Anchoring - the basics

Basic Equipment

Choosing An Anchorage

Detailed charts often show recognised anchorages by placing an anchor symbol on the chart, and pilot books are another means of identifying such anchorages. For a novice, there is some comfort in knowing that the type of holding ground will be known (i.e. the nature of the bottoms such as sand, shingle etc from chart legends or pilotage book description), and the anchorage will have been 'tested' under conditions in which it is likely to be used.

Low ground often affords better protection than steep group, and the presence of trees provides benefit - in that they provide friction thereby slowing the wind as it passes over them.




Ideally choose an anchorage which is either completely sheltered by land which reduces the affect of the wind on the boats anchored within, or an anchorage where the wind will be blowing offshore throughout the duration of the intended stopover - hence the importance of keeping tabs with the most detailed forecast for the area. Should the boat drift if the anchor looses grip - the boat will drift out to sea rather than onto the rocks.








Here an anticipated wind shift overnight shouldn't cause any concern - if the anchor drags the yacht would drift safely out to sea.







Laying The Anchor

Retrieving an anchor

Retrieving a fouled anchor

Types of anchor

Photos and descriptions for the popular types of anchor (Bruce, Dan forth, Fisherman, Plough, Bruce) are being prepared and will be added here - something to look forward to !

Good in rock and weed, stock can be removed enabling anchor to be stowed flat.

Good in mud and sand, no moving parts to trap fingers, may be awkward to stow.

Anchoring safety

This image show a bow roller with tall checks. If using warp, it is a good idea to pass it through a length of plastic hose to reduce the chances of the warp being frayed by the edges of the bow roller cheeks. If you look closely at the left hand side of the bow roller, you can see a pin (shown it's open position) which when slid across to the starboard cheek and locked in its closed position prevents the anchor warp or chain leaping out of the bow rope (and causing damage to the topsides) in a rough anchorage causing the bow to pitch.


This picture shows that the boat is tide rode. Look carefully at the bow and you can see the anchor warp leading astern as the tide is flowing from the stern towards the bow, whilst the wind is blowing offshore (over the port side). Here you can see the advantage of placing some warp above the chain shackled to the anchor. The warp may rub off some anti-fouling but will do much less damage than chain.

Anchor watches


Home | Previous