Anchoring with Shorefasts


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Bill Balme
Bill Balme
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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 20M with 100M scope, gaining a degree of protection from the wind, but due to the failing light, we 're out further than we 'd like (250 - 300M) 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!

Bill Balme
s/v Toodle-oo!

Simon Currin
Simon Currin
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Take lots of crew!
David Tyler
David Tyler
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Up in Canada and Alaska ( my only experience of using a stern tie), they sell floating rope like water-skiing line for stern ties, 3/8" diameter and bigger, according to size of boat. Conditions are not as severe in Alaska and BC as they are in Patagonia, but a stern tie is sometimes useful. I bought 200ft, but 100 metres would have been better. If I were buying now, I 'd get 100 metres of 6mm or 8mm bare Dyneema - it floats, is immensely strong and is chafe resistant. Knots in Dyneema tend to pull up very tight, and I 'd think of another way to attach it around a tree or boulder - an eyesplice and shackling it back to itself would work. If you 're further than 100 metres from shore, a stern tie is getting to be impracticable. Get in under the trees, and life gets much more comfortable when it 's blowing. I use a bag, but a reel would be better for ease of recovery of the line. The bitter end stays attached to the boat in both cases, and the line is allowed to run free - if there 's any tension, it 's very hard to get the dinghy ashore and secured. Have a long painter or anchor line on the dinghy, so that you can get up the shore to a tree or boulder, taking it with you. A soft inflatable or roto-moulded plastic dinghy or kayak is better, because you 'll land on rocks much of the time. Having someone aboard to drive the stern of the boat towards the shore is almost essential in difficult conditions, and that 's why I 'm not going to the Chilean channels, being singlehanded.

[I 'm now in NZ, so the bag of floating line is stowed in the locker, out of the UV]
Simon Currin
Simon Currin
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Bill,
On a less flippant note I wonder if it is worth considering those tape reels that the Scandinavians use for their stern anchors?

On Pelagic in the Antarctic we used large, permanently mounted, drums of polypro which worked well. The line was pulled out by the zodiac directly from the drum and then secured on land using wire strops. From memory there was 100m of floating polypro on each quarter. I am sure this is the most appropriate for permanent inhabitants of these waters. But, for us summer migrants, then something more compact seems attractive.

David 's Dyneema sounds great but would cost an arm and a leg when compared to polypro. This summer we bought 100m of 12mm polypro from a fishing net manufacturer in Iceland for £80 sterling whereas the equivalent in 8mm Dyneema would be nearly 10 times that. Poypro is really horrible to handle too as it kinks and twists like mad.

It is certainly an advantage to have a floating line as it stays clear of the prop and is lighter to handle and, I guess, that is where tape would perform less well. But life is a compromise and the 100m of tape on a drum, permanently attached to the pushpit, is compact and ready to use in a variety of other circumstances.

Has anybody used tape in these circumstances?

Simon
David Tyler
David Tyler
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Polypropylene webbing is readily available, so this might be a good option for use with a reel. Where there 's kelp, not to mention rock snags, a floating line becomes almost essential, I reckon.
Tony Brighton
Tony Brighton
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Hi Bill,

have a trawl through this site: http://www.sapphireoflondon.org/voyage/southern_chile.html

- they did lots of four-point moorings in the canals. Seems to involve swimming ashore with rope in teeth!

Rgds
Tony
John Franklin
John Franklin
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Bill
Recommend you talk to Evans Starzinger - not an OCC member but Beth Leonard is. Evans has a lot of experience of use of shorefasts in the Chilean channels.
John
GO

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