Anchoring Basics

Securely Anchored off the coast of China
Securely Anchored off the coast of China

I was recently in China for a business trip and while I was jogging down the beach one day I came upon this textbook example on how to properly anchor.

  • Anchor: It was a Danforth type anchor, which is a good selection given the bottom conditions are expected to be sandy. It was also properly set with the flukes well buried, looking like they used the engine to back down on it.
  • Scope: You can see from the picture that they used at least a 5:1 scope and that includes the bow height which many people tend to forget. This is an acceptable scope when anchoring overnight in the light conditions. In heavier conditions 7:1 is typically recommended in cruising books.
  • Rode: They were using all rope rode which is fine but my preference would be to have a few feet of chain between the line and anchor. This would help to provide some cantilever and decrease the angle of attack to give even better holding as well as offer some chaff protection.
  • Stern Tie: It may not be apparent from the photo but the boat was also stern tied to the shore. This gives increased protection against dragging and eliminates swing radius.

All things considered this skipper (and other boats around him) could go to sleep knowing that he was securely anchored.

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