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Shorefast Lines - What We Used.

Updated: Oct 22, 2023

We have a problem. It's called ignorance, as in, "we don't know much about something we will need". We will need to put Vanguard in harm's way, in narrow and deep anchorages subject to the vagaries of wind, depth, tide, and perhaps other yachts. So given that we have an existential issue and I do not own the solution, maybe others can guide us.

The solution it seems is to moor using your "mother of all anchors," in our case 110kg of Rocna. But more than that, as she will still swing. Tie her by the stern to a solid, immovable object or two, rock, big tree, whatever. That is not likely to be conveniently situated 20 feet from your stern. You will also need a very long shoreline and a wire strop or chain to prevent abrasion snipping the line just as the wind increases and you fall asleep. This is the big Daddy of the stern-to mooring that so many sailors have practiced in the Mediterranean. Only instead of a light stern anchor and short rode, we have a much longer shorefast line tied to some convenient immovable object.

So we looked in a few directions. Google, Morganscloud, Skip Novak, Set Sail, Youtube, and Trawler Forum. If in doubt, take advice from someone who knows their subject! Mooring in the PNW, Norway or elsewhere, you have issues of deep anchorages, massive tides, limited swing ... the perfect storm causing the need to stay in position. Hence a two or three-point mooring. Advice based on hard-earned experience. Reading the many posts available, we need 300 feet, 100m minimum. Lightweight line with a good breaking strain if you want to go there and back, double up and save taking the tender ashore again to "unhitch," as one may say.

That is a lot of rope to stow. Back to the advice of others, which runs to either make a demountable reel (Trawler Forum), use a flat line that will store easily (Google/Youtube), or bag the line and throw it into the tender for deployment (Morganscloud).

The illustration is what we went for, 316L Wedge reels and flat UV Stable Polyester line.

Our choice was a line reel. We have both Vanguard and her tender, so we looked for two 100m reels on Vanguard and two more 40M reels on the tender. Our Wedge Reel units come fitted with Polyester webbing at 3.4T breaking strain; we can swap this out for flat tape Dyneema at 7.0T should extra strength be needed, or we want a narrower webbing "hums less" in the wind. We can also bring along a rope reel for a polyester-covered Dyneema mooring line with 10T or more capacity.

Who makes these reels? Google revealed the following links:

Polypropylene shore fast lines on removable drums. Ref Morganscloud.

I will not judge them; we are all adults, so do your own research. We chose Wedge as they are near Naval Yachts, our yard. Proximity makes delivery logistics easy. Two by 100m lines for Vanguard and two by 40m for the tender. Permanently mounted reels, all neat and hardly noticeable. If this works, great. We will also need some chaff-resistant metal strops for the shore connection, but that is a simple issue.

To be safe, we might make up some small canvass stuff-bags for 100m additional, cheap Polypropylene line and keep them in the lazarette.

You never do know what you don't yet know, right?

Jeff Leigh-Jones

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