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Anchors Away!

Sooner or later, when you own a boat, you will have to anchor.  You may want to fish, swim, dine, stay overnight or you may need to anchor due to inclement weather.

The first step in anchoring is to select the proper anchor. In spite of claims to the contrary, there is no single anchor design that is best in all conditions. On most pleasure boats, the three anchors you will find most are the fluke or Danforth type, the plow and the mushroom anchor.

Mushroom anchors do not have the holding power of a fluke or plow anchor and should only be used on small, lighter weight boats. A local marine supply store can help you select the proper anchor for your boat and for the waters in which you will be boating.

Anchors also must have something to attach them to the boat. This is called the anchor rode and may consist of line, chain or a combination of both. The whole system of gear including anchor, rode, shackles etc. is called ground tackle.

The amount of rode that you have out (scope) when at anchor depends generally on water depth and weather conditions. The deeper the water and the more severe the weather, the more rode you will put out. For recreational boaters, at a minimum you should have out five to eight times (5 to 1 scope for day anchoring and 6 to 8 to 1 for overnight) the depth of the water plus the distance from the water to where the anchor will attach to the bow. For example, if you measure water depth and it shows four feet and it is three feet from the top of the water to your bow cleat, you would multiply seven feet by six to eight to get the amount of rode to put out.

Anchoring your boat securely is one of the most basic skills in boat handling. Learn to set an anchor right, with control and confidence, and we will all sleep easier. Anchoring poorly endangers not only your boat, but also the other boats anchored nearby. So, even if your anchoring technique is good, it is wise to review these tips.

If your anchor has not set securely or you have anchored on foul ground, there is a high chance of the anchor dragging. Even when this happens, an Anchor Buddy anchor weight will give the anchor another chance to dig in as it keeps the chain on the seabed.

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Boating Safety Course – Anchoring Your Boat.” Boating Safety Course – Anchoring Your Boat. Web. 13 June 2012.