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Anchoring is surprisingly hard to get right. It’s something of a three dimensional puzzle. You want to drop the anchor in some nice holding ground, let out enough cable for the depth (4:1 or more), and then your boat should end up swinging about at the extended length of the cable (depending on the wind). There are probably other boats around, also anchored – they should swing the same way as you, but often don’t if they are a different type (multihull/monohull, deep keel/centreboard, yacht/motorboat).
So it’s easy to get wrong. And if you do, for heavens sake move. Fenders (bumpers in USA-talk) really really won’t help. Pulling some cable to miss another boat is a bad idea. Move. Just move.
1. Incorrect Spot For Anchorage
The most common mistake which is highly practiced by beginners is choosing an incorrect spot for anchorage. There are various reasons for this – overcrowded spots and the need to quickly drop anchor.
Owners in a hurry to quickly drop anchor end up choosing the wrong spot when most of the other spots are taken up.
This type of lack of patience could be also one of the reasons which let you live the rest of your life in regret.
It is important to understand that boats are likely to sway in a particular direction and fashion with the wind or waves. Choose a spot that will put your boat out of harms’ way when the other boats begin to move as a result of this.
2. The Wrong Anchor
It is one of the silliest yet most re-occurring and hard to imagine mistake that how a boat owner can get this wrong. After the completion of the research and going for the boat, the next best thing is to ensure that the anchor is the right one. Make sure there should not be any tradeoffs when it comes to the anchors.
Ideally, boat owners should look at the new generation anchors that do a great job. Ideal anchors can be of the following types of anchors like Hooped anchors, Concave with no Hoop, Weighted Tips and Convex.
Try to choose the anchor according to your boat and the weather you expect to encounter regularly which ensures the values your money and later on you will find it pretty useful.
It is essential to stick to the right sizes of anchors when choosing one. It would always help to choose the next size as this would help keep the boat safe in all locations and unsettling weather.
3. Inadequate Rope/Length On The Anchor
The rope length is as important as the anchor itself. Without sufficient rope length, the anchor will not be dragged horizontally through the floor and this will not give the traction required for the anchor to work. It is, therefore, necessary to gauge the length before dropping anchor.
Give just the right amount of rope length that will permit the anchor to work. On a similar note, giving too much rope will make your boat that much distance till it is taut. Therefore do not overdo the rope length, just keep it to as much as is necessary.
4. Piling The Rope On The Anchor
Another common mistake that needs to be avoided is laying the rope on the anchor after it hits the bottom. The moment the anchor hits the bottom start moving your boat so that the rope that is paid out goes beside the anchor and not atop it on a pile.
Piling the rope on the anchor will cause it to get entangled and you can forget traction. It is necessary to move away and lay the rope alongside the anchor.
- Remember: the wind or tide will move your boat around the anchor; you should allow a 360-degree area for movement.
- Pick a spot upwind from where you wish to end up (once you set anchor, you will drift downwind).
- Calculate the amount of rode needed to set anchor (rode = 7 to 10 x water depth).
- Ready rode in a fashion that will allow the anchor to release smoothly to the bottom; ensure that no feet or equipment are entangled in the rope.
- Attach the line to a bow cleat. Never tie the line to the stern: the additional weight could bring on water.
- Slowly lower the anchor from the bow, rather than the stern, to avoid capsizing or swamping.
- When the anchor has hit bottom—and sufficient rode is given out—give a solid pull to set the anchor.
- Secure and adjust the line.
What Should Be Avoided When Anchoring?
The anchor is the most important part of a boat. It’s what keeps it in place and secured to the ocean floor, without which your boat would be lost to shifting currents and wind gusts. That being said, anchoring can sometimes pose its own set of risks. In this article, we’ll be looking at what should be avoided when anchoring.
Some of these items may seem like common sense, but many people are guilty of overlooking them — and it’s those people who tend to stand in harm’s way! So what can you do? Read on for a list of what should be avoided when anchoring!
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What Should Be Avoided?
Tying off the rope without first securing the boat can lead to accidents that may result in severe injury or even death of yourself and others. Read on for a list of things you should never do when anchoring!
1) Never anchor your boat while it’s still in the water. The boat must always be on land or secured to a dock before tying off the rope. Tying off the rope without first securing the boat can lead to accidents that may result in severe injury or even death of yourself and others.
2) Do not stand too close to where you are anchoring, as this is where most injuries occur due to improper use of ropes and equipment. You should also not lean over the side of your boat or hang off the edge when anchoring.
3) Do not wear loose clothing when anchoring. Loose clothing and jewelry can get caught on the rope and cause injuries during rough waves. When in doubt, take it off.
4) Don’t use a golf ball retriever to pull your rope out of the water. I know it’s a useful tool but when the golf ball retriever is pulled out of the water, it can cause severe injury to you and others on deck.
5) The anchor should never be left unattended while still at the bottom of the ocean floor. Anchors may fail if they are not properly secured!
6) Don’t climb on your boat’s bow when it is tied off to the dock. The motion of the water current can easily push the boat back and forth, causing you to fall into the water or overboard.
7) Do not allow children near ropes and equipment while anchoring. Children should be supervised at all times.
8) Do not jump off the side of your boat to swim in the water while it’s tied to a dock without signaling someone on board first. This can cause your boat to float away, leaving you stranded with no transportation in or out of the harbor.
9) Anchoring near coral reefs can be devastating for the coral and the fish that call it home. The heavyweight of your boat can also damage corals, causing them to break and die.
10) Don’t hold up a bucket or any other object while you’re holding onto a rope after tying off an anchored boat. If the boat were to suddenly start moving, you could easily lose control and drop the bucket, which could fall on someone below deck and cause serious injury.
11) Don’t jump on deck from a moving boat while it’s tied off to the dock. This can cause you or others to lose balance and fall overboard into the water.
12) Never leave the rope unattended in front of yourself for too long. Your boat will continue to move and pull you with it if the rope is left off of the anchor for too long. Always hold onto the end or secure one end of a rope to yourself!
14) Don’t let go of the rope while your boat is tied off to the dock. The motion of your boat against the current can easily cause you to be pulled over or fall overboard if you lose control of one end of a rope. Never trust that the ropes will always hold while tying off a boat, as they are only designed to hold a certain amount of weight.
15) Don’t lift your anchor out of the water with your hands if you’re not wearing heavy gloves, as this can cause serious injury to your hands or wrists from rope burns. Always wear leather work or dock gloves when lifting anchors!
16) If your boat’s anchor is not made of the proper material, do not use it! Anchors should be made from stainless steel or aluminum. Never allow your boat to sit idle in the water with a wooden anchor on deck if it isn’t already secured.
17) Don’t jump on board your anchored boat when it is tied off to a dock or any solid object. It is not safe to jump from a boat onto the dock, as you could slip and fall into the water due to wet or slippery surfaces. Always walk on board your boat when you want to get off of it.
18) Never leave a secured anchor unattended overnight or during the night when there is no one left on deck to take care of it. If the weather changes quickly, you may find yourself in danger with nowhere to go!
19) Do not attempt to use rocks or bricks as an anchor. This may seem like a good idea at first, but it can cause damage to the bottom of your boat and to other boats in the harbor.