In my opinion, anchoring out is one of the greatest pleasures of boating. Whether relaxing near the beach, rafting up with lots of friends, or hiding out in one of the little coves that can only be reached by water, anchoring out is awesome!!
However, there are some points that need emphasis to avoid problems with this aspect of boating:
- Be sure that the anchor is holding now and when, or if, the tide changes, that storm that is threatening with increased winds arrives, or any other eventuality alters the anchoring process. Set an anchor alarm which would warn if the anchor is dragging, or mark your position on a GPS and check to see if there are any measurable changes in the readings, or do a visual location check to be able to tell if the anchor is holding or not.
- Remember to take into consideration the possibility of the circular movement of your vessel around the anchor. And, don’t forget to do the same for any vessels in the anchorage with you.
- Notice the angle of the line leading to the anchor of other vessels in the area. Many people think that the weight of the anchor is what holds the boat in place, but that is erroneous. It is the horizontal pull on the anchor line that holds your vessel in place, and the longer the line from the anchor to your boat, the better the hold. So if you see a boat with the anchor line straight down in front of the bow, you want to avoid anchoring nearby, since they will be the first ones to lose hold and possibly run into you.
- Be sure that the anchor you are using holds sufficiently on the sea bottom in which you are anchoring.
- There are times when an anchor becomes a vital component in offsetting dangers or uncomfortable situations. If your vessel is in danger of running aground, its motion can be stopped by deploying an anchor. Also, if you are waiting for a bridge opening and you are being squeezed precariously towards the abutment by other accumulating boats, an anchor will hold your position.