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Old 07-10-2015, 08:20   #1
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Using Shorefasts

Our cruising plan is to sail down to Patagonia in 2017.This will undoubtedly be the most demanding cruising we've yet done - by a long way... So my imagination is going...


We're sailing down one of the Chilean canals on the west coast south of Puerto Montt. Our plan is to make daily hops from one anchorage to the next, dawdling when we feel like it, making best use of weather when we can.

As we're sailing one afternoon, the wind is picking up and it's somewhat erratic, blowing 10 knots one moment and 25 the next. The afternoon is moving on and the planned destination for the day is another 10 miles ahead.

By the time we round the corner into the channel we've selected for our anchorage, dusk is falling, it's raining and the gusts are now up to 35kts. Making matters worse, the winds are swirling around through the entrances of the channels...

We manage to get in fairly tight to the shore, anchoring in 60ft with 300ft scope, gaining a degree of protection from the wind, but due to the failing light, we're out further than we'd like (700 - 1,000ft) and remain more exposed than we'd like... The boat is getting swung around on her anchor...

It would seem this is the time to set a shorefast - but every time I see a photo of a boat with lines going ashore, it's always picture perfect flat calm weather - anyone could attach shorelines in those conditions - not sure how we'd manage with the wind veering and gusting and light is failing...


Is this a realistic scenario? Got any words of comfort? Got any advice???


Never having used a shorefast ever...

What's the right material for a shorefast?

The end that gets attached to shore will need to be chafe resistant - do you use wire? Chain? Thicker rope? How long should the chafe resistant link be?

What options are there for storing the shorefasts - reels, bags?

How long should the shorefast be?

Do you take all the line to shore and attach and then bring the end back to the boat, or do you attach line to boat and pull the end of the line to the shore?

If using two shorefasts, do you take both ashore at once?

Would you attach shorefasts in these nasty conditions or set an anchor watch and deal with shorefasts when everything has calmed down in the morning?


Your thoughts, critique and advice very much appreciated!
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Old 07-10-2015, 09:15   #2
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Re: Using Shorefasts

First, for me at least, 5:1 scope in deteriorating/unstable conditions is not enough.

I would be worried about beaching snd launching a dink in those conditions. If you are comfortable with that and have good attachment point/s ashore i would leave the line attached to the boat and have some one pay it out while you tske the tackle ashore.

Chaffing gear prediction would be dificult from behind my keyboard. You will need to evaluate the situation and protect areas that are subject to chafe.


If it is to rough to dink ashore you could set 2 anchors. Depending on how you configure them you could reduce your swing or even orient your bow independent of wind direction. And you can do 2 anchors without having to launch the dink if you are set up with enough scope
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Old 07-10-2015, 14:40   #3
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Re: Using Shorefasts

Last year, there was a thread about "Mediterranean mooring" on CF, that discussed this topic: Mediterranean Mooring

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Old 07-10-2015, 15:17   #4
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Re: Using Shorefasts

A couple of tricks are to anchor first, then motor inshore and run a bow line ashore. Then you transfer the bow line to the stern and swing the ship.

Another is to send the dinghy in ahead to set up a shore line mooring system with a bouy or floating line out to a pickup spot. Then you reverse in, dropping your anchor as you go, pick up the floating lines and winch yourself back in.

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Old 11-10-2015, 19:38   #5
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Re: Using Shorefasts

Now I know what a shorefast is.
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Old 11-10-2015, 20:24   #6
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Re: Using Shorefasts

More commonly called a beach line, I use it all the time for different combination of reasons.

1....Steep drop off into very deep water

2.....Surrounded by coral mounts too numerous to allow swinging room

3.....To take advantage of a beautiful small protective bight, not normally an anchorage, when consistent wind and weather conditions make it a special and worthwhile stop. Often to be close to a diving pass or shore excursion.


I carry 3 x 50m heavy Polly line for this purpose.

Once surveyed with yacht, I usually drop anchor and lay considerable chain towards chosen position.

