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Old 09-17-2018, 10:40 AM   #1
ThePlut
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Default Mooring vs. Slips

Hi all,

We have started looking for a place up on the lake after all these years. Mostly looking at associations/condos of some kind, going to open houses, etc... We went to one this weekend, and rather than a deeded slip (which is what I've been hoping for), this place had moorings and day docks. Not all the moorings were filled either, so it seems pretty likely that a day dock would be open a lot.

I've no experience using moorings, so I'm interested in some insight from those that do. Part of the reason to do this is to spend more/easier time on the boat, so it kinda seems like a mooring makes that a lot more challenging (less "hey, let's head out for a run", sort of thing).

I've never even used a mooring before, so any insight or helpful commentary would be appreciated. Should I hold out for a deeded dock, or if everything else checks out, is a mooring not as big an issue as it seems?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-17-2018, 11:41 AM   #2
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I've always had a slip, but close friends used a mooring in Narragansett Bay. The big differencve there, compared to most Winni moorings is that their marina had a 20 foot launch to carry you to/from the mooring. A lot easier than an 8 foot dinghy when it is windy or raining. Trying to fasten that last canvas snap while reaching out of a dinghy could be problematic. On the other hand if you don't have a difficult button-up, and you're in a protected area, I would think the mooring could be easier than backing into a slip. If your association docks have ice damage, there could be some sort of assessment or higher HOA fees to pay for rebuilding. Rare that a mooring has ice damage. What's your boat's draft? Will the slip have enough depth all season long? How big is your boat? If you upgrade, will the new boat fit in the assigned slip?
If you plan to rent or let family use the unit I feel like renters would rather have a slip and might pay more, but I don't really know. Lots of questions.
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Old 09-17-2018, 11:45 AM   #3
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Default Good questions

I haven't found "the house" with a slip yet, so those are all things I'll be thinking of.

The association itself is in Gilford, so open to the broads, so I would imagine wind and waves are a concern while trying to get on the mooring ball. I've never done that before so I don't really know how challenging that can be. The moorings look pretty well spaced out. My boat has a big swim platform where you can stand after finishing putting the covers on (trading in for a new Cobalt R5, 25'8"). So no issue with that part, although I ponder how one moves from the tender, whatever it is, from the boat and back without smacking things together, particularly on a windier or rougher day.

The question about ice damage and how the association "works" is all on my list of questions as I start looking at homes during this process (lots to learn still)

The day docks seem plenty deep to me, the water was so clear that it's hard to tell. I'd have to go back with an actual tape measure, but I doubt water depth is an issue.
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Old 09-17-2018, 12:48 PM   #4
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I dunno how they work, but the boats at mooring in our cove are used far less than those that are docked.

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Old 09-17-2018, 12:49 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ThePlut View Post
I haven't found "the house" with a slip yet, so those are all things I'll be thinking of.

The association itself is in Gilford, so open to the broads, so I would imagine wind and waves are a concern while trying to get on the mooring ball. I've never done that before so I don't really know how challenging that can be. The moorings look pretty well spaced out. My boat has a big swim platform where you can stand after finishing putting the covers on (trading in for a new Cobalt R5, 25'8"). So no issue with that part, although I ponder how one moves from the tender, whatever it is, from the boat and back without smacking things together, particularly on a windier or rougher day.

The question about ice damage and how the association "works" is all on my list of questions as I start looking at homes during this process (lots to learn still)

The day docks seem plenty deep to me, the water was so clear that it's hard to tell. I'd have to go back with an actual tape measure, but I doubt water depth is an issue.
As long as your mooring ball is well secured, your boat will ride out storms better than at a dock, unless you have a lift as well.
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Old 09-17-2018, 01:21 PM   #6
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Default Even walkable is a pain

Family had a beach mooring on Cape Cod that we could wade/swim to. Fun when you are 13. Having a slip is the way for me. I need shore power for my trolling motor batteries also. A mooring means owning 2 boats...
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Old 09-17-2018, 02:21 PM   #7
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Default Mooring vs Slip

We have a house with a seasonal dock that is not secure enough for our larger boat, so it stays out on the mooring. In our case it's a necessity, but it does make it harder to use the boat. I hand-paddle a kayak out and climb onto the swim platform. In wavy conditions, it can be challenging. I then have to bring the boat to the dock to pick up passengers. That can be challenging in windy conditions unless I go to the trouble to tie up the boat. It's all possible, but it adds effort and time.

We also have a 13' Whaler that we can keep at the dock, and we generally hop in that boat for a quick ride. (Sometimes I take the Whaler out to the mooring.) So the boat on the mooring gets used a lot less.

Before we bought the house, we looked at a condo that had a mooring alternate years, and we decided against it, partly for that reason. You should consider resale in addition to your own preferences.
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Old 09-17-2018, 02:29 PM   #8
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Thanks!

I definitely wouldn't consider the "alternate year" options. In this case, there are 8 units, and 8 moorings (1 per unit) and a day dock setup that would support 5 boats. I'm not sure how you get in and out, although I did see a couple of paddle boats, but I don't suspect they want you keeping a small whaler type thing there. Of course, currently only 1 owner even has a boat...
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Old 09-17-2018, 02:37 PM   #9
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I decided against a house in a community that has slips by alternating years. To me I was buying a lake house to have a slip and use it yearly, not this years a hassle to use the boat but next year will be better. Mooring has its purposes, I would put mine out on the mooring in rough weather. But nothing beats the comforts of a boat slip to me.
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Old 09-17-2018, 03:06 PM   #10
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Thanks!

