Memorial Day Weekend is around the corner, and what better time to anchor out, have a picnic, and maybe dip a toe in the water… Is your anchor up to the task? Here are some tips:
- make sure the anchor is the proper type based on the conditions (currents, wind, and bottom composition such as mud or rock) that you will be anchoring in.
- refer to the manufacturers suggestion on the the size and weight of the anchor.
- make sure you have at least 6 feet of chain attached to the anchor, with a shackle connecting the anchor to the chain and another connecting the chain to the line.
The Wrong Way:
The Right Way:
Setting the Hook
Now that your anchor is properly set up, it’s time to drop the hook at your favorite spot. Follow these tips:
- Aim the bow of the boat directly into the wind or current, whichever is the strongest force affecting your boat.
- Lower the anchor until it reaches the bottom, then release the appropriate amount of line, or scope. The ratio is 7:1 meaning you should deploy 7 feet of line for every 1 foot of water depth.
- As you deploy the line, the wind, current or reverse power of the engine will allow you to drift away from the anchor.
- Once you have deployed a sufficient amount of scope, secure the anchor line to a cleat, and allow the anchor to set (aka dig in).
- To determine if the anchor is holding properly, grab the line and if it feels like you have a fish on the other end, your anchor is likely dragging. Try resetting again, letting out more scope, or perhaps look for a spot with better holding ground.
Retrieving the Anchor
The proper (and easier) way to retrieve the anchor is to move the boat slowly forward in the direction of the anchor. As the line is being pulled back into the boat, be sure to feed it back into the anchor locker. If you pile it up and then throw it back in, it will be a tangled mess the next time you anchor. Be sure to clear any mud or sand from the anchor.