- Stop the boat in an emergency.
- Take a rest whenever you get tired.
- Anchor in a quiet cove to spend the night.
On some boats, you will have a tough time to get the anchor over the side smooth and easy. The anchor line may be in a “rat’s nest” with twists, and turns and knots inside the locker.
Follow these steps before you leave the dock and your boat anchoring will go smoother each and every time:
1. Look at the Anchor Shank
Make sure the long arm of the anchor, called the “anchor shank”, makes a straight line, without bends or distortion. Even a slight bend could cause the anchor to fail to dig in. A straight shank gives you peace-of-mind that your anchor has all of its strength.
2. Pull and Check Your Anchor Line
Open up the anchor locker. Pull out at least 50 feet of anchor line. As you pull the line, look it over for worn or broken spots. Replace damaged line. Un-knot the line so that it runs out nice and smooth without kinks when you want to anchor.
3. Check Your Weak Links
Shackles form a vital part of your anchor line. These fittings link together the anchor line to the anchor chain, and the chain to the anchor shank. You should be able to open and close the screw-pin on each shackle. Use a light penetrating oil and vice-grips to help unscrew frozen shackle pins. Then screw them back in tight and go to the next step.
4. Make Shackle Pins More Secure
Loop a small, thin, plastic wire-tie through the hole on the screw-pin on each shackle. Wrap the tie around the shackle body and back through itself. This technique keeps the pin from backing out of the shackle.
5. Coil the Anchor Line the Right Way
Make the anchor line ready to go with a “coil-down” method. Start at the end farthest from the anchor. Coil the line clockwise in circular loops—one on top of the other. This insures that the anchor line will go out over the side without kinks or knots.
These easy anchoring tips will make your boat anchoring easier and smoother. You will be able to so sailing without the worry of whether you are ready anytime you wish to “drop the hook”!
Learn to Sail