anchoring, mooring, docking and beaching

Anchoring the seaplane is the easiest method of securing it on the water surface after a flight. The areas selected should be out of the way of moving vessels, and in water deep enough to ensure that the seaplane will not be left high and dry during low tide. The length of the anchor line should be approximately seven times the depth of the water. After dropping anchor with the seaplane headed into the wind, allow the seaplane to drift backward so the anchor is set. To determine that the anchor is holding the seaplane at the desired location, select two fixed objects nearby or on shore that are lined up, and check to assure that these objects remain aligned. If they do not, it means that the seaplane is drifting and dragging the anchor on the bottom. The effects of a wind shift must also be considered and sufficient room should be allowed in which the seaplane can swing around without striking other anchored vessels or nearby obstacles.

If anchoring the seaplane overnight or for longer periods of time, an additional, heavier anchor should be used. This anchor should be dropped about twice as far ahead as the first anchor and about thirty degrees to one side of the seaplane. Mooring a seaplane eliminates the problem of anchor dragging. A permanent mooring installation consists of a firmly implanted anchor or heavy weight connected by a wire or chain to a floating buoy. A mooring should be approached at a very low speed and straight into the wind. To avoid the possibility of overrunning the mooring, the engine should be shut down early and the seaplane allowed to coast to the mooring. The engine can always be started again if needed for better positioning. Never straddle the buoy with a twin float installation.

Always approach so as to have the buoy on the outside of the float to avoid damage to the propeller and underside of the fuselage. It is recommended that initial contact with the mooring be made with a boathook or a person standing on the deck of one float. If a person is on the float, the seaplane should be taxied right or left of the mooring so that the float on which the person is standing is brought directly alongside the buoy. A short line, which has one end already secured to a strut, can then be secured to the mooring. It is very important to exercise extreme caution whenever a person is assisting in securing a seaplane. Numerous accidents have been caused by the helper being struck by the propeller. The procedure for docking is essentially the same as that used for mooring. Properly planning the approach to the dock under existing conditions, and skill in handling the seaplane in congested areas are essential to successful docking.

Bear in mind that a seaplane is fragile and striking an obstruction could result in extensive damage to the airplane. Beaching the seaplane is easy. Success in beaching depends primarily upon the type and firmness of the shoreline. Inspect the beach before using it. If this is impossible, the approach to the beach should be made at an oblique angle so that the seaplane can be turned out into deeper water in the event the beach is not satisfactory. The hardest packed sand is usually found near the water's edge and becomes softer further from the water's edge where it is dry. Mud bottoms are usually not desirable for beaching.

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