Tender is already launched and secured alongside (fore and aft) with Poly line flaked on board together with a long nylon line on top ready to go to a primary winch, via a stern cleat.

Once crew is satisfied anchor position is perfect, run slow astern to maintain position one boat length further inshore, while tender runs out beach line already rove to winch.

Add sections as required and secure bitter end to strong point as high as possible to avoid tidal chafe. ( i use old section of fire hose where line is tied around tree trunk or rock cropping with a bowline.

Once secure, shore person signals that beach line slack is taken up and winch pulls line reasonably tight and line is transferred to stern cleat.

Reverse propulsion is eased off while stern line is adjusted and shore person confirms all looks secure and protected.

Final adjustments are made with anchor to balance tension fore and aft.

It is a lot of work, so would not consider doing for a short overnight stop or in unsettled weather.

Here is one of my favorite bights in the Philippines.


Bill, for your scenario of unsettled weather and failing light , I would anchor and maintain a watch.

If it is a location you wish to linger, survey and beach tie in morning when conditions are normally calmer.....slow and easy...:thumbup:
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Old 12-10-2015, 09:53   #7
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Re: Using Shorefasts

I personally hate shorefasts, or beach lines. If the wind changes on you you can have massive windage from the beam which can put large loads on your anchor, which you set in one direction by backing down to get closer to shore. We drug our anchor in Fiji one time. The small anchorage was chock a block with other boats and it was very deep in the middle. But at 11pm I had just gone to my berth and the wind changed from the north (where the small chop was from and our bow was pointed) to the east - 20 kts. Our stern anchor on the beach in good sand held but our bow was blown over. I woke up hearing the surf washing down the beach.

Closest we ever came to losing the boat. I had to put a buoy on the stern line and cut it and then spent a couple of hours trying to reanchor in the middle of the bay. If you use shorefasts (new word for me too), be very careful. But lots of people use them cruising up to Alaska because many of the anchorages are very deep and you have to get close to shore. For that very reason we may or may not go up there. From what I have heard Chile is similar. I would love to go there myself but would be wary of shorefasts.

One of the best setups I have seen for them is to have the rope rode (preferably floating type) on a reel at the stern. You usually need quite a bit of it. Some use a flat 1" nylon strap for the rode and it lies flat on the skinny reel.

I am a nervous nelly about using them but many cruisers use them all the time.
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:47   #8
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Re: Using Shorefasts

The marine education I received taught a 4:1 rode for chain and 7:1 for line. A few feet of chain on the anchor doesn't count as chain. You don't say what you use on your anchor. Those numbers are for average conditions, not riding out a storm or anchoring in a fast current.
An anchor and it's rode are safety equipment, not just a convenience. It needs to stop your vessel and hold it in position when all else fails. I prefer remote places, but I carefully pick my anchorages and I often anchor in deep water and keep enough chain to make 7:1 in a new anchorage. I also carry a 2nd anchor and spare heavy line that can be used for an additional anchor line, towing or docking. In Alaska I have never found the need to run a line ashore. Maybe that's luck or picking a good anchorage.
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Old 12-10-2015, 11:05   #9
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Re: Using Shorefasts

We've used these at the other extreme in latitudes, in Alaska. One of my favorites is to find a "cove" or bight in the coast and just tie up bow and stern to the shore without any anchor out.

For chafe you need two kinds of devices; a length of 5-15m of chain for wrapping around rocks and leading back across the shingle to your rode. For trees, however, chain is not desirable, for that we use a 3" (75mm) wide nylon cargo strap (one of the really heavy-duty ones used by truckers for securing cargo). That can be safely wrapped around a tree without damaging the bark/tree. I keep a couple of 10m straps on board with eyes in both ends. Depending on the length needed we rig them choker style on the tree or may double them.

I really favor a hard rowing dinghy for the conditions you describe, easy for one person to get right up on the rocks without having to worry about outboards, trailing lines, etc. A hard rowing dinghy is a luxury most don't have room for, but IMO well worth considering for the type of work the OP describes.
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Old 12-10-2015, 14:59   #10
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Re: Using Shorefasts

We used cheap 3 strand floating poly lines. Normally we didn't bother with antichafe, just tied a big bowline around the tree in the beagle, or a rock in Antarctica. But when I tied up in Cape Denison, I used wire around the rocks to cope with the very strong katabatics.

Sometimes I thought a heavy stern anchor setup would make life easy, reverse into your spot, drop the stern anchor to hold you there while you run your stern lines.

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Old 12-10-2015, 20:37   #11
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Re: Using Shorefasts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Balme View Post
Our cruising plan is to sail down to Patagonia in 2017.This will undoubtedly be the most demanding cruising we've yet done - by a long way... So my imagination is going...

Lucky You! its a wonderful place.

We're sailing down one of the Chilean canals on the west coast south of Puerto Montt. Our plan is to make daily hops from one anchorage to the next, dawdling when we feel like it, making best use of weather when we can.

Gribs give you reasonable weather info for those regions, of course local conditions vary wildly, but knowing what the gradient wind is doing at sea gives you a good heads up

As we're sailing one afternoon, the wind is picking up and it's somewhat erratic, blowing 10 knots one moment and 25 the next. The afternoon is moving on and the planned destination for the day is another 10 miles ahead.

By the time we round the corner into the channel we've selected for our anchorage, dusk is falling, it's raining and the gusts are now up to 35kts. Making matters worse, the winds are swirling around through the entrances of the channels..

We manage to get in fairly tight to the shore, anchoring in 60ft with 300ft scope, gaining a degree of protection from the wind, but due to the failing light, we're out further than we'd like (700 - 1,000ft) and remain more exposed than we'd like... The boat is getting swung around on her anchor...
Thats an OK scope in those conditions, given the amount of chain you have out the catenery is large and the drag of the cian through the water damps the loads on the anchor. A good snubber helps alot, but I am sure you know this.

It would seem this is the time to set a shorefast - but every time I see a photo of a boat with lines going ashore, it's always picture perfect flat calm weather - anyone could attach shorelines in those conditions - not sure how we'd manage with the wind veering and gusting and light is failing...
Answer is you dont, if you have pleanty of swinging room, and your anchor is holding. You are secure enough you set some anchor watches, or sleep lightly with alarms set. Sometimes you can run a long line ashore and warp her into a snug cove, but if youre cutting it late and you're on the move in the morning its fine to anchor out. Sometimes there is no suitible anchorages shallow enough, or big enough to anchor out in. then you have to get creative, or blame your poor planning skills that got you into the spot in the first place!


Is this a realistic scenario? Got any words of comfort? Got any advice???
Yes, but it's not a big drama, you just might have a bouncy night, but even with a good shoreline setup you are probably going to have a less than restful night in many places. Catch up on sleep during the day, and and count your sleep in and out like you do amphours in your battery... Recharge when you can, conserve and don't get below 50%

Never having used a shorefast ever...

What's the right material for a shorefast?

Floating Polyethlene is pretty standard. about 12-16mm for a 40 footer. 3 Strand is fine. There is a lot of varibility in the strength. go for some of the high strength stuff, but it also needs to be UV resistant and soft enough to be easy to handle. If you can find 8 plait even better, but good luck... Floating is far better than sinking, though in ice sinking stuff can be handy, but it esier to add some weights to sink it under the any ice.

Nylon is horrible to handle and expensive, and sinks. If I had lots of money I might go for a long dyneema rope or two, maybe 8mm on a spool.



The end that gets attached to shore will need to be chafe resistant - do you use wire? Chain? Thicker rope? How long should the chafe resistant link be?
I wouldn't get to carried away, old mooring lines work, but it wont chafe much overnight. as I wrote above I used wire leaders, about 10meteres long in Commonweath bay, but the place has the highest average windspeed in the world!