I definitely wouldn't consider the "alternate year" options. In this case, there are 8 units, and 8 moorings (1 per unit) and a day dock setup that would support 5 boats. I'm not sure how you get in and out, although I did see a couple of paddle boats, but I don't suspect they want you keeping a small whaler type thing there. Of course, currently only 1 owner even has a boat...
Keep in mind that you were there this weekend- some boats may be out for the season. Also, if they allow rentals, those boats would not have been there this past weekend either.
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Old 09-17-2018, 03:50 PM   #11
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The agent, who was there for the open house and seemed to know everyone who lived there on a first name basis or, told me that there was only one owner who currently had a boat.

Of course, no guarantee it stays that way but at least the mooring is a lock.

Overwhelming feedback seems to be that, for a boater, a mooring is a hassle.

That's kinda what I thought, but since all these places we've look at so far seem to have their own compromises, I was hoping to get feedback whether or not a mooring was one of those compromises that I was making too big a deal of... The place itself hit a lot of our wants.

Thank you all so far!
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Old 09-17-2018, 04:55 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ThePlut View Post
That's kinda what I thought, but since all these places we've look at so far seem to have their own compromises, I was hoping to get feedback whether or not a mooring was one of those compromises that I was making too big a deal of... The place itself hit a lot of our wants.

Thank you all so far!
When deciphering if a mooring is worth compromising for over a dock, you suggest entering the following points into your thinking:

1. How much weekend boating do you plan to do?
2. If weekend boating is on your hit list, if the morning in a high traffic area of the lake such that it will likely be rough when trying to move your boat to and from the morning.
3. Are there time restrictions on the day dock that make it hard to leave your boat there between rides when you are entertaining?

remember accessing the mooring on a busy weekend is one thing, accessing it during the week is another, especially if you are in a busy area of the lake.
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Old 09-17-2018, 05:30 PM   #13
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Default Hey Fay!

In Gilford, you could be in an association and keep your boat at Fay's Boat Yard.

Last edited by Barney Bear; 09-18-2018 at 10:11 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 09-17-2018, 08:28 PM   #14
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I have a seasonal dock on the lake and also had a mooring installed soon after we bought our cottage. Being on the lake near Doe point the bay gets really choppy and I prefer to leave my Tritoon on the mooring and ride out all sorts of weather. In the early spring I kayak out to get the boat, in the summer I swim out and back , not a problem at all.
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Old 09-17-2018, 08:41 PM   #15
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In Gilford, you could be is an association and keep your boat at Fay's Boat Yard.
That is pretty true in any town on the lake. You can own property and keep your boat in whatever marina you would like that has available slips for rent or sale. That works well until the slip market gets really tight and the prices go up.
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Old 09-18-2018, 10:07 AM   #16
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A friend on Sebago kept his boat on a mooring. Worked good 20 yrs ago but as he (we) got older it became a hassle to swim or paddle boat out, climb on, take the cover off & put it back on, etc. He ended up renting a slip in a marina 15 min away. Not something I would do. It makes going boating something you can’t do spontaneously. It becomes a planned project.


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Old 09-18-2018, 10:15 AM   #17
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Not something I would do. It makes going boating something you can’t do spontaneously. It becomes a planned project.

Thank you, this is PRECISELY what I am hoping to avoid.

Stick with my original plan, slip, no moorings...
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Old 09-18-2018, 11:23 AM   #18
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As long as your mooring ball is well secured, your boat will ride out storms better than at a dock, unless you have a lift as well.
100% spot on here, another thing to note is what is the rules of the day dock. Where we are we have docks and moorings and there is a day dock we hold people to 20 minutes on the day dock to allow for boats to use it. Day dock sometimes means all day to some people.
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Old 09-18-2018, 03:59 PM   #19
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100% spot on here, another thing to note is what is the rules of the day dock. Where we are we have docks and moorings and there is a day dock we hold people to 20 minutes on the day dock to allow for boats to use it. Day dock sometimes means all day to some people.
“Some people” Ha! Seems they’re all over the lake as well. They just dont care about rules or regulations (laws) I could go on and on...
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Old 09-20-2018, 10:01 AM   #20
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We purchased property in a small HOA of 9 homes with 5 slips and 4 moorings that rotate from slip to mooring each year. Being it was our first year in the HOA, we were on the mooring this year. The location is a protected cove so the water is typically very calm. The few times the water has been rough, I did not want to be on the water anyway. Taking the kayak to the boat has not been an issue. I actually enjoy the short trip. That said, I do wonder what I will do when I am over 65 and have to row to the boat.

Bottom line - Other than the time the pendant came unscrewed(my own fault!) and the boat drifted to the end of the cove, being on a mooring has been fine. It has not stopped me from taking boat trips even for short trips to get the mail in downtown Wolfeboro.
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Old 09-20-2018, 03:00 PM   #21
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Default Mooring vs slips

There is absolutely no question that a slip is better, but, don't sell yourself short, ThePlut, if the only choice is a mooring - you will improve your boating skills and techniques to meet the challenge.
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Old 09-20-2018, 06:59 PM   #22
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Best of luck on your search.
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