Going ahead gently on the spring with starboard wheel should pull the boat in if being blown off.

You could go further and have the bow and stern lines set up the same way (as I’ve seen on some small commercial vessels), but this system works very well and seems enough for us.

Continues below…

A man reversing a yacht to a pile mooring

How to pick up a pile mooring

Picking up a pile mooring can be a challenge – especially in a tidal harbour. David Harding explains how it’s…

Enjoy reading How to make an easy marina mooring pick-up device?

A subscription to Practical Boat Owner magazine costs around 40% less than the cover price.

Print and digital editions are available through Magazines Direct – where you can also find the latest deals.

PBO is packed with information to help you get the most from boat ownership – whether sail or power.

        • Take your DIY skills to the next level with trusted advice on boat maintenance and repairs
        • Impartial in-depth gear reviews
        • Practical cruising tips for making the most of your time afloat

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter