Numerical simulations and laboratory tests have been carried out to investigate the effect of wave short-crestedness on the random forces on a vertical pile. Linearized expressions based on the Morison equation are derived for the spectra of the in-line and transverse forces in short-crested seas. Expressions are also derived for the probability distribution of the peak resultant force for narrow-banded short-crested seas. The experiments were conducted in the offshore wave basin of the Hydraulics Laboratory, National Research Council of Canada. The pile was segmented in order to provide data on the vertical distribution of forces. The pile was subjected to long and short-crested random waves. Comparisons are presented between experimental and numerically simulated data.