Our last Carefree Boat Club training blog covered Boating Safety Tips For Kids. As a follow up. this week’s #TrainingThursday will cover Anchoring At Night. We will cover best practices for anchoring at night, what types of anchors to use, safety tips and regulations.
Reasons you would want to anchor at night are:
- Local fishing competition
- Staying overnight, having lunch or sight seeing
- Bad weather blowing your boat on shore
Here are a few important things to remember if you plan on anchoring at night.
There is no single anchor design that is best in all condition. The first step to anchoring at night is picking the right anchor. According to BoatSafe.com, while cruising on a pleasure boat there are three main anchors you would choose from:
- The plow anchor, also nicknamed the “farmer’s plow,” is the most popular type of anchor for cruising. It gets it’s name from it’s resemblance to…you guessed it, a farmers plow!
- Fluke or Danforth
- The fluke or danforth anchor are popular because they work very well in sand. Also, these anchors are said to have the highest holding power per pound than any other anchor.
- The mushroom anchor, best in soft bottoms, is not ideal for larger boats or yachts but is perfect for smaller boats. Since the mushroom anchor works by burying in it’s own weight it works best in a bottom that can be penetrated.
- Select an area that has low wind, current or boat traffic.
- Select an area with ample space for your boat to swing it’s radius.
- Determine the depth before calculating the amount of rode you will put out.
- Once you have your rode calculated, lay it out on the deck in a manner that it will flow smoothly off the boat.
- Never anchor from the stern alone, this could cause the boat to swamp or capsize.
- Once all of the anchor line has been let out, back down on the anchor with engine in idle reverse to help set the anchor.
- If there are local landmarks, use them to set your compass. I.e. associate south with a lighthouse and west with a rock. Make sure those reference points are always in place.
- Begin anchor watch (explained in regulations).
According to BoatSafe.com, the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea Rule 5, also known as the “Lookout Rule,” requires every vessel to have a proper lookout by sight and hearing. This means boats that dock at night cannot rely on the gps or radar alone. This is an important safety precaution as it enables the vessel to avoid collision or prevailing circumstances.
Carefree Boat Club suggests working shifts to have someone on watch if others need to sleep. We’ve all been in a situation where watching a fishing line has led to us dozing off. It’s imperative to have a strategy in place, especially when anchoring at night.
Do you have any other questions about boating without owning or the Carefree Boat Club location?