How To Anchor


Your anchor, ropes and chains used for anchoring, must be strong enough to hold the boat you intend to anchor.

  • If possible, choose an anchor that holds well on the type of seabed that you are anchoring at.
  • The crewman on the bow prepares the anchor, i.e. anchoring mechanism, to drop anchor.
  • The helmsman slowly stops the boat and turns its bow windward, and the crewman on the bow lowers the anchor to the sea level.
  • After the boat has stopped with her bow windward, the helmsman shouts out: Drop anchor! The bowman lowers the anchor towards the seabed and replies: Anchor at sea! Finally, he/she reports: Anchor at seabed!
  • Helmsman slowly steers astern, the bow crewman slowly lowers the anchoring cable and watches it, and he reports to the helmsman when he notices that the anchoring cable vibrates by shouting: Anchor ploughing!
  • At the moment when the bow crewman estimates there is sufficient chain or rope released, he holds the anchor lightly and waits for the chain or rope to stop shaking and than shouts: The anchor holds! or The anchor has caught a grip! Afterwards he/she continues to release anchoring cable.
  • When the helmsman estimates that the boat is in the position that he anticipated, he shouts out: Hold anchor! The boat takes its position at the anchoring site.
  • The anchoring signals are marked at the bow: a black sphere during daylight, i.e. a white anchoring light at night, visible from all directions.

In the end, we wish to point out one thing: if you are anchoring in order to tie the stern ashore, the distance from the shore at which you will drop anchor at is also measured according to the depth of the sea: the anchor should then be dropped at the distance of at least 5-6 lengths of the boat.

If you decided to anchor with tandem anchors, we advise you to drop both from the bow, their lines making an angle of approximately 25 degrees, so that the boat could take and stay on a bow to windward position…

Anchoring with small sport sailing crafts:

Anchoring with small sport sailing crafts

With small sport sailing crafts, to easy to manipulate that they would demand a winch to serve their anchor, a crew member throws the anchor form the bow after the helmsman has chosen an optimal site – taking into account distance from the shore and direction of the wind

Anchoring in the middle of a cove:

Anchoring in the middle of a cove

When anchoring in the middle of a cove or a port area, if there’s no place at the pier, it’s very important to take care about the so-called false space – a full circle around your yacht that might move in all directions driven by wind or stream. Mind that there’s no obstacle in that space, like another boat anchored by two anchors, a buoy, shallow spot or any fixed objects.

Anchoring under sails:

Anchoring under sails

Anchoring under sails is one of the most exciting manoeuvres

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From:  „Sailing nautical  skills“ by Emil Tomašević


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