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How to anchor a boat: Deckee guide for beginners by Jessica Watson 10:27am, Fri 04 Nov 2016

One of the most basic misconceptions about anchoring is that you don't simply rely on the weight of the anchor to hold you in place. A great big dead weight is the theory behind moorings, but lugging around that sort of weight just isn't feasible on your average boat. Instead, anchors are designed to dig into the seabed and work with a length of chain to hold a boat in place. Anchoring is a bit of an art but getting it right is well worth the effort, ensuring you'll be able to relax and get a good night's sleep.

Setting the anchor:

Another anchoring misconception is that you can't simply arrive, stop and dump your anchor and chain. For an anchor to hold effectively, you need to come to a stop, head to wind and then let the anchor and chain out in a controlled manner as you slowly drift or motor backwards, digging the anchor in and laying the chain in a nice line along the bottom. When you've done this, don't rush off right away; find bearings on shore and watch to check that the anchor is holding.

The basic rule of thumb is that you want to achieve a scope or ratio of anchor chain 5 times the depth of the water. You might get away with a little less in perfect conditions, but when things are looking less than pleasant you'll need to aim for a higher multiple. Remember to factor the tidal range into this calculation, and of course, so your boat doesn't end up on the bottom.
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