5. SET THE HOOK: Once you’ve let out
ample scope, let the boat settle back on the
anchor to straighten out the rode. A gentle
breeze or a mild current may be sufficient for
this step. If it’s absolutely still, use the engine
with just a touch of reverse. Pause and take
a good look around, especially abeam; note
your position relative to other fixed objects.
Now put the engine in SLOW reverse.
You can expect to move slightly astern as the
anchor and rode set themselves and stretch
out. Soon, though, the boat should settle in a
fixed position. (If at this stage the boat is still
moving astern, your anchor may be dragging;
pick it up and drop it again.) If the boat’s
position is fixed, you should see prop wash
near the stern, and your anchor rode should
be straight and taut.
To thoroughly set the
anchor, with the engine
still in reverse, increase
the rpm. If the boat
stays put, you can rest
(relatively) easy, knowing
you’re hooked. Check
your swinging room again,
assuming that the wind
or current might come
from any direction. Have
When it comes time
to move on, you’ll need
to apply a vertical load
to your anchor rode to
break the anchor free.
This means moving gently forward with
the engine, and if you don’t have a windlass, gathering aboard as much rode as you
can by hand.
Beware to keep the rode out of the propeller and rudder, and communicate the
position of the rode with the person on the
helm if visibility is blocked. Once the rode
is directly below the bow of the boat, take a
turn on a cleat. Then, signal the helmsperson
to put the engine in SLOW forward. The
anchor should break free; if it doesn’t, apply a
little more throttle.
Once the anchor is free, go back into neutral. Bring the anchor and rode aboard, taking
care not to damage the hull, and rinse off
any mud. Coil and stow the rode, and you’re
ready for your next anchorage.
Writer and editor Tim Murphy, co-author of
Fundamentals of Marine Service Technology
(ABYC, 2012), lives in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.
Nylon is a
good material for anchor
like a shock
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