|Anchors hold best when the pull of the "rode" on
the anchor is as near to horizontal as possible. The holding power of an anchor increases as the "scope" ratio
increases. A ratio of 7:1 is standard; 10:1 is better in rough water. For example, if boating in eight
feet of water and the bow is two feet above the waterline, 70 feet of rode is recommended. Boaters should
carry at least two anchors. A smaller, lighter anchor is good for use in calm weather and for positioning
a boat, and a larger anchor is best for bad weather or when anchoring overnight. Boats should never be anchored from
the stern (back of the boat), especially in current.
To anchor, the boat should be headed into the wind or current. The engine is then reversed or
the boat is allowed to back off. When the boat starts to go backward through the water, the anchor is
lowered from the bow (front of the boat). As the line goes over the side of the boat, no one should
be standing on any part of it. The end of the anchor rode (called the bitter end) must be secured
to the boat. When about a third of the rode is out, the rode is tied off to a forward cleat to make the anchor dig
into the bottom. Once the anchor digs in, the remaining rode is let out. A sight bearing is then taken on some stationary
objects to make certain that the anchor is not dragging on the bottom.
When "weighing" (pulling up) anchor, boaters must be careful. The combination of anchor
pull, current and weight can swamp a small boat. The anchor should be lifted as vertically as possible.
As it is lifted, it can be washed. Care should be taken that it does not hit the side of the boat.