Mooring securely


Swing Mooring, Pile Mooring or Marina Berth?

Suitable for boat up to 40′ (12m) or thereabouts but could be used for boat up to 60′ (18m)
The weight is proportional to the size of the boat
Mooring is inspected every three years or more often depending on the council regulations
Mooring Inspection Certificate required
Locate a mooring thinking about the tidal range, spring tide, winds, bottom conditions, low tide conditions, Does it dry out?
A new mooring can be laid or an existing mooring can be bought/rented
Mostly Council Owned but there are some privately owned swing mooring

COSTS: prices will vary depending on location and date (40’/12m boat example)
Access of Use (Buy): NZ$1600-$2000 for a new mooring
Annual Fee: NZ$202.40 (council owned)
Transfer of Ownership: NZ$50 (if buying an existing mooring)
Mooring Inspection: NZ$200+
Rent: NZ$70-100/month

Easy to moor/launch

No power
No fresh water washing hoses
To access the boat you need to travel by dinghy
Exposure to the elements
Possibility of coming lose in a storm
Possibility of neighbouring boat coming lose
Security monitoring lower
suitable for boats 40′ – 60′ (12-16m)
Pile fenders can be placed
Mostly council owned but there are some privately owned swing mooring

COSTS: prices will vary depending on location and date (40’/12m boat example)
Access of Use (Buy): None available, waiting list(council owned)
Annual Fee: NZ$747.50
Transfer of Ownership: NZ$50 (if buying an existing mooring)
Rent: NZ$294.50/month (privately owned)

Economical, cheaper than a marina berth, yet more expensive than a swing mooring

No power
No fresh water washing hoses
To access the boat you need to travel by dinghy
suitable for boats 27′ and above (8m and above)
Dock wheels can be fitted
Corner fenders can be fitted
Side fenders can be fitted to finger
Dinghy rack can be fitted to finger
Electrical Warrant of Fitness Certificate required to hook up to 240v at power outlet (valid for 4 years), cost NZ$80

COSTS: prices will vary depending on location and date (40’/12m boat example)
Access of Use (Buy): NZ$20,000 and up (privately owned)
Annual Fee: NZ$$3,600 and up
Transfer of Ownership: 1,440 or thereabouts
Rent: NZ$$600/month and up (privately owned)
$540 in Bayswater
$623.10 in Westhaven
$531 in Westpark
$805.50 in Orakei
$480 in Gulf Harbour (as at 2008)
$520 in Pine Harbour
$558 in Half Moon Bay
$510 in Opua
$780 in Waikawa, Havelock and Picton but that is visitor rates, contact office for lease rates

Fresh water hose access
Access to boat via finger or pier
Security cameras and security guards
More sheltered from the elements
Live aboard option
Berth holder car parking
WiFi access
laundry services
rubbish bins
close to self service fuel station
sheltered from waves by a breakwater

More expensive than both swing mooring and pile mooring
If Buying/Access of Use the contract is a leasehold and will most likely be valid for 10-30years (dependent on when you purchase) then at the end of the lease you will need to repurchase
If you have suggestions or corrections, do tell.

Sea Fever

It’s first and foremost a love story and it just happens to be themed on and around a boat. It was one of those easy, chatty toned summer reads that you pick up and not put down until the last page. I like it when I find a book that I don’t want to finish. It however is also a book on the dangers of sailing and what can go wrong. A book of warnings.
I sit in front of the screen and dream of picking a boat up from the other side of the world and sailing it back home with an experienced skipper and all will be smooth sailing. Reality check. It might be like that but chances are there will be problems.

