Important points to consider when anchoring
The type of anchor you use is based on a number of factors as above. In addition – the length and type of your rode – that is the chain/rope (sometimes cable) that is secured to is considered by many to be as important, if not more important than the anchor.
The weight of the rode also holds you in place. Consider the dynamics – every time the boat lifts, the rode needs to be lifted off the bottom where it lies. With more weight of the rode needing lifting, the less likely the anchor will be lifted and unset.
An anchor windlass, either vertical or horizontal, is found on most bigger/heavier boats. They can be quite pricey, but they are so nice to have. Casting and hauling up the anchor by hand can be done, but there’s a higher rate of accidents there.
For this reason, most anchor windlasses are electric, like the Lewmar V4 Vertical Windlass.
- Some conditions will only require nylon line(small vessels and/or day anchoring), others chain and nylon or chain alone (heavier). There are a lot of people who will not mix line and chain. However, using a line in addition to a chain makes the rode longer with consideration of weight.
- We suggest at least 20% chain on your rode for vessels <50 ft in 30 ft of water with a scope of 6 to 1. Refer to your manufacturer.
- Make sure the rode is marked at intervals clearly so you know how much is out. so that you know how much chain is out. Markings are usually at every 30ft or 10m. The ‘red’ can be painted on with/no zip tie (kept short) or plastic chain markers. Different colors are available.
Type of chain
- There are so many options but the only one suitable to use is galvanized steel or BBB. ⅜” high-test chain is our preferred chain.
- The more chain there is, the better the hold will be. Read further for Chain sizing
Type of Line
- Nylon 3 strand is the best. It stretches so it will not jerk the anchor out of the bottom if there is a sudden lift in the boat. Cheapest and most durable too.
- Braided nylon is not as ‘stretchy’ as 3-strand. Braided poly-propylene – not that stretchy, breaks down in the sun, not that strong but it floats. This is great for securing your dingy so that the rode does not damage coral, get wrapped around props. Can also use this as your painter (tie up your dingy when coming alongside).
Securing chain to line
- Use a shackle with or without a thimble – this does lead to the problem of it being too big to go through the windlass. To overcome this one could use a, preferably, 8 plait line to chain splice, this does feed through windlass. Keep checking this splice regularly