Anchoring with a sailing yacht
There is nothing more beautiful than enjoying a sailing yacht at anchor in the open air. It gives a feeling of freedom that no one can disturb!
Our sailing boats are all equipped with a good anchor and the right equipment on board. However, we see it far too little that ships are anchored in the Netherlands.
While it is very normal in many countries, we are still a bit anxious in the Netherlands.
Of course it is also a lot more difficult and can be more restless than just taking a box in a harbor, but if you master anchoring well you can find peace and go into the night with confidence!
What is important with anchoring?
– If you have not yet anchored a lot with a sailing yacht, start only during the day where everything is easy to oversee. Once some experience has been gained, it is also possible to anchor at night.
– Length of the anchor line; in principle, a ratio of depth to length of anchor line is maintained of 1:4. This means that at a depth of 4 meters the anchor line should be 16 meters. If there is a lot of wind or a lot of waves, it is wise to go to 1:5 or 1:6 to get more holding power on the anchor.
– It is highly recommended to use a chain lead on the anchor, this ensures that the anchor line under water pulls the anchor almost horizontally over the seabed, so that it will bury itself as much as possible.
– Black ball; As soon as a boat is anchored, it is obliged to hoist a black ball into the mast so that nearby ships can see what is going on. This black ball does not need to be lifted all the way to the top, it is best to hoist it on the spinnaker halyard to about halfway up the mast, and hold this ball down with another line by tying this line somewhere in the middle of the foredeck .
– Relief; during the night one has to hoist a shining white light into the mast. Most ships have an all-round white light under the tricolor light in the mast. Otherwise, a creative solution has to be found. Optionally, the steam light in combination with the stern light can also form a shining light.
– make sure that the anchor is ready to be dropped, or to be lowered with a windlass. Note that the line can be released freely without tangling.
– find a piece of water with a shallow draft, ideally around 3-4 meters. Keep in mind that if the wind changes, the ship will also be moored elsewhere. So make sure that it is deep enough in a circle of 20 meters around the anchor!
– slow down the ship and steer it straight into the wind.
– As soon as the ship has come to a stop, the anchor can be lowered or thrown into the water.
– Now slowly reverse the boat before the wind, and fasten the anchor line on the windlass or bollard or frog on the foredeck in good time.
– The anchor will probably scratch at first, but soon it will dig in and the boat will come to a stop.
– by accelerating backwards you can check whether the anchor is firmly in place.
– There are several methods to check whether the anchor does not scratch:
– Anchor alarm on depth sounder; many depth gauges have a so-called anchor alarm. It will sound as soon as the depth begins to deviate by a preset value. This system works well if there is not too much depth difference at the anchorage.
– Anchor alarm on the GPS; Most GPS systems also have an anchor alarm. It will go off as soon as the position changes by a set distance. Also a great system.
– Cross polls; If you do not have any equipment on board, you can use a bearing compass to gauge a number of points on the shore and write down the rates. As soon as the prices start to deviate too much, you know that the anchor is scratching.
Below is a nice video from the magazine Zeilen with instructions on how to anchor correctly: