|The Down Side of Two Anchors|
Part 3: Know Your Anchorage
By Ellie Van Os • Illustration by Travis Young — February 2002
We took home two lessons. Number one, know your anchorage, at least enough to predict tidal flow before you attempt to second-guess it with a site-specific Bahamian mooring. If you are unsure and in a pinch, get as far away from any nearby passes as you can and then trust your primary ground tackle to do the job.
The second lesson is don't mix two types of ground tackle. Chapman's warns against allowing two rodes to contact each other because the resulting entanglement will endanger the integrity of your mooring. Using two types simultaneously--namely chain (which tends to drop straight down) and line with a short length of chain (which is more easily influenced by current)--increases the likelihood of this happening.
Regardless of whether you tighten up your slack after you've set a pair of anchors, dragging one in any one direction will increase the odds of contact between the two rodes, and according to the rule of the sea, this will happen at the least opportune time. And you may not be as lucky as we were.
Ellie Van Os is a freelance writer living in Florida.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.