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
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
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
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
Bear in mind that a seaplane is fragile and striking
an obstruction could result in extensive damage to the
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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