Sailing ABC A is for Anchor – Anchoring, VIII

Whether you have selected the perfect spot in a secluded bay or arrived at the end of the day at a popular, packed anchorage, the next challenge is to successfully park the boat so it stays put.

Prepare the anchor to move freely over the bow roller and if the rode is rope it can be faked on deck, laying it out in long loops, to the length of the desired scope. Secure it on a bow cleat, and check that the bitter end is tied off. Make sure it can be released quickly if necessary.

If it is all chain in the anchor locker, the windlass usually controls the chain as it pays out. Check that the end of the chain is secured somewhere in the anchor locker and make sure it can be released quickly if necessary.

My friend Salty Clay says that to look good while anchoring, decide on hand signals with your crew to communicate between bow and helm. No yelling back and forth. If there are enough hands on deck, assign a “parrot” at the shrouds to relay directions and information, if words are necessary, keeping voices low. Directions should always come from the helm. The bow crew passes information back to the helm, to help the skipper make decisions.

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