Boat anchoring – a short guide

While the activities of throwing and pulling an anchor may seem simple, they do require skill and experience. Correct anchoring is of great importance for the safety of the crew, the vessel and the marine environment (living organisms, seabed). What to do to avoid accidents related to anchoring the vessel, also away from the quay? Information on this below. We encourage you to read.

Anchor selection

Anchoring is the process of securing a vessel to the seabed using an anchor and chain or rope. Thanks to this, the boat floats in the water only within the area defined by the length of the rope. In order for everything to run properly, attention should be paid to the choice of the anchor – we distinguish, among others, straight anchors consisting of a shaft and a movable leg, and consisting of a shaft ending with two arms with profiled legs and crossbars. The weight of the anchor is also extremely important.

The conditions under which the anchor will be used are also important (rocky, sandy, littered bottoms, depth).

Choosing an anchorage

Another issue is the choice of an anchoring site. The safest option is to choose the locations near the port, which are usually marked on the map. In addition, the anchorage should be sheltered from waves and wind, and information on depth, bottom type and sea tides should be read. Be sure to also check the weather forecast.

We should also remember that the anchor berth must have a sufficiently shallow bottom that will hold the anchor without blocking it.

Pay attention to the other boats

Anchoring is not only about observing your own ship, but also others. Why is it so important? Not everyone is aware of the fact that both moored boats and those with two anchors – one in the stern and one in the bow – will turn differently.

When choosing an anchorage in a busy port or at sea, make sure it is located in a safe place. A wind-powered vessel can move in different directions, therefore there should be no objects, other anchored vessels and buoys within it.

When mooring, it is worth using the common practice that the chain should be about five times longer than the sea depth. So, if the depth of the body of water is three meters, fifteen meters of chain should be thrown. In the case of a line, its value must be seven times the given depth.

Second anchor – when should you use it?

In some situations it is worth choosing a second anchor. It can be thrown onto the second bow rope at an angle of 25 degrees so that the ship can remain bow in a windward position. It is also a very common practice to throw a second anchor on the same anchor line, thus providing a counterbalance, which is especially important during intense winds.

Electric anchor winch

Where the ship is equipped with an electric anchor winch, care should be taken when using it. The device consumes a lot of energy, which often results in the engine not starting.

Anchoring the boat is not a simple task. A minor mistake can have serious consequences. So before we set off on a cruise, it is good for us to familiarize ourselves with a few rules. Thanks to this, we will save ourselves nerves, and the safety of both ours and passengers will not be endangered.

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