Atlantic Boat and Marine News and Information
When Anchors Drag
A BOTTOM NEAR YOU (02/04/08) --

It is embarrassing when your anchor breaks loose from the bottom and drags, but it can also be expensive. This picture shows the significant damage that can occur when a vessel has too small an anchor or too little scope for conditions.

Anchor drag is not uncommon and if it hasn't happened to you, you likely have not done allot of overnight stays on the hook. Anchoring securely and properly is a trade in and of itself. It can be challenging even for the experienced seaman. It is a common misconception that wind and current are the primary causes of anchor failure. They are factors, but vertical wave action is the real culprit.

There are a ton of articles available complete with anchor designs, techniques, and methods; all of which you should learn. Understand anchor types, seabed type, tidal range, swing radius, and most importantly, scope. Then the key is training and practice.

Once you have mastered setting and weighing a single anchor in less than ideal weather and sea state, then consider a forked, bow and stern, or Bahamian arrangement using two anchors and rodes. There is more to anchoring than just chunking that piece of metal overboard. Learn to do it correctly and sleep better at night.


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