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Anchoring - some tips and suggestions

Knowing how to anchor your boat safely is essential both as a safety measure and if you are to be able to relax fully when anchored in a quiet cove for an afternoon siesta. Given the benefits of both possessing an anchor and  knowing how to anchor  it is all the more amazing that a good percentage of powerboaters don't even carry anchors!

The first thing to decide is which anchor to carry. There are many types all with different characteristics. The best way to decide which is best for your boat is to seek the advice of a good chandler. As a bare minimum, to a 18-20ft  powerboat  you should attach about 12ft of chain. The benefit of the chain is that once the anchor is embedded in the sea floor the weight of the chain ensures that the pull on the anchor is horizontal as opposed to vertical which would pull the anchor from the sea bed. To the chain attach about 100ft of rope (warp). With larger boats it is preferable just to use chain although whether this is feasible will in part depend on how such an amount ( and weight!) of chain can be recovered & stored.  

When you wish to anchor you must first find out how deep it is beneath you. It is recommended that when using an anchor with rope (as opposed to all chain) that you play out 6 times the depth of water. This can be slightly reduced given the 12ft of chain that has already been mentioned.

If you are anchoring on a rising tide the you must allow enough rope/chain to ensure that you still have 6 times the depth when the tidal height reaches its maximum. Clearly you must also give consideration to how your vessel will lie in the prevailing wind and tide - and what will happen when it changes. You must allow plenty of space around you to ensure that there is no risk of collision with other vessels in the vicinity. 

Author: Unknown

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