Considering how much investment is at stake, your boat’s anchoring system should not be taken lightly. Anchor selection is determined by the size and type of your boat, the weather, and the anchoring conditions in which you frequently anchor.
Improperly anchored boats are more likely to slip anchor and drift, causing significant property damage and environmental damage. By knowing how to anchor, boaters can reduce or even avoid other causes of accidents.
There is no requirement by Federal Law to carry an anchor. Still, it is recommended that you take one that is sufficiently large and strong to stabilize your boat for an extended period, such as overnight, or in an emergency case, such as if you run out of gas.
In bad weather or when the engine fails, anchoring a boat is a common practice to protect it from running aground and to allow it to stay in the water overnight for swimming, fishing, and other activities.
An appropriate anchoring location should consider the following factors:
It is essential to select the correct type of anchor based on the bottom characteristics of the areas where you intend to anchor most often. Next, choose an anchor size that fits the boat based on size and weight.
Danforth Anchors: Often used in areas where mud, grass, or sand frequently clog anchor holes, a Danforth Anchor is a lightweight anchor with two pivotal “flukes” that help dig easily. They are light and powerful and ideal for small recreational boats.
Mushroom Anchors: In terms of shape, Mushroom Anchors are similar to mushrooms. Thus, the name. Anchors of this type are used extensively for moorings and may weigh several thousand pounds. Their shape works best on soft bottoms, where they offer strong suction. Mushroom Anchors are decent as a lunch hook in small boats but are not helpful in larger boats.
Plow Anchors: Plow Anchors work best on rocky bottoms, weeds, and grass but are not recommended for soft bottoms. On open water, their high holding power makes them ideal for windy conditions.
Reviewing your chart for bottom characteristics, ensure you are anchoring in a safe and allowable location. When there are rocks, reefs, or other boats to expect, give them a wide berth.
Following these simple guidelines will get you anchored in no time:
IMPORTANT: Be sure to note nearby reference points or landmarks you can monitor to ensure that your boat does not drift once the anchor has been set.
Boat operators must know they can never anchor a watercraft from the stern. The transom of most boats is squared off with less freeboard than the bow, resulting in many boats capsizing and sinking when anchored from the stern. In particular, small boats are at risk. Additionally, the stern may carry the motor’s weight, additional gear, and the fuel tank. Boats can sink if a strong current pulls them under. As a result of large waves, boats that are anchored at the stern are also susceptible to swamping.