Boat Handling & Seamanship
Enjoying Your Day, Comfortably
Performance & Efficiency
Ports of Call & Places to Anchor
Anchoring Your Boat
Knowing safe anchoring techniques adds to your boating pleasure. Here are steps to remember.
Check that the bitter end of your anchor line or cable is in fact firmly attached to your boat, and that the line is ready for running free. The rule of thumb for length of line needed is five to seven times the depth of the water. Going into the current or wind, slow your speed and then reverse engines. When the boat heads to stern, lower (don't throw) the anchor. Make sure no one's feet are in the way of the line! When enough line is out, stop engines and cleat the line forward to make sure the anchor snags bottom. You should feel a halt to the boat's drift as the anchor digs in. If the anchor is not holding, try letting out more line.
When you are ready to depart and weigh anchor, power the boat slowly to directly above where the anchor is, taking up slack in the line from the bow. The anchor should break free when the line becomes vertical. If it does not, secure the line and move slowly ahead a few yards.