Duties of the Anchor Watch

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          We put someone on anchor watch in bad weather situations. If it was normal bad weather at night, then the watch dozed below in the cabin, checking around every hour or so as seemed appropriate. But in storm situations here's the list of his/her duties (day or night) when coming on to an anchor watch until things calmed down.

  1. Do an immediate visual inspection to see if we're dragging. If we lie at a different angle to the other boats, we probably are, so take immediate corrective action. Check nearby boats regularly to make sure they are not dragging.
  2. Turn on the GPS and VHF, channel 16. Have the air horn handy.
  3. Turn on the electronics (depth sounder, wind instruments, and boat speed indicator).
  4. Turn on the radar, take EBL and Range on two landmarks. Write them down.
  5. Get some fenders and docklines out to have ready for use.
  6. Check ground tackle, deck tie downs, sails, and reduce windage as seems necessary.
  7. Be ready to turn on the engine.
  8. Plan exit from anchorage, in case it's necessary.
  9. Do frequent eyeball checks on landmarks and surrounding boats by checking their position in relation to us, and to each other.
  10. Keep an eye on the depth, wind speed and direction, and boat speed indicators. If any of these change, assume dragging anchor. Check GPS position, radar, and our position relative to other boats to refute or confirm. If dragging, alert everyone and act.
  11. If another boat is dragging towards you be prepared to fend them or render assistance.
  12. Check anchor rode periodically.


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This page was last modified on:
August 9, 2009