You’d think that anchoring your boat would be just as simple as tossing that heavy hunk of metal overboard and calling it a day. But there’s a lot more to it than that. Anchoring is both an art and a science, requiring a reasonable understanding of physics to ensure that your boat is properly and safely stayed.
However aside from choosing the right place in the water to anchor your boat, it’s also important that you know from where to toss your anchor, which in this case means the bow. What is the major danger of anchoring your fishing boat from the stern, you might ask? Well, it’s a lot riskier than it seems.
Anchoring From the Stern
Keep in mind that there’s quite a lot of weight at the stern. Your motor’s position at the stern means that your boat will always tilt slightly downward at the back. Deploying your anchor from there means adding to that weight and pulling your stern even lower into the water as the bow raises slightly higher above the surface.
The problem with this set up is that it makes it more likely for water to enter your boat. As your stern sits closer to the water level, waves that hit the back of your boat can force water onto the deck. This can cause your boat to swamp, or may even prove to be a dangerous situation in certain water and wind conditions.
How to Anchor Your Fishing Boat
There’s a lot to consider before you toss that anchor overboard. To make sure you’re properly and safely anchoring your watercraft, see to it that you follow these basic steps:
Find the Right Place
Your boat will move around the anchor as the wind changes, so you might want to consider that before anything else. See to it that the area will provide enough free room for your boat to move around as the winds change direction so that you don’t hit anything in or above the water.
Look for a spot upwind where you want your boat to end up. Once you deploy your anchor, the wind should push your boat to this place in the water. Should the wind change direction, it’s important that you make sure there’s nothing within the anchor’s radius that could obstruct, damage, or destroy your boat.
Ready the Rode
As a general rule, you’re going to want to let out 7 to 10 times the depth of water in rode length. This just makes sure that your shank won’t pull upward and that the flukes will penetrate the floor beneath. In anchoring a boat, more rode will work in your favor. So when it doubt, let it out.
But right before you deploy that anchor, see to it that your rode is properly readied. Aside from the length of it, make sure that it’s properly coiled on deck so that it deploys smoothly as the anchor’s weight pulls it out of the boat. This applies of course if you don’t have an anchor winch installed on your boat. Make sure that no feet or objects will be caught in the line as it goes down.
Tie to a Cleat
Now that your rope is ready, tie the opposite end to a cleat. Again, you’re going to want to make sure that you tie it away from the stern since this can cause water to splash onto your deck. This is also when your knot tying skills should come in handy.
As logic might tell you, no ordinary knot will do. A cleat hitch knot should keep your rode in place, preventing the knot from coming undone as the force of water and weight pull on the rode while your anchor rests at the bottom of the water.
Deploy Your Anchor
If you don’t have a winch, then you’re going to have to manually deploy your anchor. Slowly lower it into the water and release rode as you go along. See to it that none of the rode tangles up as you continue to let the anchor’s weight pull it further down to the bottom of the waves.
You should feel as the anchor hits the bottom, since by then you’ll be releasing rode without the feeling of a weight at the end. To see if your anchor is making contact with the base, give it a little tug. If there’s resistance and you’re not able to pull up on the rode, then that means your anchor should be at the bottom. Keep deploying rode until you let out up to 10 times the depth of the water.
Adjust the Rode
Now that you’ve let out enough rode and that your anchor is resting safely at the bottom, you can go ahead and re-adjust your line. This is especially important if you have extra length of rode on board and you want to prevent it from being pulled into the water.
Remove the knot from your cleat and adjust the line so that it stops any extra rode from making its way into the waves. Again, secure the rope with a cleat knot so that it doesn’t come undone with the anchor’s weight pulling against it.
Tips for Anchoring Your Boat
There are lots of different kinds of anchors. Make sure you’re using the right kind for the specific conditions at the bottom of the water.
Your anchor doesn’t have to be too heavy. For instance, a boat that’s 25 feet in length might only need a 5lb anchor.
Take note of objects around the water to relate to your position. Constantly check on these points to make sure your anchor isn’t dragging.
See to it that you check back on your knots to make sure they’re not coming off. It also helps to use a splice to lengthen the lifespan of your rode.
What is the major danger of anchoring your fishing boat from the stern? Well, it lets water in, of course. To avoid the risk and keep your vessel operating without a hitch, keep this guide in mind. Anchoring might not be as easy as it seems, but with practice, you should perfect the art of anchoring in no time.