How To Anchor A Boat

How to anchor a boat is an important skill with larger boats, but an often overlooked skill for small boat operators.

Here is a list of important steps to know when anchoring your boat. Once you have done them a number of times it will feel like second nature, and you will feel confident that your boat will be secure every time you set your anchor.

  1. approach slowly - watch for obstacles in the water, swimmers, current, wind - get to know the area in which you plan to anchor
  2. leave enough space between you and other boats - will your boat be able to rotate 360 degrees around your anchor without hitting another boat?
  3. communicate clearly with others in your boat - stay calm and stay positive
  4. check your gear - make sure the rode, chain and shackles are all properly connected and that the end of the anchor rode is attached to your boat
  5. lower your anchor to the bottom to check depth - throwing an anchor is a sure sign of an amateur
  6. calculate the length of rode you need to let out - ideally you would let out 7 times the depth - not letting out enough rode is a common mistake when anchoring
  7. reverse your boat to pull on the anchor and set the anchor in the bottom
  8. take a sighting on shore features to determine whether the boat is secure or moving
  9. use two anchors if it is windy or there is a strong current - a second anchor gives you the confidence that your boat will be secure
  10. use a bow and stern anchor to anchor "stern-to" - for example in a situation where you want the bow of the boat facing into the waves

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