Once you head out to exciting new anchorages, you’ll start to realize that very few boaters know what they’re doing. The vast majority certainly do not know how to anchor and moorings are another weak spot.
I don’t understand why governments force people to get driving licenses for a car but think it’s okay for people to command a boat with no testing. Some boaters throw an anchor overboard and when it hits the ground they think they’re done. Other boaters will drop their anchor over yours or anchor in a manner that will cause an eventual collision. In busy bays, it’s downright nuts.
Mooring fields are just as bad. Many new boaters only use one line to tie onto a ball. Others set the lines up incorrectly.
You think I’m kidding about the lack of knowledge on how to anchor or moorings, don’t you?
I’m not kidding. When in a bay you need to be vigilant. There are often boats dragging. On occasion, a boat will pull up someone else’s anchor and set the boat ‘free’. My husband and I rarely leave our boat unattended in a busy anchorage or mooring field.
That being noted, it’s important to ask yourself if you truly understand the art of anchoring. When we first started I surely didn’t. I use to dump the anchor all in one place, look around to see if we kept still and if I felt ‘secure,’ I think ‘job done.’ Fortunately for us, we learned real quick about what to do and not do.
We had a terrible experience of dragging once…and it wasn’t just us. A whole bay of boats all dragged into one corner. It was horrifying. Read my story about dragging our anchor here: How to anchor a sailboat – what I’ve learned about anchoring so far.
I think most of us (and I’m including me!) think that anchoring and mooring balls are easy but they’re not. Furthermore, it’s one of those areas that cause massive friction between couples. When we started I couldn’t hear or understand what my husband was yelling. He would completely misunderstand my ‘stop’ sign for ‘use the bow thruster’ and all hell would break loose. Sometimes we’d sit and sulk after we finally got it right.
Eventually, we figured out the exact steps necessary to get these two procedures down pat.
In the hopes of reducing your learning curve, helping you to avoid looking like a fool AND to minimize arguments with your spouse we’ve shared the steps we use to successfully anchor and get on a mooring.
If you want to read a textbook on the intricacies of anchoring and mooring, this is not the book for you. This is a guide that will tell you what to do, how to do it, why you’re doing it, and tips to help out when things don’t go the way you planned. It’s an easy-read, start-to-finish procedure on how to look like a professional sooner rather than later.
In the Anchoring and Mooring guide, you’ll start off with Step 1:
Gather information. Prior to arrival at a new anchorage search out areas that are suitable for anchoring considering the prevailing wind and tide conditions in addition to water depth. Also consider other factors such as provisioning necessities (do you need to go to shore to get water/wine/food?), water cleanliness (do you want to go swimming?), and congestion factors (will it be jam-packed?).
Information prior to arrival can often be obtained from other cruisers, pilot books, plotters, maps, cruiser guides, and cruiser websites. Certain anchorages are good for some weather conditions and not for others. And depending on the length of your anchor rope or chain, a bay may or may not be suitable considering the depth.
And consider why you want to go to a particular bay – if you want a quiet evening it’s probably important to find a bay that is not popular. Make sure you research the details and options before heading out.
To discover the rest of the steps to successful anchoring and mooring, buy the guide now.
Also get tips like this one in the guide:
Local help with anchoring. In some parts of the world boat, boys/girls will offer to help you anchor. You’ll find this ‘service,’ or what I call ‘boat begging’ on various islands in the Caribbean. For the most part, the boat boys/girls will direct you to a good area for holding or give you local knowledge about the bay.
We usually take one of two approaches when this situation arises. Our first approach is to ask how much they want for the help and as long as it is not too much (over $10 is too much) we oblige. I often feel that paying locals not only contributes to the welfare of the area but it also provides a perhaps higher level of protection.
Our other approach is to explain that we’ve anchored in the bay before, even if we haven’t, and we graciously thank them for their offer but right now we’re ‘good to go.’ No matter what, we never instigate an argument. If the price is too high, we say so. We’re firm but fair. It’s important to always keep in mind that some of these people, unfortunately, don’t have enough money to eat.
Find out all our tips about anchoring and mooring now – scroll up and click on the buy button.
Also, learn about choosing the RIGHT anchoring equipment including…
- What causes load on your boat in addition to two tables to verify what ground tackle is necessary
- An explanation of the components that make up ‘ground tackle’ and what to look for
- The anchor chain working load limit table
- Recommended anchor size for your boat and weather conditions
As with all my guides, if you don’t find that the information provided is valuable, I will happily refund your money. No questions asked.
Total pages: 47 US Letter pages (includes checklists for arriving and leaving an anchorage and mooring. You’ll also find over 35 top tips on how to avoid making mistakes and making sure you choose the right anchoring equipment.
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