sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Use anchor drag bearings for worry-free anchoring

Use anchor drag bearings for worry-free anchoring

'Anchor check at sunset'    .

Anchoring, when you are close to shore, rocks or coral, has often been said by wise cruising sailors to be more dangerous than a stormy ocean. You lower your boat anchor, set it deep into the seabed, and neaten up the deck. But how do you know your anchor will not drag when the wind shifts? Better put these five sailing tips into play to make sure your hook--stays put!

No matter what you've read about the biggest, baddest anchor in the world that can hold the Queen Mary in a full November gale, anchoring remains a risky venture with many variables. Assume your anchor will drag and plan for it.

This defensive mindset could save you from becoming an insurance statistic. Several years ago, I crewed aboard a boat that dragged in a freak summer gale and plowed into a rock seawall. It sank to the spreaders within twenty minutes. We barely escaped with our lives; fortunate indeed that no one was injured.

While the type of anchor you choose can make a world of difference to how secure your boat is, any anchor can be made to drag. Boats at anchor bob up and down or shear from side to side. Wind, sea waves, swell, passing boat wakes, tidal rise and fall and current all combine against your anchor. If the wind or current shifts in a different direction, side loads are placed onto the anchor shank (long arm), which increases drag potential.

Imagine a tie around your neck. Grab the bottom of the tie, then pull and release the tension on the tie over and over again. That's similar to what happens to your anchor ground tackle each moment you are at anchor.

If the anchor breaks out of the bottom, your boat could drift into another boat or onto a shoal. Use drag bearings as the primary defensive strategy to know if you are dragging. Follow these five ways for peace-of-mind:

1. Put out the total amount of anchor scope necessary for your anchorage spot. Wait a minute or two for your boat to settle down.

2. Look off the port or starboard beam of the boat. Find two objects that form a line--or 'range'--on or near the shore. For example, a tall piling on a pier that lines up with a large tree or a flagpole that lines up with the corner of a roof.

3. Some isolated anchorages might have just one visible object, such as a distant hill or house. Shoot a bearing to the object with a hand-bearing compass.

4. Record the drag bearing objects or object in the boat log. If you use a compass bearing, write the compass bearing in a separate column adjacent to the object. Pass this on to your sailing crew or partner so that all hands know what drag bearings are being used.

5. Check for wind or current shifts. Choose new objects in range or shoot a new drag bearing if your bow changes direction. Record the bearing and objects in the boat log as described above. Communicate this to your crew.

6. Backup Drag Bearings with Electronic Wizardry: Set your gps or chart plotter proximity waypoint function. This feature allows you to set a 'circle of protection' around your boat in yards or tenths of a mile. If you drift onto the edge of the circle, an alarm will sound.

7. Use radar in a similar fashion. Choose a point of land or object ahead of the heading flash (which represents your bow). Use the VRM (variable range marker) to determine the range to the object or landmass ahead of the boat. If the boat starts to drag downwind, this range will change.

Realize that electronics may be in error by several yards, so these should be used as a backup to the visual methods described earlier. Always use at least one backup method of sailing navigation with electronic navigation.

Use these easy anchoring tips each and every time you anchor. You will sleep better at night when you know that your boat anchor will hold your cruising sailboat in place--wherever in the world you choose to cruise!

John Jamieson (Captain John) with 25+ years of experience shows you the no-nonsense cruising skills you need beyond sailing school. Visit his website for a free sailing tips newsletter. Become a member for instant access to 500+ sailing articles, 90+ sailing instructional videos, 135+ sailing newsletters, sailing topic e-Books, and live discussion forums.




by John Jamieson/Sail-World Cruising

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=93345

4:20 PM Sat 28 Jan 2012 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


News - USA and the World





2014 Detroit Cup - Sam Gilmour leads by Dobbs Davis, Detroit, Michigan










Audi Hamilton Island Race Week: Riding the AC45 - VIDEO by Crosbie Lorimer, Hamilton Island










America's Cup: Five Challengers sign-on for 35th Match by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,


Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad talks Time and Money (Part II) *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,


















AWT Quatro Desert Showdown at Punta San Carlos by American Windsurfing Tour,
















America's Cup: Rod Davis - Time for a change after ten years with team *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,






IFDS World Championships - Action shots by Tim Wilkes
Maxi yacht rendezvous this September in Sardinia
World Yacht Racing Forum 2014: 'Growing the business of Yacht Racing'
Clipper Race: 2015-16 edition of world's longest ocean race 70% full
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland - Swish smash 5th World Record
Leaderboards take shape at the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games 2014
IFDS Worlds - Hot competition on first day of racing
Challenging Conditions - CORK OCR
IFDS World Championship - Day 1 for the US Sailing Team
2014 Melges 20 World Championship - Countdown begins
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Day 3
America's Cup: Team NZ wish Davis well with new team *Feature
Fisher's View: Sailing perfection at Hamilton Island- Day 3
Roble and Wilson still number one match racers in the U.S.
2014 Formula Kite World Championship Day 1
IFDS World Championship - Day 1 images by Jude Robertson
Volvo Ocean Race: Forget the f-word - Team SCA profiled
52 Super Series - Fleet grows, 2015 dates revealed
420 and 470 Junior Europeans - Teams from 9 nations on the podium
IFDS Worlds - Former president presented with ISAF awards medal
Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Improvements aplenty in Byte CII fleets   
America's Cup: New Zealand loses top coach to Artemis Racing   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 CEO Knut Frostad talks (Part I) *Feature   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race Day 9 - Swish on record pace   
2014 CORK Olympic Classes Regatta - Day 3   
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Day 2   
2014 IFDS World Championship: Opening Ceremony images   
Opera House Cup - Images by Ingrid Abery   
Teams descend upon Cowes for inaugural J/111 World Championships   
Hamilton Island Race Week: Everywhere there's smiley people   
IFDS World Championships - US Paralympic hopefuls ready for racing   
Sopot Match Race - Poland's Tour debut deemed a triumph   
Vineyard Race celebrates 80th running of the East Coast classic   
Nanjing Youth Olympic Games: Young sailors begin racing on Lake Jinniu   
AWT Quatro Desert Showdown - Victory for Morgan Noireaux   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race - Day 8: Test of endurance   
Bart's Bash: Over 2300 entered from 588 yacht clubs - Join here   
Halifax ready to welcome the world at 2014 IFDS World Championships   
RC44 World Championship title to Bronenosec + Video   
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week: Day 2 Images by Crosbie Lorimer   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT