What Is The Proper Technique For Anchoring? Anchoring is a very important aspect of seamanship; As a boater, it is imperative that you have this area taken care of. This is because anchoring doesn’t just secure your boat to buy you some hours of leisure, or for an overnight stay, but it also comes in handy if there’s engine trouble and you have to secure the boat until you can get it fixed.
It prevents your boat from drifting ashore or into a shoal where it would be difficult to get out and sustain some damages. Many books have been written about anchoring. But most of them tend to be a bit complex and filled with too many technical details. The average seaman wants easy digestible and applicable information and that is what this article seeks to provide.
What is an anchor?
Basically, it is a piece of safety equipment used to keep a boat secured by digging deep into the seafloor or by snagging onto a coral bed or a body of rock. Its main purpose is to secure your boat and keep it from floating aimlessly. When it comes to anchoring, there are some crucial points to take note of, especially when anchoring the boat in rough waters.
Necessary Procedures In Anchoring
- Anchor Selection
This is determined by the boat’s size. Categorically, we have two major types of anchors;
- The Flue anchor, also known as a Danforth, and
- The Plow or Scoop anchor.
The Danforth anchor is basically for small or medium-sized boats because they are relatively easy to maneuver due to their lightweight. This anchor has a good hold, but in the absence of this, it is still efficient in sandy or muddy bottoms, but not with rocky floors.
The Plow anchors are for the bigger, heavier boats and are adaptable to most sea floors. This anchor is better suited to boats that have a bow roller or a windlass than with those equipped with an anchor locker, though it can reorganize itself in the occurrence of wind shifting.
Regardless of what the boat comes with, the anchor remains joined to the vessel with the help of the anchor line. In boats like medium-sized motorboats, the anchor line has a nylon rope connecting to the boat and then ending with a chain that completes the anchor.
However, if you’re still not sure about the type of anchor to purchase for your boat, you can consult the owner’s manual your boat came with. There will be suggestions there.
- Using an anchor.
The only way to test the effectiveness of an anchor is to test it; The way to do this is to test the rode, meaning that you must turn windward, throw in the anchor and back away from it. It is suggested to go as far back as you can, because the key to successful anchoring is tension, and an anchor is as good as how firmly it can hold up in turbulent situations.
So, don’t be worried about the strain. Don’t let it be too excessive though. Just to a reasonable level. You have the option of setting the anchor or digging further into the seafloor for a more solid anchoring.
For your ship’s anchorage, you must consider the scoop. This means measuring the water depth against the quantity of line let out. An agreeable scope ratio is 7:1 according to experts.
In a crowded situation, the scope can be shortened after the hold has been tested. This is because an anchor holds as firmly as the tension used in setting it, and that is why it’s imperative to put the hold to test.
Upon easing the power, the boat should lunge forward, which gives credence to you holding the anchor line taut as it should be, thereby enabling an effective setup. If this is your experience, congratulations you did a good job.
In the occurrence of the wind changing, there are a couple of ways to identify when your vessel is going in an un-anchored direction.
One of these will be having a compass that uses electricity handy or to enable notification on the depth sound which will alert you if your depth changes. If your boat can run on autopilot, you can be alerted by your course alarm if the boat veers are far off-course. The best way to do this is to enable notifications on the chart plotter which will alert you if your vessel changes direction excessively.
- Using double anchors
For a good anchorage of your boat, you should opt for using two anchors, one on opposite ends of the vessel. Place one facing towards land while the other faces towards the sea so that you can measure your boat’s location in their midst. Tension from one anchor line can be applied in setting the tension for the other, thereby effectively setting the anchorage for both ends of your boat
Suggested Types of Anchors
The idea is not just getting an anchor but getting one suitable to your needs; If you’re in a location that has sandy bottoms, and your boat is lightweight, then a fluke anchor, especially a Fortress anchor is best for you. If it’s a muddy bottom, Fortress fluke anchors are also suitable for these situations because there is provision for realignment to a greater fluke angle.
If the bottom’s rocky, it does not matter the type of anchor you’re using, what matters is how you use it, you should make sure to anchor onto hard protruding.
The Process of Anchorage (What Is The Proper Technique For Anchoring?)
First, you must measure the water depth. You can do this with the help of a depth finding tool. Measuring the depth of the water is important in helping you determine the scope with which you’ll set the anchor. To reiterate,7:1 is the recommended scope ratio. To better explain how to measure the scope ratio, here is an illustration:
Assuming the water depth is one foot, you have to go 7 feet into the wind where you want your boat anchored and simply sink in your anchor. Then you have to go back in reverse from that position 7 feet, either by yourself or by making use of the wind.
Once you have set the required scope, next, you must tie the anchor line to the cleat of the bow. To set the anchor firmly on the seafloor, you must put in more pull in the opposite direction. Also, you must check that the anchor isn’t moved about, and also that your boat isn’t being moved too. If this is the case, then there is no meaning to anchoring.
One way to check for anchor dragging is with the help of a depth finder which alerts you if the vessel moves out of position, or a GPS chart plotter that carries out the same function. If by chance, your boat happens to move above the anchor due to the wind or water movement, it will reset itself and you don’t need to set it again.
How To Retrieve The Anchor
- Slowly move in the direction of the anchor when you’re pulling in the anchor line.
- When you’re above the anchor, it’s supposed to ease up, but if it doesn’t, you can circle slowly around it, until you find an angle that causes it to pull out.
- Another way is to move so that the vessel sits right above the anchor at the same time pulling in the rod; and if at that point the anchor doesn’t lift, you could turn the anchor line in the cleat, this should cause it to ease away.
- Next is to pull it tight just as the windward end moves with a wave’s dip, and at the coming of the coming wave, it is likely to pull it free.
Here are some extra tips you should keep in mind;
- Never try to retrieve an anchor that’s stuck using the boat’s engine just as you’ve secured the rode in the stern cleat or attached the anchor to the stern of your boat.
- Also avoid pulling the rear end of your boat too low, enough to flood it. This could cause water to flow in and flood the boat, presenting a precarious situation.
If it’s difficult to free an anchor that’s stuck, just sever the line and get a replacement.
Recommended: Steps on how to make a homemade fishing rod.
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