How to Anchor a Boat

Anchoring may seem like a simple practice, but it actually requires a bit of skill. It’s important that this is done correctly in order to maintain your position and secure the boat safely in place. Practice and experience is the best way to learn, but these tips will show you how to anchor a boat properly.

Get the Right Anchor for the Bottom

There are different anchors for different areas, including mud, sand, and rock bottoms, so you’ll need the right anchor for wherever you boat. If you are not sure which anchor is correct, talk with a local marina and they will help you choose the specific item that works best for the local waters. Plow and scoop anchors, for example, are great for anchoring in a variety of conditions, but you may want to have multiple anchors so you can park in a variety of settings.

Get the Right Anchor for Your Boat Size

Not only will you need the right type of anchor for the area, but you will need the right anchor for your boat. Generally, the larger the boat, the larger an anchor you will need. Again, talk with a local marina and they will help you choose the right anchor, and they may even have anchors for sale.

Use Your Engine to Assist in Anchoring

When anchoring, you should use your engine to place the boat in the ideal location. Use the engine with a forward motion into the current and hold the boat in place while the anchor is being let out. Once the anchor touches bottom you can ease off the throttle.

Face the Current When Anchoring

If you are anchoring in perfectly still water, the direction of the boat doesn’t matter. However, when anchoring in moving water, make sure the boat is facing into the current, allowing the water to slip around the front of the hull as if you were moving forward.

Use Plenty of Rope

Make sure you keep plenty of rope on hand for anchoring. Anchors will not rest directly underneath, but will be pulled off at an angle, meaning you need far more rope than just the depth of the water.

Note Landmarks or Mark GPS

Is your anchor holding? It’s hard to tell when you are out in the water, so once you have the anchor in place, take note of any markers or landmarks if they are in view. If you are out in the open ocean, place a marker on your GPS so you know exactly where you started. If you start to drift, you can re-anchor if needed.

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