How to Drop an Anchor for a Boat

How to Drop an Anchor for a Boat
When learning to sail or boat, one of the most important, yet often overlooked, techniques you need to perfect is how to drop anchor properly. Simply tossing a weight that is tied to your boat is not enough. An improperly anchored boat may drift several miles before you are aware that it has happened. Learning the proper way to anchor will have you feeling safe and secure on the water.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Establish your anchor drop location and swing zone. Your anchor drop will be the actual spot you release the anchor. Your swing zone is the area your boat will freely move within after being anchored to a specific spot, due to wind or current. Make sure your swing area is free of debris and other boats.
Step 2
Approach your anchor drop location by heading into the wind or current. Bring your boat to a stop with the bow slightly upwind of the anchor drop zone.
Step 3
Lower the anchor slowly into the water. When the anchor reaches the bottom, the boat should be drifting slightly backward. If needed, put the boat in reverse and slightly move backward. This prevents the anchor chain from piling up on top of itself. You want tension on the chain, but do not pull or drag the anchor.
Step 4
Tie off the anchor around the anchor cleat once you have felt it dig in a bit. Give the anchor line a good tug to make sure it is grounded.

Tips & Warnings

Do not drop, throw, toss or drag the anchor along the bottom.
Do not drop, throw, toss or drag the anchor along the bottom.

Article Written By Jeanene S. Valentine

Valentine attended the University of California at Los Angeles for film studies and worked in the industry for several years. Even owning her own production company. Valentine is a Correctional Officer for men's state prison, passionate about practicing mixed martial arts and enjoys do-it-yourself auto mechanics.

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