An anchor is not a compulsory piece of boating equipment however not having one can put you and your crew in a life threatening situation, not having the right one or having one that is inadequate for the job, can be almost as dangerous.
Imagine breaking down on a run out tide drifting towards an ocean bar without an anchor or with one that is not going to pull you up – scary thought!
When you’re setting up an anchoring system there’s a few basic things to consider to ensure you’re ready for any situation.
The main considerations are how much rope you need, how much chain you should have on the end of that rope and what style and size anchor you should choose.
Anchoring relies on angles not weight, the steeper the angle or closer it is to vertical, the less likely it is to hold bottom and the flatter the angle, the more anchor rope you let out, the more likely it is to hold.
As a general guide, the length of rope you let out when anchoring should be about five times the depth of water you’re in.
A good length of chain between the anchor and the rope helps because it’s heavier in weight, it lays on the bottom, further increasing that angle, it also prevent the anchor rope from being cut off or frayed by bottom structure.
It is also a good idea to have a second rope set up with eyelets on each end that can be used to extend the anchor rope if needed.
To prevent the anchor rope wearing through and breaking, it’s best to use good quality shackles between the anchor and the chain and metal eyelets between the rope and chain.
Choosing the right anchor can also make a big difference.
There are three main types, the Fluke, Plow and Claw.
They all have their strong points and weaknesses so it is best to choose wisely.
The fluke style anchor, often referred to as a Danforth, is one of the more common used in small boats, it has two joined pivoting flukes which are designed to reducing the anchor getting clogged up with mud therefore ideal for estuary areas where the bottom is soft enough for the flukes to dig in.
The plough anchor is popular for offshore anglers because it has good holding power over a wide range of bottom types and is designed to dig back in after a tide change shifts the boats position.
The claw or Bruce anchor is similar to the plough anchor, however its unique non articulated shape allows the boat to spin 360 degree without it pulling out of the bottom.
It sets just like a plough anchor, but the curved flukes make it easier for a claw to right itself no matter how it lands on the bottom, or how much the boat gets swung around.


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