Anchor Successfully For a Good Night’s Sleep (part 1)

Captain Shel Miller

Secrets of Anchoring (part 1):

Like most things in life the more you do something the better you get at it, this is also called skill. Words don’t teach, only real life experience teaches. But, I will offer some words here to hopefully give you some clues and insights around the subject of anchoring and how this can be accomplished easily and successfully.

Here are four requirements for an anchorage:

  • Shelter from wind and waves (weather).
  • Good holding ground.
  • Enough room to swing around the anchor.
  • Sufficient depth of water.

You will often times run into the term ‘scope’ when anchoring. From the Glossary here is the definition: The ratio of anchor rode paid out to the depth of the water plus the height of the deck above water; as in: Many recommend a scope of 7:1 for secure overnight anchoring.


If you do not understand any of the terms here please refer to the Glossary, or look here:

Also consider that anchoring may not always be the best choice: If you are in an area of coral bottom and there are mooring buoys provided; going with the mooring, even though it costs a few dollars, is an excellent choice as it provides great security for you and your boat, and will not damage the bottom.

Parts of a typical mooring assembly:




And, when you do get anchored or moored successfully turn on the anchor light, you know, that white light at the top of the mast visible from all-around (not to be confused with the masthead (steaming) light.

Much more can be found here or by clicking ‘Anchoring’ in the top menu. In Part 2 we’ll discuss more tips and techniques.

Best Sailing,
Captain Shel

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