Anchoring Your Boat—Step-by-Step
Follow these steps to anchor your boat:
- Select an area to anchor with plenty of room. Ideally, it should be a well-protected area with adequate water depth and a sandy or muddy bottom.
- Head slowly into the wind or current to a position upwind or upcurrent of where you actually want to end up.
- When you are at that position, stop the boat and slowly lower the anchor over the bow to the bottom. Never anchor from the stern as this can cause the boat to swamp. The square stern may be hit by waves, and water will splash into the boat. The motor's weight will add to this problem.
- Slowly back the boat away downwind or downcurrent. Let out about seven to ten times as much anchor line as the depth of the water, depending on the wind strength and wave size. Tie off the line around a bow cleat, and pull on the anchor line to make sure the anchor is set.
- After anchoring, take visual sightings of onshore objects or buoys in the water to help you know where your boat is positioned. While at anchor, recheck these sightings frequently to make sure the anchor is not dragging.
- Periodically check connecting knots on your anchor line. When possible, use splices instead of knots. Knots weaken a line more than splices.