Chartering vacations in Croatia are a true joy if you love the smell of the sea, the wind in your hair, and the dynamic atmosphere of summertime. Nevertheless, the sea is a fickle force and while you're navigating through your perfect holiday it is very important to secure yourself throughout your trip. This is especially important when you take a break from traveling around and decide to spend a night in a peaceful Adriatic lagoon. In this situation you definitely want to make sure your boat won't end up in the Italian territorial waters while you dream of naval adventures. Even though docking in the marina is an exceptionally safe option, sometimes it is more convenient to attach to a mooring buoy.
Adriatic coast, due to its high indentation, is a perfect place for exploring numerous coves, bays and lagoons. In addition to that most of these places offer mooring buoys for securing your vessel. Since we doubt anyone would like to spend their holiday chased around by a mob of angry local fishermen (except perhaps fans of extreme sports), when renting out yachts, we always advise our clients to take note of following issues concerning mooring to a buoy.
Make sure the buoy is strong enough to support your vessel
A general rule when determining the strength of the mooring buoy is that the size of the buoy indicates how large a vessel it can support. However it is always a good idea to double check and be sure. You can check this by taking a short dive and examine the size of the buoy's weight. Buoys are usually attached to concrete weights and once you check the size of the weight you can safely determine if the buoy is secure enough for your boat. In case you're not a diving type, you can always come ashore and ask the owner that provides the buoys.
Take care not to occupy a private buoy
In respect to this issue there are two types of mooring buoys you should be aware of. First type, are the buoys that are set up at a certain location as a professional service and they are used for the purposes of naval tourism. Today, most coves in Croatia that have buoys are a part of such service. This type of mooring is a paid service and you can be certain that all buoys offered, are secure enough for most frequently used types of boats (approximately 10-17 meters of length). The owners of larger vessels (30 meters or more) should first check with the concessionaire of the cove whether there is a chance to moor the vessel of that size in the area.
Second type, are buoys set up as a part of municipal services in ports or coves that are close to certain settlements. Some of these buoys are available for mooring, but most of them belong to a private owner and you shouldn't attach your boat to them without checking with someone on shore first. Mooring to a private buoy can result in many problems. First of all such a buoy might not be suited to the size of your boat and the vessel might end up sailing away to the sunset together with the buoy’s anchor. Secondly, owners usually tend to be upset if they, upon returning to the port, find someone else attached to their buoy in their absence. In this case the most prudent thing is to come ashore and check, with the local people or the employees of the municipal port, which buoys are available for mooring. The exception to this rule occurs in the case of a storm, when you're advised to tie down to a first appropriate available buoy and wait until the storm passes. It is highly unlikely that the owner will appear in the middle of the storm and even if they do they will probably understand your situation.
Things to take care of while tying to a buoy
When mooring to a buoy you can secure your pennants either to the top or the bottom of the buoy. Attaching to the top of the buoy is usually used for lightweight vessels and it is convenient because you can keep your eye on the attachment hardware. When using this type of mooring make sure to take note of the type of the top loop or ring on the buoy. On its top, the buoy can have either a metal ring or a plastic loop. You should avoid tying your boat to the plastic loop because it is more likely to wear out. In this case it is preferable to tie your mooring lines at the base of the buoy directly to the anchor chain or rope. This second type of buoy mooring is also preferred in case of heavier vessels. It is always a good idea to check the state of the mooring buoy so you don’t tie down to some worn out equipment.
Now that you’ve securely snuggled up to the mooring buoy relax and enjoy the wide range of adventures and activities the Adriatic coast has in store for you.