How To Quick guide for powerboat anchoring TOP TIPS

Anchoring TOP TIPS

How To Quick guide for powerboat anchoring TOP TIPS. Anchoring your boat allows you to stop your boat for a number of reasons:

  • in an emergency – for example when the engine does not work
  • for a picnic or a tea break
  • to rest overnight or for an afternoon siesta

Dropping AnchorChoose your anchor position wisely by consulting:

  • Local charts
  • Chartplotter
  • Marina and Port guides
  • Friends and local advice
  • Experienced sailors eye!


Approach your chosen position slowly

  • Brief your crew
  • Which anchor to use
  • How much chain / rope
  • Depth of water
  • Weather and tide conditions

How To – Quick guide for powerboat anchoring TOP TIPS

Head your boat towards the prevailing wind or tide.

Slowly lower your anchor over the bow using fairleads or anchor roller.

If you are lowering the anchor by hand, you may wish to protect any woodwork or GRP with an old towel or carpet.

Keep the anchor rode fairly tight at first to help you aim the anchor until you feel it hit bottom.

If lowering the anchor by hand, count how many “armfuls” to gauge the depth of water

Continue slowly playing out the chain / rope, it should be in a straight line across the seabed, not piled up in heaps.

As you are setting your anchor, occasionally “snub” the cable to keep the rode stretched out on the seabed.

Play out the required scope of chain / rope as per your anchor plan.

When you think that the anchor is holding and you are heading in to the wind or tide comfortably, check that your anchor is actually holding.

To check if you are maintaining your anchor position, use cross bearings or even better, a couple of transit bearings. For instance, a tree in front of a lighthouse.

What size anchor and chain?

The size of the anchor is normally expressed as the weight of the anchor. This varies on the size of your vessel and the type of seabed that you will anchor in. The length and size of the chain is also important. Chain is normally expressed as the diameter of the metal used to make the links.

The length of the chain should be at least 10m or the length of the boat – whichever is longer.

Here is a table that is useful in determining your anchor and chain size for various lengths of boat.

Anchors Anchor Chain rope size scope table

Anchor Chain – Size -Strength – Weight

Chain Size 6mm 7mm 8mm 10mm 12mm 13mm
Weight per metre 0.80 kg 1.1 kg 1.45 kg 2.3 kg 3.25kg 3.9 kg
Strength in Kg 2315 kg 3141 kg 4099 kg 6404 kg 9177 kg 10809 kg

Anchoring “TOP TIPS”

Remember to protect your hands or feet from being caught in the chain or rope.

Don’t throw your anchor overboard; let it down slowly to avoid fouling your own rope.

Avoid dropping your anchor from the stern unless there is already an anchor holding the bow and you need wish to position the angle of your boat in the anchorage.

Take compass bearings regularly. Take the bearings of several objects around you and note them in the log book. Do this immediately after anchoring, and 15–20 minutes after anchoring to make sure the anchor set properly.

Some Chartplotters / GPS units have an alarm setting that will alert you if you drift.

For an overnight stay or other long stop, arrange an anchor watch rota with your crew and take turns checking to make sure your anchor is holding and you are maintaining your anchor position.

 How To Quick guide for powerboat anchoring TOP TIPS

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