Sailfast Marine & Logistics Ltd. Mooring operations begin when the lookout (Marine Controller) alerts the mooring services via VHF (Channel 12). Upon receiving the call, they organise the personnel and resources required by the operation. The tonnage of the ship will determine what degree of on-shore resources is called for. Up to two mooring boats can be provided for the service, suitably equipped to handle the manoeuvre, with two mooring men per boat and one or two mooring boats, in addition to the presence of a skipper and sailor.

The task of the skipper and sailor is twofold: firstly, they ensure that the manoeuvring of the vessel is carried out safely under the command of the on-board maritime pilot, who gives them the order to hand the mooring lines over to shore; secondly, they provide the company with further assurances of safety by giving the mooring men as many lines as possible to ensure a faster and safe service.


Key aspects of mooring

  • What function do mooring men provide?

The tasks of mooring men consist of securing/reeving ships to the dock by tying ropes (lines) to bollards (a sturdy post firmly fixed to the dock). When a ship sets sail, the mooring men are once again called upon, but this time to unmoor the ship.

  • Who is involved in the manoeuvre?

The mooring men, at the start of the docking manoeuvre, use two types of resources, both human and mechanical. On shore, two mooring men usually drive a fully equipped boats to perform the task, towing by the vessel stem (bow and stern), if required; at sea, this is carried out by a boat with a skipper and sailor. The mooring boats are designed and built to the specifications required of these vessels so that manoeuvres may be carried out safely, quickly and economically.

  • What does a manoeuvre consist of?


The operation or manoeuvre starts when, via VHF, the marine traffic controller reports that a ship is approaching the port, with a maritime pilot on board (harbour master). Mooring men take their places on shore and at sea near the mooring dock to wait for the ship. Once the boat is close by, the mooring men along the dock and in the mooring boats use the lines tossed from the ship to berth it. They do so under the guidance of the pilot and on-board officers, always with the professionalism and criterion of the mooring profession, which must always prevail in dynamic and unpredictable work such as this.

  • What tasks do mooring boats perform?

The mooring boat’s job is to stay near the ship when the crew feeds the line, and, under the expertise of the skipper and the sailor, it transfers the mooring lines to the other mooring men on shore so they can reeve the ship.

  • How are lines brought ashore when no mooring boat is involved?

A crowned rope (thin line with a weight on one end) is thrown ashore and this is picked up by the mooring men. At the other end of the rope splice, the sailors on board moor the line and are then brought in by the mooring men until sufficiently close to the dock, where the mooring splice is secured on the bollard.