Please select your home edition
Edition
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW LEADERBOARD

How to set a boat anchor in 3 simple steps

by Aleix Escorsell 25 Oct 2021 09:00 PDT
How to set a boat anchor © upffront.com

So you are looking to stop off for a few hours to relax and enjoy your boat, maybe to bask in the sunshine or take a dip in the sea, or perhaps even for an overnight stay? It's important to anchor your boat correctly, especially when you are not able to regularly check that you are not drifting in the night.

There's a big difference in dropping the hook for a lunchtime stop and anchoring for an overnight stay. The most important things to keep in mind before deciding where to anchor your boat are wind, current and water depth.

Step 1: Choosing your location

It's important to make sure that you are far enough away from shallow waters and any potential hazards that your boat could drift in to while anchored. You also need to make sure that there are no hazards in the entire turning circle of the boat.

Once you are happy with your boat's location then it's time to drop the anchor.

Step 2: Dropping the anchor

An easy mistake to make is to just throw your anchor and line over the side. This can cause issues with the anchor getting tangled in the line/chain and not laying correctly on the ocean floor.

You should carefully drop your anchor straight down and feed the line until you see or feel the anchor hit the bottom.

Once the anchor is resting correctly on the bottom, it's time to set the anchor.

Step 3: Setting the anchor

To set the anchor, give out some scope (surplus anchor line) and then hold the line on a cleat and let the anchor start biting on the seabed as the boat drifts back on the current. Gradually continue to pay out more scope until you feel the anchor bite and hold.

Your anchor should embed itself in the ocean floor, give to a hard tug to ensure that it is set. An anchor being set means it's completely stuck.

Once you're happy that the anchor is set, tie the anchor line off on a cleat and you're ready to enjoy the waters!

How much scope should I let out?

A safe rule of thumb for the quantity of line to scope depends on whether you are using a rope or chain line.

For chains, you want to ideally have three times the depth of water for the chain. So in 5 metres of water, you will want 15 metres of scope.

For rope lines, a good rule of thumb is five times the depth of water. So for 5 meters of water, you will want 25 metres of scope.

Check your mooring position

Traditionally, the way sailors have ensured they are anchored correctly is by using transits, visual environmental landmarks such as landmasses, other boats or buoys. Transits allow you to quickly perform a visual check of where you are in relation to a few of these landmarks.

Remember, you may be swinging around a bit within your boat's turning circle, and that doesn't mean you are drifting. If you believe you are drifting then raise and reset the anchor.

If you're anchoring at night, don't forget your anchor lights to let other sailors know where you are.

We have a large range of anchors for all boat types at upffront.com. If you have any questions about anchors and anchoring, please contact us at . To check out the range of anchors available from Upffront, Shop Anchors.

Related Articles

Introducing the Sailmon MAX
The sailing GPS built to challenge you! Traditionally, dinghy sailing has been all about feel and experience, but now sailors are able to improve their performance by seeing exactly what their strengths are and where they can make improvements, thanks to sailing GPS computers. Posted on 9 Dec 2021
Which is the right Lewmar anchor for me?
Delta is used by lifeboat organisations worldwide Lewmar has built an impressive range of anchors over the years. Their flagship anchor, the Delta, is the primary anchor used by numerous national lifeboat organisations worldwide. Posted on 27 Nov 2021
Trogear Bowsprit fitting tips
Installing above existing bow rollers Retrofitting a bowsprit, to allow the use of code zero and asymmetric sails, is an increasingly popular performance upgrade for both cruisers and offshore racing sailors. In this article we look at specialist retrofit bowsprit manufacturers, Trogear. Posted on 18 Nov 2021
What's New in 2021 at the DAME Awards
Sailing hardware and rigging nominations reviewed by upffront.com The biggest marine equipment trade show (METS) is about to take place in Amsterdam later this month and they have just announced the 2021 DAME Design Award nominations, for what's new and exciting in leisure marine equipment. Posted on 11 Nov 2021
Wichard MXEvo 2:1/3:1 Blocks
Often imitated but tough to beat Wichard's expertise comes from over 100 years of forging safety parts for the manufacturing industry, so when it came to designing boat fittings, strength and safety have always been at the top of their priority list. Posted on 15 Oct 2021
Antal Barber Block - Impeccable Design
Created specifically for barber-hauler or code zero tweaker systems It's no secret that we're big fans of the cool gadgets that Antal manufacture. These are often the subject of our blogs - previously, we've delved into the Antal Roller Cleat, the Antal Soft Loop Hook and the Antal Electric Winch Range, to name a few. Posted on 7 Oct 2021
No Compromise Inflatable Yacht Fenders
Fendress fenders reviewed by upffront.com Started 15 years ago in the French Riviera, Fendress are specialists in inflatable yacht fenders. These fenders are designed to be light, strong and ultra-resistant. Plus, they look great! Posted on 23 Sep 2021
How to Choose a Spinlock Deckvest
The main consideration is usage and application Lifejacket pioneers Spinlock are renowned for their sleek, comfortable to wear, high-spec lifejackets. In a previous article, we introduced the full range of Deckvests and took a look at the features and benefits of each. Posted on 16 Sep 2021
Best Sailing Boat Blocks in 2021
Review covers soft attach, snatch looper, open ring, beckets and more In this article we take a quick look at what is new and/or interesting in the sailing block world in 2021. Harken continue to develop soft attach blocks. Morfrac Systems are developing their product line to include becket versions of their blocks. Posted on 7 Sep 2021
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTER