Boat bow with Anchor detail of sailboats in a row

Usually when you buy a used boat, the anchor that comes with the boat generally matches the area the boat cruises in. Cruisers that go up and down the coast may have 3 types of anchors so they can choose the right anchor.

With all the cruising thru the years, up and down the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway) including the Keys, Bahamas, and Bermuda, I must say I have done my share of Boat Anchoring. It doesn’t matter if you have a Powerboat or Sailboat. I have seen a lot of different methods of anchoring used by many boaters thru the years. Some have a real professional touch to their method, others just toss the whole kit and caboodle overboard, and I’ve seen that method work. Toss it over and go below…bad habit. On the other hand I’ve seen some boaters keep backing down on their anchor rode for 20 minutes to make sure the boat anchor is set. It could be that the last time they anchored it did not hold. There are many types of methods, strategies…including different types of boat anchors and anchor rodes.

Usually when you buy a used boat, the anchor that comes with the boat generally matches the area the boat cruises in. If you intend to move the boat to a different area, do your homework and find out the bottom types you’ll be anchoring in. Cruisers that go up and down the coast may have 3 types of anchors so they can choose the right anchor to get that holding power they need.

Basically there are about 4 types of anchors… Fluke, Claw, CQR and Delta. Some are good in hard bottoms, others may not be good in grassy bottoms. You must find out what works for you and your boat. There is nothing like feeling confident when you leave your boat to go ashore and not worry that your boat anchor will drag or pull out when the tide changes.

Boat Anchor

Anchor rodes vary also, but there are 2 basic types which are Chain and Line. A chain only rode let’s you anchor with less scope (amount out for the water depth) and also the chain stays parallel with the bottom which keeps your anchor tucked into the bottom. The other rode, line, is usually used with a length of chain at the beginning of the anchor and then your anchor line from that point. There are 2 reasons for this… one is that if there are any abrasive areas, rocks, shells, (anything sharp) the chain at the beginning can handle that, and will not part or cut like line. The second reason that chain is used at the beginning is also to keep the chain and line parallel with the bottom. (Line likes to float a little).

It’s when the wind starts picking up, that you find out how good your boat anchor’s holding power is. At higher wind speeds, you may find your boat swings on the anchor. Here is where you may need to adjust or have more chain from the anchor. Make sure you get the right size (weight) anchor so it does not easily just pull out.

It’s great to anchor at your favorite harbor or cove and Why Knot?

Author: Garret Lloyd

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