Dragging Anchor

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          If you're lying at a different angle to all the other boats, figure you're probably dragging. Or, if the speedometer indicates movement (and you're not lying in any current) then you surely are. In a squall, it's likely to be immediately obvious if you're dragging - but then there's the creeping drag, which happens more slowly, especially after you've wandered all round the anchor in some calms. In the latter case, there's more time to respond. You either reset the anchor under power, or let out some more rode (if there's room) and reset. If this doesn't do the trick, then re-anchor. In the former case it can be a life or death situation (for the boat) so quick action is needed as listed below.

          NOTE: We always kept the dinghy tied to side of the mother boat at night. This meant that if we had to move quickly, we didn't have to worry about getting it's painter wrapped round the propellor when we turned on the engine.

  1. Turn on the engine to take strain off the rode and hold position while you decide what to do.
  2. Get all crew up on deck.
  3. Grab the earphones and put them on so we can talk to each other.
  4. One goes forward to work the windlass, the other stays at helm.
  5. If plenty of room in the anchorage, let out more rode and try to reset the anchor.
  6. Consider dropping the second anchor under the bow, and slowly letting out its rode while we drift back until it grabs.
  7. If these don't work, or there's no time, or it's a tight squeeze, maneuver slowly under power (being careful not to wrap the rode round the propellor) and haul up the anchor.
  8. Then find a new spot and re-anchor, if available.
  9. If the anchorage seems dangerous, reposition dinghy tight astern and head out to alternative anchorage using previously selected waypoints and radar as needed.



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This page was last modified on:
August 9, 2009