Anchoring Tips
May 29, 2011 6:02 PM | Tagged as Anchoring

How to Drop an Anchor

  • Select your ideal anchoring spot and proceed steadily but slowly toward it. Look for an area that's at least 100 feet away from other boats. Remember that your vessel will swing around its anchor point, and the last boat to drop the hook is responsible for moving if it's anchored too close for comfort.
  • Remove anchor from storage area aand prepare it for use.
  • Make sure the tail end of the rope is secured to the boat.
  • Turn the bow of the boat into the wind.
  • Stop the boat in the water.
  • Release the anchor over the bow slowly until you feel it touch the bottom.
  • Let out an additional length of rode equal to 1/3 the depth of the water.
  • Wrap the rope around the deck cleat and travel in reverse gear to set the anchor. You'll feel the anchor "take a bite," and you may hear the line ring like a guitar string. Don't try to hold the rope with your hands as you do this step, or you may experience rope burn.
  • Release the wrap on the cleat and continue releasing the rope as you motor backward slowly.
  • Release enough rope so that it's equal to at least four times the water's depth in calm conditions, and seven times the water's depth in wind or current. For example, play out 32 feet of rope in 8 feet of water in calm conditions, or 56 feet of rope in rough water.
  • Stop the boat and wrap the rope around the cleat. Secure with a cleat knot.
  • Travel in reverse until the boat swings around and the anchor is set.
  • Take a mark on the shore by lining up two stationary objects, such as light poles or trees. If one of the marks moves away from the other, your anchor is dragging and you need to reset.


  •  Avoid throwing an anchor over the side. Although this is a common practice, the chain and rope may catch on the flukes of the anchor and cause it to drag. 
  •  If the boat turns sideways to the wind, you're dragging anchor and need to reset. 
  •  The key to successful anchoring is having enough rope for the water depth. 

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