Sailing ABC – A is for Anchor – Anchoring, III

Sailing ABC  by Marianne Wheeler

A is for Anchor – Anchoring, III

Most anchors are made of strong steel (so they don’t float) and have points called flukes that dig into the bottom or grab onto rocks. They also have a shank between the flukes and the rode which helps the flukes to dig in. Often, there is a horizontal bar called stock that keeps the flukes from twisting out of the bottom as the boat swings from side to side while sitting at anchor. Or, instead of a stock, a shank may swivel over the flukes.

anchor-parts

My friend Salty Clay says at the very least a sailor should know what anchor and ground tackle a boat carries and how to deploy and retrieve it safely.

Before leaving the dock check where the anchor is located, how many are on board and determine the type of anchor(s) and rode.

Is the rode rope or chain, or both? Is it ready to pay out smoothly? Is it attached to the anchor securely? Is the bitter end attached to the boat? Is it attached in a way that it can be released in a hurry, if necessary? How long is the rode and are there depth markers on it?

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