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Anchoring a boat - a short guide

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Although the activities involved in casting and retrieving an anchor seem simple, they require skill and experience. Correct anchoring is very important for the safety of the crew, the vessel and the marine environment (living organisms, seabed). What can be done to avoid accidents related to anchoring the vessel, including away from the berth? We have prepared tips for you. Have a nice read. 

 

Choice of anchor

Anchoring is the process of securing a vessel to the seabed using an anchor and chain or rope. This allows the boat to float only within the area defined by the length of the rope. In order for everything to work properly, it is important to pay attention to the choice of anchor - we distinguish between simple anchors consisting of a shank and a movable blade, and those consisting of a shank ending in two arms with profiled blades and stocks.  The weight of the anchor is vital.

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

 

Choice of anchorage 

Another issue is the choice of anchorage. It is safest to opt for locations near the harbour, which are usually marked on a map. In addition, the anchorage should be sheltered from waves and wind. You should also familiarise yourself with its depth, bottom type and tides. Be sure to check the weather forecast. 

Remember also that the anchorage must have a sufficiently shallow bottom to hold the anchor without blocking it.  

 

Pay attention to other boats 

 

Anchoring is not just about keeping an eye on your own ship, but also on others. Why is it so important? Not everyone realises that moored boats will turn differently to those that have two anchors - one at the stern and one at the bow.

When choosing an anchorage in a busy harbour or offshore, make sure it is located in a safe area. A wind-driven vessel can move in different directions, so there should be no objects, other anchored vessels or buoys in the area.

When mooring, it is advisable to follow the common practice that the chain should be about five times longer than the depth of the sea. So if the depth of the water is three metres, you should cast fifteen metres of chain. In the case of the line, it must be seven times the given depth.

 

Second anchor - when to use it? 

In some situations it may be worth using a second anchor. An anchor can be cast on the second line from the bow at a 25 degree angle to allow the vessel to remain bow to windward. It is also very common practice to cast a second anchor on the same anchor line to provide a counterweight, which is particularly important when the wind is strong.

 

Electric anchor winch

When using an electric anchor winch, special care must be taken. The device consumes a lot of energy, which very often results in the inability to start the engine.

Anchoring a boat is not a simple task. A small mistake can have serious consequences. So before you set off on your cruise, it would be wise for you to familiarise yourself with a few rules. This will save your nerves and ensure that the safety of both you and your passengers is not compromised. 

 

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