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Anchor Like A Pro!
Which to choose?
Many different anchor types...
Tutorial about the different holding and type you should consider is coming next week
Shackle types ?
Tutorial coming soon !
10. Steps to anchor
Select the place:)
Select an area to anchor with as much room as possible. Ideally, a well-protected area with adequate water depth and the best is a sandy or muddy bottom :) Check your chart to make sure there are no cables, wrecks or obstructions on the bottom to foul your line or chain.
Determine the water depth and calculate the amount of anchor line or chain you`ll need to let out. General rule is five to seven times as much line or chain as the depth of water plus the distance from the surface of the water to where the anchor will attach to the bow.
Head the boat up into the current or wind, just past where you’d like the boat to stay. Ease the throttle so your boat is standing still in the spot you’re going to drop the anchor.
Lower it slowly...
Lower the anchor slowly into the water from the bow. Do not throw it over, or on to the side as this tends to foul the line or chain. As you lower the anchor, your boat should begin to drift backward with the wind or current, allowing the anchor to move down and away as it enters the water. This backward drift is important.
If your boat is stationary when the anchor reaches bottom, the chain piling on top of it can prevent it from digging in. Therefore, if your boat is not drifting backward on its own, put the engine in reverse and move slowly backwards as you put out the anchor line or chain. This stretches the line or chain out from the bow and ensures that the anchor will be lying on the bottom facing in the correct direction.
Hold tension on the anchor line or chain as you put it out to keep the bow of the boat pointed towards the anchor. This ensures that your anchor, chain, and rope stay straight and don’t become tangled. If you’re anchoring in strong winds, you may actually have to put the engine in forward gear to control the speed and direction of backward drift.
Once the anchor is set, take note of any reference points (landmarks) in relation to the boat, or alternatively, use GPS, radar or a depth monitor to confirm positioning. Check these points frequently to make sure you’re anchor isn’t dragging.
Set the anchor
With the anchor out and the boat in the intended swing zone, secure the line or chain and let the anchor dig in and set the engine to neutral. Once you feel the anchor begin to dig in and set, put the engine in idle reverse and back down on the anchor to secure it to the bottom.
Recommended is around 2500rpm and reverse slowly up to this.
It`s especially important in areas where the bottom has a layer of sand and grass. If the anchor is not holding, try letting out more line or chain...
Shock loadings often occurs due to wave action in exposed anchorages, movement of the boat fore and aft as the wind goes through gusts and lulls, and at the end of each lateral movement during yawing. The introduction of a length of rope between the chain and bow cleats has an additional benefit, which is eliminating the noise of chain dragging across the bottom as the boat ranges.
In winds above about 20-25 knots, all of the chain will be off the bottom, forming a near-straight line between bow roller (or best - snubber) and the anchor. There will also be less pressure on the attachment points on your boat. And when you use snubber, attach these on each side of the bow in your cleats. Do not let the winch or windlass hold the weight of the anchor :)
Fasten chain in locker?
If you use a chain, do not fasten the end of the chain (after the winch or windlass) with a shackle to the fastening point in the chain locker. Use 30cm of Dyneema or similar from the attachment point to the end of the chain. This so you quickly can cut loose the anchor in case of emergency! Often mistakes here...
Your plotter or chart should tell you what to expect on the bottom, but unexpected drops and conditions can occur. Sand, clay, mud and weed (grass) are the most common kinds of bottom, and most all-purpose anchors will work well in these conditions.
For rocky bottoms, consider a plow anchor. We have put together an overview of the most used anchors today, and which ones that are best for different surfaces. See the bottom of the page.
Size do matters here
Make sure your anchor size matches your boat. If you’re unsure, check the manufacturers guide and don’t be afraid to go one size up - This is one of the most important investment for security for your boat and can makes you guys sleep better....
Shackle and swivels?
Shackle: When you may have bought yourself a new expensive anchor, do not look at a shackle for 5 bucks. Buy one that is CE marked and with a specification of WILL and capacity. It should be certified and avoid mixing acid-proof with galvanized. If the anchor is galvanized - use a galvanized shackle if you have a chain. This since it will cause corrodes.
The shackle should also have a nut and locking pin. Or as a tip, you can screw the bolt as hard as you can in, and then tap gently whit a hammer on the other side. Then you have to cut it off when you will change it, but this is our best advice...
Swivels: Where and when to use this? Coming...
Be aware if you`ll be anchoring only from the stern as this can cause the boat to swamp. Especially on smaller boats. The square stern may be hit by waves, and water can splash into the boat. Reason is that the transom is usually squared off and has less freeboard than the bow.
Plus the stern may be carrying the added weight of a motor, fuel tank, watertanks, passengers and gear brought on board. In a strong current, that added weight and the force of the water could pull the stern under. Anchoring at the stern also makes the boat vulnerable to swamping by wave action..
Pictures are coming soon... :)
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