Docking Stern-to in Croatia - Part One (VIDEO)

January 19, 2022 - Docking stern-to is a technique typically used in many non-tidal harbours. It means that more boats can be accommodated in a smaller area, and eliminates the need for multiple pontoons. It is often referred to as ‘Med mooring’ due to how common a practice it is in Mediterranean countries. And it is often an unfamiliar practice to many sailors from other countries outside the Med. In countries like Greece, Med mooring is usually done by letting your anchor out before going astern to the local town dock or quay.

Here in Croatia, we do it a little differently. Many marina’s and town quays put down large mooring blocks with mooring lines attached to the blocks that are tied to the dock or quay. These lines are designed to be fixed to the bow of the boat to provide stability, while the stern of the boat will be secured to the dock by stern-lines. This arrangement allows the lines to be adjusted so that the boat can be secured a safe distance away from the dock, while also being close enough for those on board to step on and off using the plank that is usually provided with charter boats. 

Docking this way is easily the most stressful part of most sailing holidays here in Croatia. Especially if there is a cross-wind blowing when the skipper is at the helm maneuvering the boat. Out here in summer, we often see (and hear!) many high-tension docking situations. Lots of shouting. A fair amount of swearing. And even sometimes, damage to the boat itself. It’s a scary sight when you don’t understand what’s going on.

And docking stern-to doesn’t have to be such an intense high-pressure process. The team at 45 Degrees Sailing has put together a  couple of videos that break down the steps of docking to demonstrate where the critical moments are, and where you can work slowly to ensure that your boat and crew are safe at all times.

Today, we are going to share with you a birdseye view of what stern-to docking looks like in a marina. This video was filmed on a drone in Marina Kaštela by Nick from 45 Degrees Sailing. The boat is being docked by marina staff and Nick talks you through what the skipper and crew are doing throughout the docking process, as well as highlighting the effect that the wind is having on the boat as the skipper manoeuvres it into place on the pier.


Watch out for Part Two in this series, where we will share a video showing how a team of two manage stern-to docking on a town pier.

For more information about sailing in Croatia, check out Total Croatia, Sailing in Croatia: Your One-Stop-Shop for everything sailing.

For more about Travel in Croatia follow TCN's dedicated pages -  Travel.