What did I learn about boats?
A modern 406 MHz EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons), or emergency distress beacon is an essential piece of equipment when considering blue water cruising, sailing between countries on an open sea. Some activate when hitting water but others engage with the press of a button. And with luck you will be rescued within 24 hours. You do not press this button when you cannot find the cork screw and are in need of kitchen aid, you press this when your engine dies in the middle of the sea  and/or your mast has broken or you have a medical emergency. It is a beacon of last resort.
EPRIBs must be registered to give the best information to the coastguard. Emergency contact information and the description of boat, number of people on board, whether there is a life raft on board. If registered the coastguard can contact the designated person and verify whether or not the distress is real or just a false alarm for starters.
A 406 MHz EPIRB is one of the requirements for Category 1 NZ registered boats wishing to leave NZ waters to other parts of the world.
The New Zealand Country Code is 512.

Buying a boat without a survey is a case of buyer beware. AIWI, as is where is means that there is going to be some work to do. Travelling far to buy a boat is fine but to buy a boat because it happens to be  the last boat of three that you have travelled far to view and it appears to be the best of the worst and you don’t want to go home disappointed. Well honey, sometimes it is better to go home empty handed than to buy a lemon. Learning to say NO is an important lesson in life. A word that is small yet significant that we sometimes just cannot say for pride gets in our way.

The Coastguard are knights and ladies in shining armour.
I witnessed the rescue of a boat only yesterday. The engine died on a powerboat. The coastguard towed them back to their marina pier. All safe and sound. One family with a happy ending.  It pays to be a member of the coastguard. You never know when you might need their help. It’s a bit like insurance, you buy the service but you hope you never have to use it.

CO Detector


CO = Carbon Monoxide
A colourless, tasteless, odourless gas that could be formed from an engine, gas stove, gas oven or generator.

I was reading about using gas ovens and that if there is a carbon monoxide (CO) leak, your brain could become starved of oxygen and your thoughts jumbled and your concentration gone. Simple calculations cannot be performed. Or you just fall asleep and never wake up, death.
When the device detects CO it emits a high pitched sound, at 85 decibels, to alert you to the danger.
We want to be safe so I think this is a good safety measure to  have.
Hopefully a device that is never needed. Certainly worth the peace of mind.

Regular battery checks are advised.

Carbon Monoxide Alarm: First Alert CO400 Battery Powered
Warranty:  7 years
Alarm: 85 decibels
Batteries: 2 x AA included
Cost: US$18.49



Guess what it stands for…….Laugh Out Aboard?
Length Of Arm?
Emm. No, but close. We could be here all day, so I’ll just tell you.


LOA   See this and remember. If you acquire the right to use or rent a marina berth remember the LOA is all important.

So how long is a 40 foot berth really?
Is a 40 foot boat really 40 foot?
Does a 40 foot boat fit into a 40 foot berth?

Answers to  the above questions can be all answered by the words: It depends.

A 40 foot berth will usually be longer than 40 foot from the pier to the pole.

A boat might state on the plans length 39.5 feet but that is usually the length of the deck from bow to stern. The LOA is the length of the boat from bow to stern INCLUDING the anchor and the diving platform and the dinghy holder. It is the ultimate length and this is what is important for measuring whether your boat will fit into a certain sized berth or not. And remember you are supposed to leave a foot between the boat and the walkway to allow for movement.

A boat that is say 39.5 feet might actually have a LOA of 43 feet. If that were the case then it would be unsuitable for a 40 foot berth and would need to be moored in a longer berth.

In boating the longer the berth the more expensive the mooring charges, quite simply the bigger the boat, the bigger the expense. Same applies with maintenance.

LWL is LOAD WATERLINE LENGTH or WATERLINE LENGTH, the length of the boat when sitting in water, this will vary depending on the weather conditions, the load and the speed the vessel travels.

Anchors aweigh


Experience required to moor this vessel!

A berth is a place where a vessel is moored on water. Imagine a car and a car parking space, except with a vessel on water it’s tied up to something. A berth is is also called a slip or a mooring. A berth can be leased for a set period of time, say 30 years or for a casual daily rate. For the recreational boatie a vessel maybe moored in a marina or in a swing mooring or on a hard stand or dry stack.

SLIP: same as BERTH or a MOORING meaning a space where a vessel is moored.

