All Articles
Boat Handling & Seamanship
Enjoying Your Day, Comfortably
Dining Aboard
Personal Touches
Performance & Efficiency
Ports of Call & Places to Anchor
All Years

Anchor Windlass Usage

Your anchor windlass is well designed to pay out and retrieve anchor rode (line) and chain. But it is NOT designed to set the anchor and it's NOT designed to break the anchor free. ALWAYS secure the anchor rode to a bow cleat when you set the anchor and double check to make sure the rode is made fast to your bow cleat before you break anchor.

Lowering and Raising Anchor

    1. Make sure anchor rode (anchor line) is properly tied off inside the anchor locker.
    2. Release the windlass pelican hook that secures the anchor.
    3. Turn on rocker switch at the helm panel. Most models equipped with factory-installed windlasses have “up and down” activation switches at the helm and at the anchor locker.
    4. The boat should be upwind of your intended anchorage and making sternway slightly while you lower the anchor to prevent the chain from piling up and fouling, and also to set the anchor when sufficient rode has been paid out.
    5. Lower the anchor and pay out almost enough rode to “set” the anchor. Secure the remaining anchor rode (line) to a bow cleat. For recreational boats, at a minimum you should have out five to eight times the depth of the water plus the distance from the bow to the water.
    6. Back down on the anchor once sufficient scope is paid out to set it firmly in the bottom. If you have not set out sufficient scope and the windlass takes the strain, the windlass may potentially overload a breaker and an aft battery panel switch may trip.
    7. When ready to heave the anchor in, power ahead, let the boat catch up with the anchor rode as it is retrieved, wait until the bow is nearly directly above anchor, then cleat the anchor line to a bow cleat to break the anchor free of the bottom. This relieves the strain and prevents power overloads or, worse, damage to windlass. ALWAYS REMEMBER the windlass is not a winch–let the boat pull the anchor free.
    8. Anchor the boat only from the bow, using the type of ground tackle recommended. Your dealer can recommend the equipment best for your area and demonstrate how to use the anchor windlass on your Grady-White.