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Anchor chain needed to drop anchor in certain depth of water and describe the procedure in dropping the anchor, anchoring techniques and anchor handling procedure and how to weigh anchor. Dinghy anchor procedure and anchor handling techniques of how to drop in anchor and using two anchors and lay anchor.

Boat anchoring techniques and methods and how to drop anchor.

Procedures to Drop Anchor

To drop the anchor, prepare the [ boat anchor ] and the required cable prior to the final approach.

  • Release any lashings or securing pins on the anchor bow roller.
  • Assess water depth and allow the minimum of three times the depth for the amount of [ cable required ]. This length allows for an effective anchoring and also make allowances for expected tidal height.
  • This length is prepared on deck and ready to run without snagging and then cleated.
  • When the boat has reached the anchoring spot, and is stopped or moving astern, let go the anchor.
  • It should be lowered and not dropped free
  • The cable is allowed to run out under control until the anchor reaches the bottom.
  • Pay out the cable as the yacht drifts away from the anchor and then snub the cable which then [ sets the anchor ] .
  • Take a bearing on two or more points on shore to check that the anchor is not dragging.
  • If the anchor drags, feed out more cable and if still dragging, haul the anchor up and try another spot.

Procedures to Weigh Anchor

The ease in recovery of a boat anchor or to weigh anchor depends on the weight of anchor and cable, the depth of water, wind and sea conditions, along with the strength of the crew or anchor windlass in weighing the anchor.

  • Bring the boat over the anchor by pulling in the cable or in strong conditions, with the help of the engine or sails.
  • When the bow of the boat is over the anchor, the crew informs the skipper that the anchor is ready to break out.
  • The anchor is hauled up by the cable either by hand or windlass until the anchor [ breaks out ] of the seabed.
  • The yacht is motored or sailed slowly until the foredeck crew have stowed the anchor.
  • If the anchor is unable to be broken out by hand or windlass, haul the cable tight then cleat it using the power of the engine or sails to break it out.

Laying Two Boat Anchors

Extra security can be provided by laying two boat anchors, either both in line on one cable, or at a 30-45° [ angle ] to each other using two cables. If riding out a strong wind from a certain direction, lay two anchors in the direction of the expected wind.

A yacht anchoring technique to stop the boat swinging as the tide changes is to lay two boat anchors ahead and astern of the boat. This requires dropping the main anchor and reversing the boat while paying out twice the length of cable needed to compensate for tidal height. Drop the second kedge anchor from the bow, and then pull in the main cable while letting out the kedge cable and position the yacht midway between the boat anchors. With a shackle, join the two cables then lower the join below the boat's keel and secure both cables on cleats.

Using a Tripping Line

It is easy for an boat anchor to become fouled by an obstruction on the seabed. Motoring from several directions around the anchor and pulling its chain can free it. Using the yacht anchoring technique of tying a tripping line to the anchor will avoid this problem.

A [ tripping line ] is a light line tied to the crown of the boat anchor with the other end either brought back on board or attached to a small buoy to float over the anchor. In crowded anchorages using a buoy on the tripping line may mean that the line gets caught by another boat's propeller.

When the boat anchor is fouled, it is retrieved by pulling on the tripping line which capsizes the anchor releasing its grip on the seabed.

Laying a Boat Anchor from a Tender

It will be necessary at some time to use the tender to lay or recover a boat anchor. This yacht anchoring technique is more controllable with a solid dinghy rather than an inflatable. Rope cable makes the operation simpler than using chain.

When laying a boat anchor from the tender, secure the tender alongside the yacht then transfer the anchor and the cable into the dinghy.

So that the cable will run out smoothly, coil it in the stern of the tender and make the end fast aboard the yacht. Anchor handling is easier if it is hung over the tender's stern and tied to the thwart with a slip hitch allowing the release the anchor while seated.

Row or motor the tender in the direction the anchor is to be laid. When all the cable has run out, the retaining line is slipped to release the anchor. The crew on board pulls in the slack setting the anchor.

Retrieving a Boat Anchor

Some occasions when weighing anchor may require the recovery of a boat anchor using the tender, usually when two anchors have been set and both cannot be recovered from the yacht. Recovering an anchor may be hazardous in an inflatable whereas a rigid dinghy is easier and safer.

With the cable running over the tender, it is then pulled along the anchor cable until the cable leads down to the boat anchor. The tender's buoyancy and a strong pull on the cable should break out the anchor, which is then pulled up into the tender. Return to the yacht by pulling on the cable, coiling it as you go.

Boat anchoring procedure, techniques and methods along with how to weigh anchor single handed anchoring

anchor breaking
anchor setting
anchor cable length
anchor handling
anchoring techniques
drop anchor