How To Anchor A Boat (And Avoid These Common Anchoring Mistakes)
By: Joe Simonds on July 17, 2019
When you’re dropping down the anchor, a lot can go wrong…
Your hand or leg could get stuck in the rope and you could get pulled overboard…
You could drop the anchor on your deck and be in for an expensive repair job…
You could not tie the anchor on your boat correctly and lose your anchor…
And those are just a few of the things that could go wrong!
Bottom line is, when it comes to anchoring your boat, you need to know what you’re doing.
So we’ve got Salt Strong fishing coach Capt. Mark “Hollywood” Johnson from Florida Keys Fun Fishing to drop some knowledge on us about boat anchors.
In this video you’ll learn:
- Why boat anchors need chains (and what happens if they don’t have one)
- The top mistakes newbies make when they deploy their anchors
- Two popular types of anchors (and which one Capt. Johnson uses for his fleet of boats)
- The formula for knowing how much rope you need in every depth of water for every condition
- The top mistakes newbies make when they pull up their anchors
- And much more!
Watch the video below.
(P.S. want to catch more fish while you’re out on the water? Check out our Insider Club here.)
How To Anchor Your Boat [VIDEO]
- How To Dock Your Boat The Quick & Easy Way
- 10 Essential Boating Items Every Fisherman Needs
- Boat Ramp Mistakes: Top 5 Blunders That Cause Fights [VIDEO]
Two Popular Types Of Anchors
Two of the most popular types of anchors are the danforth anchors and the snowplow, or claw anchors.
The danforth anchor is best for hard bottom, but not as good for grassy bottom because it can often get clogged with grass and not catch.
On the other hand, the snowplow anchor works well for both bottoms.
However, one thing to remember is that with the snowplow, it’s important to use a reef trip (see the video at 6:20 for more information on reef trips).
Getting The Anchor To Stick
When it comes to getting the anchor to stick, there are two things to keep in mind:
- Always use a chain
- Have enough scope
Many inexperienced boaters don’t have a chain on their anchor and wonder why their anchor often doesn’t catch.
The weight of the chain decreases the angle of the anchor relative to the boat.
It lets the anchor lie closer to the bottom, which is what allows it to catch.
If it’s sticking straight up, it will have a much tougher time catching.
Another thing that decreases the angle of the anchor relative to the boat is the scope, or the amount of rope let out.
A good rule of thumb is that for calm conditions, you need to have three feet of rope for every one foot of depth.
So if you’re in 10 feet of water, you’ll need 30 feet of rope.
If you’re in windy conditions, or an area where there is a lot of current, you’ll need five feet of rope for every one foot of depth.
So if you’re in 10 feet of water, you’ll need 50 feet of rope.
This will help ensure the anchor sticks to the bottom.
Dropping The Anchor
Capt. Mark sees two big mistakes when it comes to droppping an anchor:
- The rope is being pulled from the bottom of the coil, or from a rets nest
- Throwing the anchor overboard
If your anchor line is not in a nice coil with the rope closest to the anchor on top of the coil, you could be setting yourself up for failure.
This is how knots happen, which can lead to bad news if you’re trying to undo a knot while the anchor is trying to stick to the bottom.
The other mistake is that people try to throw their anchors overboard.
If you drop it, or don’t throw the anchor far enough and it lands on your boat, you could be in for some expensive repairs to your boat.
Instead, when you’re dropping the anchor, you want to lower the anchor overboard and then let the line out, being careful to keep it away from your feet.
Finally, when you have enough scope, be sure to tie your boat off to the cleat and remember to always finish it off with a lock.
Pulling Up The Anchor
The final step in properly anchoring your boat is pulling the anchor up.
When you’re pulling up the anchor, make sure to have a partner drive the boat to above where the anchor is while you pull in the rope and coil it on the deck.
Once you get to the anchor, start pulling the anchor up by using your arms and legs (and not just your back).
If it pops off the bottom easily, great!
But if not, tie the anchor to the cleat, put the boat in gear, and use the boat’s motor to pop it off (your back will thank you).
Pull the anchor up, and once it comes to the surface, swing it out and over the side of the boat.
So there you go!
That’s how you safely and properly drop down an anchor.
Have any questions about anchoring your boat?
Let us know in the comments below!
And if you know someone who needs help anchoring their boat, be sure to TAG or SHARE this with them!
P.S. Want more tips like this from Capt. Mark and the Salt Strong coaches to help you catch more fish and find the best fishing spots (and get discounts on fishing gear!)? Join our Insider Club here.
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