Have you checked your anchor lately? Small boat operators very occasionally anchor, and sometimes this critical piece of equipment is overlooked as more of an emergency tool than a must-have attachment tool for overnighting in some calm bay.
First and foremost it is the most important tool to stop you from grounding your vessel when you have lost power. Of course there are many ways in which your vessel can cease to function. Once adrift it is important, while you are waiting for help, to stop yourself from going ashore. Fairly basic stuff really, until your chain and rope is broken or missing and you’re drifting into a shoal.
So have you checked your anchor lately? Have you ensured you have a connection point to your boat once you have heaved it over board? Is the knot or shackle intact? Asking these questions in a roomful of boaters, always brings forth a ton of stories. I have heard of guys actually using their anchor system to deal with a huge halibut….now that must be a picture…..harpooning a huge halibut with an anchor.
Most manufacturers have the anchor storage nicely placed up on the bow. When you are getting set up in some calm bay anticipating sipping your first martini and your deckhand is running the vessel, this is perfect placement for the anchor. BUT I have another scenario. In a case where you are trolling in shore close to the kelp and the weather builds and you suck your down rigger cable into your kicker prop, then you go to the main and you have trouble starting it what is your first line of defense as you are headed for the beach? Yes, it’s your anchor.
Did I mention it is rough? And how experienced is your crew when you send them looking for your anchor that has been (un)strategically place at the pointy end of your vessel? Can your crew lift your anchor? Hmmm.
I have thought it through and figure the best place for the anchor is where you can get to it QUICKLY and CONVENIENTLY. In our cuddy cabin boats featuring narrow walk-arounds, the most convenient spot is under the captain’s seat. One will still have to deal with tying off at the pointy end of the boat, but in either case one has to go there anyway. If you are blessed with a generous walk around, than this anchor positioning might not be necessary but for those difficult to get to bows this might be something to think about. Where can you place it so that you can get anchored as fast as possible in an emergency?
In any circumstance, accessing your anchor needs to be on your safety and “get ready” ticklist. And so does teaching your crew where it is and how to use it. Send us your favourite funny anchor story and a pic and we’ll feature it on our Facebook feed!
Let’s go fishing,