How to anchor a pleasure boat


One of the most recurring maneuvers when we go sailing, is the anchoring maneuver, since it is estimated that, while in use, a pleasure boat spends about 80% of the time at anchor.

And it is that most of the activities that we carry out on a pleasure boat are carried out when it is stopped: sunbathing in the solarium of the boat, swimming in the crystal clear waters of that wonderful cove, having an aperitif...

In this post we want to review the points to take into account when anchoring. If, in addition, you recently had your navigation license and you have thought rent your first boat, we recommend reading it carefully to review basic concepts.

Anchoring is understood as mooring our boat, inflatable or yacht on the seabed.

Anchoring can be done with an anchor (or several) or with a dead body normally marked with a buoy. These utensils are attached to the boat by means of the so-called mooring line, which is made up of rope or chain or both. Normally the anchor is attached to the mooring line by means of a shackle.

The most normal, especially if we rent a boat, is to anchor with a single anchor.

Like everything in this life, also to anchor you have to follow a series of rules and recommendations to guarantee that we carry out the maneuver safely. It is convenient to analyze all the factors that influence anchoring and take them into account before deciding where and how to anchor the boat. The main factors to consider are:

  • Sea bottom nature. Type of anchorage.
  • Type of anchor and/or mooring line. Length and weight of it.
  • Meteorological conditions. Direction of the wind.
  • Presence or not of other boats, rocks or coast near the anchor point

Choosing the anchorage, first step

It is convenient to find out if in the area where we are going to sail andThere are anchoring restrictions or specific areas for it.

Anchoring in Posidonia meadows should be avoided. It is prohibited in many places as these meadows must be preserved. They are great filter feeders, oxygen producers and breeding and refuge areas for many marine species.

If you go to rent a boat with us and you leave from the Port of Caleta de Vélez, most likely you will decide to visit the area of the cliffs of Maro-Cerro Gordo. In this case, it is important that you take into account that there are areas restricted to anchoring.

There is no visual signaling of the area, but In the following map you can see the restricted anchoring area (outermost box) and free anchorage areas delimited in front of the Torre del Pino cove, the Cañuelo cove and the Cantarriján beach.

Once the anchoring area has been chosen, we must pay attention to the seabed. As we have already said, we should not anchor if we see posidonia meadows, but this is not the only thing we must take into account.

In rocky areas it will be very easy for us to grab the anchor, with the risk of even losing it! Y in sandy areas it will anchor very well, although we will have to leave more of an anchor line than in rocky areas and this will extend the swing radius.

Pay attention to the weather, second step

The second step is check if there is wind and in what direction it blows. We must always place the boat with the bow to the wind, so that it is already in the final anchoring position.

If there is a lot of wind, it is possible that the anchor and the mooring line are not enough to guarantee the position and we should look for a more protected area or even return to port.

The depth, third step

To measure the depth the most practical is dhave a probe on the boat like the one you will find in any of our Quicksilver available in Puerto de la Caleta. If it is a shallow area we can do it "by eye".

The depth will tell us two things that we must take into account:

  1. The amount of mooring line to let go
  2. The borneo radius, or distance that we must leave with other boats

In normal weather conditions, without wind or waves, it is recommended to leave about three lengths of anchor line. The more the wind blows, the more line we must release.

As expected, the boat will be able to circle around the anchor if the wind turns. Therefore, it is important to leave a sufficient safety distance with other boats, of at least the distance from the mooring line plus a couple of extra lengths.
It is recommended to make a slight backwards maneuver once pulled at anchor so that it grabs the bottom. After the anchoring manoeuvre, we wait a reasonable time to ensure that the boat stops lurching.

When the boat is stable we will take two lines (one to port and one to starboard), as far away from each other as possible. This sounds very technical, but it is nothing more than looking at two fixed points of reference such as a rock, a house, the profile of the coast... If after approximately 15 minutes we verify that the leading lines we have taken remain stable, it means that We are not dragging and we will consider the anchoring finished. It will be time to have an aperitif, take a bath and, ultimately, enjoy.

Ready to anchor?

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