Members' Online Book: Anchoring Made Easy—Gear, Chapter 1 of 17




There are few if any subjects that generate more discussion and anxiety in the voyaging community than anchoring. And yes, there are any number of books out there that will tell you how to anchor well…or at least claim to. This Online Book is different…and better. Read on for why:

This book is for you if:

  • You dread having to anchor.
  • You head for a marina or mooring field when strong winds are forecast.
  • Anchoring causes friction between you and your spouse and/or crew.
  • You don’t sleep properly when anchored.

And even if none of that applies to you, you will still find useful stuff.

If you use the information in this Online Book you will get anchored and stay anchored.

What This Book Is Not

We won’t waste your time with detailed technical dissertations full of equations and graphs, nor will we burden you with a long discussion of all the options in gear or technique. We will simply tell you what we know works, in the shortest possible way, without blathering on about stuff you don’t need to know.

Real Experience

None of this is theory, rather every single word is based on real experience.

Or to put it another way, we know about anchoring because we have done a lot of it. I started anchoring fifty-five years ago in my native Bermuda and I have been anchoring ever since. For most of the last twenty-five years Phyllis and I have been voyagers, anchoring at least fifty times a year and often double that.

We have anchored in just about every imaginable bottom type, from the hard white sand of the Bahamas, to the kelp covered rock of Greenland and Baffin Island, and on to the glutinous mud of the English East Coast.

What we know, we learned the hard way. We have:

  • Dragged down on another boat in a raging line squall.
  • Failed to get our anchor to set so many times at the end of a long day that we were both nearly in tears.
  • Anchored too close to other boats and too close to the shore.

But today we get anchored reliably every time in almost every place. We have not dragged in twenty years. In fact, we have not had any anchor induced drama in years.

Anchoring is as much a part of our routine and about as difficult for us as parking a car is for the land based dweller.

And Colin, AAC European Correspondent, has as much anchoring experience as we do.

Truth Tested

But wait, it gets better. Normally, when an author writes a how-to book, they do it in a vacuum, and so it represents just their views and experiences, perhaps added to by an editor and a few reviewers.

But the information in this Online Book has been subjected to the vigilant eyes of the hundreds of experienced voyagers and several engineers that read and comment here…for years. And let me tell you, when I make a mistake or leave something important out, those readers don’t hesitate to call me on it.

Bottom line, the anchoring book you are about to read is not just the fruits of our experience, it has been filtered through the lens of millions of miles of voyaging and hundreds of thousands of anchorings.

Commitment From You

Do you have to buy and do everything that we recommend? No, of course not. If you only do some of it you will still reap big benefits.

But before you reject a recommendation as too expensive or too much hassle, think about what being able to anchor reliably is really worth to you. Is worth more than:

  • That fancy new plotter?
  • Time spent polishing stainless steel or waxing the topsides?
  • That expensive automatic directional satellite TV antenna?
  • That slick new RIB inflatable with the new expensive and more powerful outboard?
  • Time spent playing with that new sexy must-have iPhone marine app?

OK, I will stop, I think you get the picture.

Having said that we will save you time and money by identifying what you don’t need to buy and work you don’t need to do.

Book Chapter Navigation:

The Right Anchor >>

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Meet the Author


John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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