Members' Online Book: Anchoring Made Easy, Chapter 32 of 36

ShoreFasts—Part 1, When to Use Them

Morgan's Cloud hiding from ice by using shorefasts and an anchor in a small cove in East Greenland. (No ice visible in the shot, but there was a bunch of it washing around in the fjord, so this gave us a nice respite after two weeks of ice watches.)

Over the years, members have asked me to do an article on securing a boat with shorefasts as a replacement for, or adjunct to (more common), anchoring. So here we go.

But before we get into what gear we need and how it's done, let's look at when we should use shorefasts and, more importantly, when we should not.

The answer is not often, and only when there is no other choice.

I know, that came as a surprise since I'm sure most of you thought that a sailor with my some 25 years in the high latitudes would be lacing his boat into a snug cove at every opportunity. 

Nope. In fact, I will go a step further and say that using shorefasts is often poor seamanship and sometimes downright dangerous, and it's almost always a last resort.

Why? Simple physics coupled with common sense. Let's take a look:

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Meet the Author

John

John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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