The Annapolis Book of Seamanship, Fourth Edition
Excerpted from The Annapolis Book of Seamanship, Fourth Edition
HANDS ON: Anchoring Hints
Safe anchoring depends as much on cautious, alert seamanship as it does on strong ground tackle. You should have an anchor big enough for your boat (plus some), a nylon rode in good condition that is long and stretchy enough for the anticipated water depth and strains, and sufficient chain to keep the rode low to the bottom. Use all your senses to determine if the hook is holding: bearings on landmarks, the sound of waves splashing dead on the bow and on the sides, the bounce-bounce as her stern rises and falls when shes secure and when shes dragging.
If there are three irreducible rules of thumb for safe anchoring they are: avoid lee shores like the plague; don’t anchor too close to other boats; and when in doubt, let out more rode. All too many sailors can tell hair-raising stories about boats dragging down on them and, eventually onto shore in the midst of a midnight thunder squall.
It is land, not the sea, that is a ships greatest enemy, and if you plan to avoid a run-in with land, choose and use your ground tackle wisely.
For additional advice on all aspects of sailing, purchase The Annapolis Book of Seamanship, Fourth Edition from Practical Sailor.