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Top Tips For Successfoul Anchoring
Our silent signs! David on the foredeck facing towards anchor and away from me
  • Right hand held high, palm facing forwards - Forward
  • Right hand down, palm facing back - Reverse
  • Right arm held shoulder height, elbow bent, hand high - Neutral
  • Right arm held out to Starboard - Right
  • Left arm held out to Port - Left
  • Both arms in the air - Stop - for goodness sake STOP!

Successfull Anchoring

TEN TOP TIPS for top teamwork
  • Don't yell instructions - she can't hear you anyway
  • Don't bend down too low to give instructions - she needs to see your hands
  • Don't wind your hand around in circles - she sees it in reverse
  • Don't treat her like incompetent crew - or she'll resign
  • Don't snatch the helm from her - or she'll let you keep it
  • Do agree signals beforehand - then you'll both know what you're doing
  • Do give clear signals - then she can follow them
  • Do give her some credit - she has guts to be at the helm in the first place
  • Do speak to her as you would your best mate - or you'll be talking to yourself. And anyway, do you need the stress?

Successfull Anchoring

TEN TOP TIPS on anchoring
  • Check that your vessel is clear of underwater cables - which often marked by yellow triangles on posts on the shore.
  • Don't drop the anchor where you want to end up - allow space for your boat to drift back and settle.
  • Drop the anchor a short distance behind the boat in front, a little to port or starboard of that point.
  • Make sure your boat is heading in the same direction as the other boats - before dropping the anchor.
  • Don't drop your chain on top of your anchor - or you might be fouled up when leaving.
  • Dig the anchor in by moving astern slowly from dropping point until the chain is taut and the boat has stopped moving.
  • Remember, it's the weight of the chain pulling horizontally on the seabed which prevents the anchor breaking out!
  • If you are using rope, it is essential to have some chain for weight.
  • But don't go mad and drop too much chain - or you could end up being too close to someone else when the tide turns again.
  • Don't forget to calculate for low water as well - especially in areas of large tidal range.
For an Electric Winch
  • Timing the length of chain for anchorage
  • Make a starting mark on the anchor chain.
  • Turn switch for 10 seconds.
  • Make a finishing mark
  • Measure the distance between the two marks.
  • Then time the length of chain required - 10 seconds x measurement = length.
  • e.g. 10 seconds = 4 metres - 1 minute = 24 metres.
Suggested length of chain for three depths
  • A safe chain length for the depth is the square root of the depth at high water x twelve.
  • Anchoring in 4 meters the sq root is 2 x 12 = 24 metres
  • Anchoring in 6 meters the sq root is approx 2.5 x 12 = 30 metres
  • Anchoring in 9 meters the sq root is 3 x 12 = 36 metres
  • This is the method used at many RYA recognised sailing schools.
And Most Important
When you've finished anchoring - don't forget to hang up your black anchor ball: other yachtsman may think that you are underway, and you could even have trouble claiming insurance if there is an accident. My sail training instructor friend, told me that he knew of two cases this year, where the insurers wouldn't pay up because a yacht was not displaying a black ball. One in New Zealand and the other in Chichester Harbour. So hang up your black ball and be safe.
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