One attribute that I’ve always liked about Grand Banks is the fact that the builder takes anchoring seriously. They incorporate a double-roller system managed by an oversized horizontal Lofrans windlass mounted on a beefy bow pulpit. However, no matter how well designed an anchoring system is, if the basics are ignored, it won’t do you any good. Here are a few tips to help make your anchor stick.
KNOW YOUR BOTTOM:
A chart will alert you to underwater obstructions and note if the bottom is mud, sand, rock, or grass. The bottom characteristics are represented on charts by symbols such as Rky (rocky), M (mud), S (sand), Cl (clay), or Grs (grass).
DETERMINE THE PROPER SCOPE:
The normal scope for good weather in an uncrowded anchorage is 7:1 (seven feet of anchor rode for every one foot of depth). In an unstable anchorage, let out more scope for insurance. If you don’t have a chain counter, be sure to mark your anchor rode with inexpensive plastic tags.
SET THE ANCHOR FIRMLY:
Back up steadily, paying out anchor rode until you reach the predetermined scope. Secure the rode and continue using reverse power to help the anchor dig in securely. Take your bearing by lining up a couple of landmarks to see if you’re holding firmly.
This article originally appeared in the December 2012 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.