Things to think about when anchoring


Spending a night on anchor is one of the best experiences for any sailor or pleasure boater. There seems no better place to get away from it all than a secluded bay. But anchoring can be a bit of a challenge for the skipper. Not always is a night as restful as it should be. You might be mulling over doubts: will the anchor hold? But if you have the right gear and some navigational skills, anchoring is no rocket science.

The right type of anchor fitting the size of your boat is certainly one of the requirements for hassle-free berthing, but it is not enough – also the practice of good seamanship must be right. Defining tips on how to correctly handle your anchoring gear is not straightforward though. There are too many types of bottom your anchor will have to grab and hold on. Are you boating over a sandy bottom – hard or soft? Or is it deep silt? Or is it clay or rubble? Is the bottom flat or are there hollows, grooves or ridges? Other factors to consider are how winds and currents affect the different hull shapes (keel length, freeboard height, displacement, etc.) of anchored yachts. Nevertheless, there are some tried and tested general rules that are held to be generally valid. They are part of the basic skills of seamanship and a prerequisite for safe anchoring.

Here are the most important basics on anchoring for you.

Anchor maneuver

Finding the right anchorage

Retrieve anchor

The five common types of anchors

Report anchorages: Here’s how