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For more on Anchoring:

Ten Steps to Secure Anchoring

(and sleeping peacefully through the night)



1.       Listen to the forecasts

Make sure the spot you choose will provide shelter from wind and waves throughout the night


2.       Check the charts

Select an area without obstructions and hazards, note the depths and  bottom composition


3.       Check the tides & currents

Note depth at low and high tide, then calculate the amount of scope you will need given the state of the tide when you anchor and your boat’s draft


4.       Prepare your anchor and rode

Make certain the windlass is on if you have one. Make sure the bitter end is secured to the boat. 


5.       Drive a circle around your intended spot

Enter the anchorage slowly and connect what you saw on the chart to what you see in real life. Observe how others have anchored – one anchor or two? Scope?


6.       Drive to the center of the circle and stop the boat

Look all around and imagine your boat swinging through a 360 degree arc from this point – will the swing radius be clear of other boats and hazards


7.       Drop anchor until it reaches the bottom and set it

Do not just drop everything in a heap.  Pay it out slowly as the boat drifts back so the rode stretches out cleanly from the anchor.  At about 3:1 scope, set the anchor with a gentle tug. 


8.       Pay out appropriate scope and observe against stationary marks on shore

Let out rode at 5:1 minimum scope, 7:1 for comfort, 10:1 for storm conditions, taking tide into account.  Let the anchor settle into the bottom and observe against at least 2 objects on shore for any movement. If the anchor drags, pull it up and try again.

Carefully lay a hand or foot on the rode to feel if it is dragging.


9.       Set the anchor gently

Once the anchor has set, power gently in reverse to power set.


10.   Prepare an exit strategy

Observe where there are other boats, ways to exit the anchorage, and alternative spots, so if there is a problem you’ll know exactly where to go.



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