What options are there for storing the shorefasts - reels, bags?

Both work well, I'd have a mix, one reel is handy for that important first line and 3 bags are fine for the others. maybe a big plastic bin would work, or just coil them on deck and lash them to the staunchions. the reel can be used at sea as a series drogue or drogue line storage.

How long should the shorefast be?
From memory mine were about 120meters. or Half a reel of rope. if you need longer you join two together. Ask El Pingueno what he uses.
Do you take all the line to shore and attach and then bring the end back to the boat, or do you attach line to boat and pull the end of the line to the shore?
Whatever works, but normally flake about ten meetrs into the dinghy, and make it fast, then just let it unreel, or pay out from the boat. you might need some leads to let it run without tangling if you are shorthanded. the stuff in the dinghy helps you to make it fast ashore.

If using two shorefasts, do you take both ashore at once?
Sometimes. ideally you run 4 shorelines, and no weight goes on the anchor, if the cove is tight this works well. It really depends on the cove. If you have a good beach running two at once can work, but more often than not its quicker to run them separately.

Would you attach shorefasts in these nasty conditions or set an anchor watch and deal with shorefasts when everything has calmed down in the morning?
Depends entirely on the bay. and my crew. If in any doubt I'd leave it till the morning.


Your thoughts, critique and advice very much appreciated!
Its not alll that hard, but it can be slow, sometimes taking an hour to set up a secure systrem. You need to think about that important first line. Good crew helps, as does an outboard. Sometimes we used the 10HP and dinghy as a tug to help hold the boat in position while the shorelines where run. But it is possible with oars as well. If using oars flake the line down into the dink to save having to drag it through the water.
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Old 12-10-2015, 20:47   #12
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Re: Using Shorefasts

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Two lines astern, caletta Ola. Strong westerly winds blow over the low trees from astern, off the land, anchor takes very little load. Easy enough to Tie in even in a blow, but anchoring out would be fine.

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An Ideal 4 line cove. Anchors doing nothing important. One very long line off the port quarter. Not an easy spot to get into in a blow, but soft mud, so if it goes pear shaped youd likely just run aground in soft stuff until you lines are rigged and you pull her back into the middle. In your scenario I'd wait outside and shift in in the morning.

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Another westerly anchorage. just two shore lines astern, you'd get by with one, and you could anchor our if needed.
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Old 12-10-2015, 21:54   #13
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Re: Using Shorefasts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Balme View Post
Our cruising plan is to sail down to Patagonia in 2017.This will undoubtedly be the most demanding cruising we've yet done - by a long way... So my imagination is going...


We're sailing down one of the Chilean canals on the west coast south of Puerto Montt. Our plan is to make daily hops from one anchorage to the next, dawdling when we feel like it, making best use of weather when we can.

As we're sailing one afternoon, the wind is picking up and it's somewhat erratic, blowing 10 knots one moment and 25 the next. The afternoon is moving on and the planned destination for the day is another 10 miles ahead.

By the time we round the corner into the channel we've selected for our anchorage, dusk is falling, it's raining and the gusts are now up to 35kts. Making matters worse, the winds are swirling around through the entrances of the channels...

We manage to get in fairly tight to the shore, anchoring in 60ft with 300ft scope, gaining a degree of protection from the wind, but due to the failing light, we're out further than we'd like (700 - 1,000ft) and remain more exposed than we'd like... The boat is getting swung around on her anchor...



It would seem this is the time to set a shorefast - but every time I see a photo of a boat with lines going ashore, it's always picture perfect flat calm weather - anyone could attach shorelines in those conditions - not sure how we'd manage with the wind veering and gusting and light is failing...


Is this a realistic scenario? Got any words of comfort? Got any advice???


Never having used a shorefast ever...

What's the right material for a shorefast?
see below


The end that gets attached to shore will need to be chafe resistant - do you use wire? Chain? Thicker rope? How long should the chafe resistant link be?