HARD STAND: cradle/storage for your vessel on land, usually for short term for maintenance/repairs

DRY STACK: under cover storage on land for your vessel. Less exposure to the elements for the hull and engine.

SWING MOORING: same as SINGLE POINT MOORING, or SIMPLE MOORING meaning a mooring with a single anchoring system for a vessel. The vessel will swing around with the movement of the tide and wind. A dinghy is required to access your vessel.

DOUBLE MOORING: same as TWIN MOORING and FORE and AFT MOORING means a pair of swing moorings, allows for denser mooring of vessels. A dinghy is required to access your vessel.

PILE MOORING: a mooring where the vessel is tied to wooden pole or post, common only in New Zealand. A dinghy is required to access your vessel.

MARINA BERTH: a mooring where the vessel is tied to a pier. Sometimes there is a finger pier along one side the vessel. A finger pier is a smaller pier connecting a larger pier. Vessel can come without finger, one finger or finger piers on both sides of the vessel (rare).

The more I learn about boats the more questions I seem to have. Okay so the marina berth is the most secure and the swing mooring the least. So how do you attach your vessel to a swing mooring without doing damage to your vessel in bad weather? Rope or chain or a little of both? How long is just the right length? What is the depth at high tide and low tide? Is there a huge difference between tide depth? How often is the mooring checked? Whose responsibility is it to maintain the mooring? Which knot is best to secure a vessel to a pier? Do you use a different knot if it is a pile mooring? What is the difference between securing a vessel in a marina and a pile mooring? Where do you park your car while you are out sailing? How do you transport your supplies to the vessel? How many days do you plan for?




PILE MOORING, poles capped in green


SWING MOORING, buoy marks the mooring



Ajidon Marinated Jack Mackerel Rice Bowl


I created this recipe when I had too much marinated fish and leftover sushi rice.
Follow the recipe for Ajizushi found here. Follow it to the point where you have the fish and the rice prepared and come back and finish here with a twist.

Ajidon Recipe
sushi rice
marinated jack mackerel
4 green shiso leaves per bowl
soya sauce

Roughly chop the green shiso leaves.
Slice the jack mackerel into bite size pieces.
Place the rice into a deep bowl. (Do not pack down the rice.)
Arrange the green shiso over the rice.
Place the jack mackerel slices on top of the green shiso.
Serve immediately.
Drizzle soya sauce sparingly on top for extra flavour.

When spite of cormorant devouring Time


Latin Name: Phalocrocorax carbo novaehollandiae
Common Name: cormorant, black shag, black cormorant, great cormorant
Size: 90cm
Abundance: Abundant
Location: Everywhere, coastal, harbours, rivers, estuaries

I was fishing for snapper and I caught one. It was too small in size for the quota and so I carefully removed the hook with pliers and threw the undersized snapper back into the sea. You know what happened next. I wasn’t expecting it. The cormorant that was lurking nearby quickly grabbed the snapper into its mouth and opened wider and wider and swallowed it whole in one gulp. I watched in amazement. It was not a tiny fish yet not big enough for me to keep but all the same it was about three times or so the width of the neck of the bird. He swallowed it so easily and quickly. He looked so pleased with himself. I was impressed and in awe.  I just just kept repeating, “he ate my fish! Did you see that!” and then speechless for a few moments as time passed me by.

Ajishisomaki Tempura


Aji Shiso Maki Tempura Recipe
small jack mackerel, filleted with lateral line removed
shiso leaves, 2 per fillet
1 egg
1/2c ice cold water
1/2c high grade flour, sifted
ponzu sauce


Preheat fryer to 170 degrees.
Sandwich the jack mackerel fillet with green shiso leaves and secure with a toothpick.
Break an egg into a bowl and whisk.
Add the water to the egg and whisk again.
Add the flour and lightly whisk until just blended.
When all is ready dip the toothpicked jack mackerel into the tempura batter then into the fryer.
Cook until golden, or approximately 1 minute.
Serve immediately with ponzu sauce.