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Online Book Table of Contents:

Anchoring Made Easy


There are few activities in the voyaging life that cause more anxiety and stress than anchoring. John and Colin share what they have learned in a combined century of anchoring from Greenland to Brazil, as well as a lot of places between. Information that truly makes anchoring easy.


Learn why this Online Book is worth your time and will change your cruising life for the better.

Specifying Primary Anchor Size

In a previous two chapters we covered our favourite anchor and a second choice. In this chapter we move on to size and material—even tricker things to decide on. But not to worry, we make it simple.

Things to Know About Anchor Chain

There are probably more misconceptions and just plain wrong information circulating about anchor chain than most any other piece of cruising gear. For this chapter I went to the experts at Peerless Chain to get the real facts.

Selecting a Chain Grade

In the last chapter on chain we looked at the three grades of chain normally used for anchor rodes on cruising sailboats. In this chapter we carry on from that base and examine the trade-offs between the grades and the things that you need to know when selecting the right anchor chain and gauge for your boat.

Anchor Chain Catenary, When it Matters and When it Doesn’t

There are two opposing views on chain catenary: those who believe that having a lot of chain on the bottom increases holding, and those who have observed an all chain rode being pulled bar straight in any winds above about 30 knots and therefore hold that catenary does nothing useful in anchoring. Who is right? Read on to find out, and also for John’s recommendation for the best chain grade to use.


Rope snubbers are vital for those of us who anchor on all-chain rodes, but the good news is that a good snubber is a simple thing to make and rig right.

Q&A: Hybrid Rope And Chain Anchor Rodes

Many anchoring experts advocate hybrid anchor rodes made up of a long length of chain attached to an even longer piece of rope. But is this really a good idea? We examine the practical real world issues in this chapter.

Anchor Swivels, Just Say No

We have never seen the point of anchor swivels. In our opinion all they do is add a potential point of failure to the anchoring system and provide no benefits in return. But they are, in fact, even more dangerous than we thought. In this chapter we explain why and even tell you how to ameliorate the danger if you really must have a swivel.

A Windlass That Makes The Grade

Most windlasses fitted to production cruising boats are simply inadequate and can leave you in very deep yogurt when things go wrong. In this chapter we show you what to look for in a good windlass and tell you about a feature, the lack of which contributes to about half of the dragging incidences we see.

The Perfect Anchor Roller

There are few pieces of gear on many voyaging boats that are as poorly designed as the anchor roller. But it doesn’t have to be that way.


Kellets are often touted in books and articles on anchoring as a way to increase anchor holding and setting reliability. But do they really work, and should you buy one?

20 Tips To Get Anchored and Stay Anchored

You can have the best anchors and associated gear available, but if you don’t use that gear properly you won’t get anchored and stay anchored. In this post we carry on from Part 1 with some tips for techniques to help make you a happy anchorer.

Choosing an Anchorage

Deciding where to seek shelter with a storm on the way, particularly when far from home and in unfamiliar waters, can be one of the most stressful calls we voyagers are called upon to make. John shares his decision making process when choosing an anchorage to ride out a fall storm.

Choosing a Spot

In this chapter John outlines the steps he takes to get Morgan’s Cloud anchored in the right spot the first time.

15 Steps To Getting Securely Anchored

When thinking about anchoring, it’s easy to just focus on gear, but good technique can contribute at least as much to getting securely anchored. These steps, based on 40 years of experience, make getting securely anchored easy and repeatable.

Many people assume that tying to the solid land with shorefasts is safer and more secure than anchoring. But is it really? John takes a deep dive into the facts and in the process shares some interesting things about shorefasts and how to use them.

ShoreFasts—Part 3, The Gear

In Parts 1 and 2 I covered when to use shorefasts, the risks of doing so, and shorefast setups, as well as sharing some tips and tricks to make putting them in easier. Now let’s take a look at the gear Phyllis and I carry on Morgan’s Cloud, as well as what you need if you aspire to being a competent shorefast user.

Storm Preparation, All Chain On Deck

What with spending a lot of time in the high latitudes and keeping boats on moorings year round in Bermuda, John has a lot of experience dealing with heavy weather while anchored or on a mooring. In this chapter he gives some tips for preparing your boat to safely ride out a storm.