Never ever felt the need... never ever needed

What options are there for storing the shorefasts - reels, bags?
See below

How long should the shorefast be?
As short as possible

Do you take all the line to shore and attach and then bring the end back to the boat, or do you attach line to boat and pull the end of the line to the shore?
Take the line ashore, tie a very long bowline so you don't have to scramble up the rockface a second time

If using two shorefasts, do you take both ashore at once?
No

Would you attach shorefasts in these nasty conditions or set an anchor watch and deal with shorefasts when everything has calmed down in the morning?
see below


Your thoughts, critique and advice very much appreciated!
In my time down there( 2004/2012..all months except July) I can count the number of times I've come into a 'hot' anchorage on the fingers of one hand and only in one of them was I unable to run shore lines on arrival ( I use the smallest dinghy that Achilles make... no engine but longer than standard oars.).

You won't be running shore lines from 700/1000 feet out.
However I suggest 2 x full coils and 2 x half coils of 12mm polyprop... it floats..its cheap... easily bought in Pto Montt. I stow them in 'balsas para verduras' ( very cheap.... you get a year or two out of them) with a bit of garden hose sewn into the neck and a bit of string to hang em up under the boom.( see one of the pics in my profile) When running them the lines(wo)man takes a bit ashore with them in the boat as that comes in handy when scaling a rock face.... a long painter tied to the belt is also handy so the dinghy doesn't go bugger orf...

The secret is to plan your day so that you do have daylight. Good anchorages are sheltered... thats why they are good anchorages.... but as said by Snowpetrel... if life is difficult just go nose in, drop a kedge off the back of the boat, run a cupla head lines and sort it out later.

About the only place I recall dropping in deep water was Slocum's Notch but then you back up to within 2 or 3 metres of the land and do a three line tieoff.

Hope this helps.
Ping

Some photos attached to show you what you are dealing with..in the first one you can see a rather overexposed rope bag.
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Old 12-10-2015, 22:02   #14
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Re: Using Shorefasts

Some more pics... the third and fifth are in Slocum's Notch..... it can be blowing 40 knots less than 10 metres off to port while you are having tea and tabnabs in the cockpit.
The 4th is Puerto King... it was blowing 40 knots just the other side of that knoll when the pic was taken.

Re the ropes.... you don't often need a full coil.... in fact very rarely... but good to have when you want it...Anchor and two lines ( which you can't see) .. Caleta Parmelia...
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Old 12-10-2015, 22:45   #15
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Re: Using Shorefasts

Not certain if it is applicable but I spent a couple of years beach combing on my own in the PNW where it was necessary to get ashore, with access back to my boat which was an old very large power skiff off a big off shore dragger. The boat was aluminum with a hugh grey marine engine, about 300 HP, cuddy cabin with diesel stove, head and single bunk. It also had a canvas bulkhead aft of the cuddy.
My normal anchor/tie up procedure would be to anchor off shore about 3 boat lengths with 5-7:1 scope out then let out another five boat lengths of anchor line, back down until I could hop ashore with a 1 1/2 inch piece of hause line, tie off to a tree or use a shackle and run the line through the shackle, pull the stern of the boat in to the beach and let out sufficient stern line until I had brought the anchor line in to about 7:1 scope. I was alone without a skiff/dinghy and would walk the beach or rock cliffs in both directions hunting for logs that had popped out of booms in heavy weather and use a peavy to roll them down to the water out of the rocks or as close as I could then dog them together for gathering the next day. Particularly valuable logs I marked, clean skinned them(cut the butt end off if there was a logging brand on it... Don't know if that is legal to do today), have a sleep and do my boom make up the next day and pull the higher and drier logs off the beach with my little boat. Made great money but nearly lost my life a couple of times out there up coast alone and fell off a small cliff in rainy, slippery conditions. The other time I damn near cut off a foot with a chain saw when I Slipped doing a cut... there had to be safer ways to earn a living! Phil
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