Though anchors are not required by federal law, many states have anchor requirements. It is advisable to carry an anchor for both recreational and emergency use.
Anchors Should Have:
Line, chain (called “rode“), and anchor (all items together are called “ground tackle”). The chain helps you to set and retrieve the anchor. The amount of rode (line + chain) to have out depends on the water depth in which you plan to set anchor. As a general rule of thumb, your rode should be 7 to 10 times the depth of the water in which you will anchor. You will need more rode in bad weather or rough water. Anchors can be of assistance in emergency situations—especially in case of engine failure in rough waters or currents. As such, make sure the anchor is always accessible and the rode is free of entanglements.
TYPES OF ANCHORS: There are a number of anchor types. The most common recreational anchors are listed below. Choose the anchor type that meets yoru requirements.
Lands sideways: buries when pulled. Best for rocky bottoms, weeds, and grass.
Pivoting flukes bury the anchor. Best for soft mud and grass.
For canoes and inflatables. Best for flat bottoms.
- Remember: the wind or tide will move your boat around the anchor; you should allow a 360-degree area for movement.
- Pick a spot upwind from where you wish to end up (once you set anchor, you will drift downwind).
- Calculate the amount of rode needed to set anchor (rode = 7 to 10 x water depth).
- Ready rode in a fashion that will allow the anchor to release smoothly to the bottom; ensure that no feet or equipment are entangled in the rope.
- Attach the line to a bow cleat. Never tie the line to the stern: the additional weight could bring on water.
- Slowly lower the anchor from the bow, rather than the stern, to avoid capsizing or swamping.
- When the anchor has hit bottom—and sufficient rode is given out—give a solid pull to set the anchor.
- Secure and adjust the line.