Before you toss out your anchor on your next boating excursion, make sure you cast your eyes on this article — all about the do’s and don’ts of proper anchorage. Leisure Boating takes a look.
At some point in your boating career, you’ll probably want to anchor. You may want to stop and fish, swim, have lunch or stay overnight. A second reason to drop anchor may be to control the boat if bad weather is blowing you ashore or worse… your engine has quit and the wind and current are pushing you into the shallow water or perhaps other boats.
The first step in anchoring is to select the proper anchor. In spite of claims to the contrary, there is no single anchor design that’s best in all conditions. On most pleasure boats, the three anchors you’re most likely to use are the Fluke or Danforth type, the Plow and the Mushroom anchor.
Mushroom anchors do not consist of the same holding power as a Fluke or Plow anchor and should only be used on small, lighter weight boats. A local marine supply store can help you select the proper anchor for your boat and for the waters in which you’ll be boating.
Anchors must have something to attach them to the boat. This is called the anchor rode and may consist of line, chain or a combination of both. The whole system of gear including anchor, rode, shackles, etc. is called ground tackle.
The amount of rode that you have out (scope) when at anchor depends generally on water depth and weather conditions. The deeper the water, and the more severe the weather, the more rode you will put out.