Anchoring a Boat

Choosing an anchorage means choosing where to cast anchor. Several considerations affect the choice of an anchorage. Is the anchorage clear of water-going traffic? Is the anchorage sheltered from the weather (wind, strong currents, etc.) and will it remain that way? What is the weather forecast? What is the bottom like? Is it suitable for properly securing the type of anchor aboard the vessel? Is the tide rising or falling? The length of the line must be determined by estimating water level variations.

To drop anchor, proceed as follows:

  • Ready the anchor, chain and rope on the deck of the vessel. Ensure that the line is not tangled and that the free end is properly secured to the boat.
  • Manoeuver the vessel directly above the location chosen for dropping anchor.
  • Cast the anchor overboard and allow the line to sink until the anchor touches bottom. Drop anchor at the bow of the boat to counterbalance most of the weight, which is in the stern.
  • Allow the boat to drift with the tide or current until the length of the line is five to seven times the depth of the water, depending on sea conditions.
  • Fasten the line to the lug on the deck of the vessel, and ensure that the line will not wear by rubbing against the boat. The line should be protected from excessive wear and tear.
  • Locate at least two fixed markers to check the vessel’s position from time to time to ensure that the vessel is not drifting.
  • To lift anchor, proceed as follows:
  • Prepare to get underway (engage motor, secure equipment). Lift the anchor line, pulling the vessel directly above the anchor. Clear the anchor and hoist. Properly secure the anchor, chain and line.
  • You may consider dropping anchor as a safety precaution for your pleasure craft: In poor weather (with a risk of very bad weather ahead);
  • If your vessel breaks down (or control is lost).

Danforth, Brydon or stocked anchors are used most often. The stocked anchor works for all types of bottoms, but is rather cumbersome. For that reason, vessels usually carry Danforth or Brydon anchors. They are also effective for all types of bottoms, but better for sandy, shell- covered or pebbly bottoms.