anchoring scope

The best anchorage offers a good holding bottom, water of suitable depth, and protection from wind and passing craft. Anchorages are often indicated on charts by the anchor symbol. Desirable anchorage areas are shown by solid magenta lines. If you can't locate a suitable harbor, select a cove with protection from the wind. Under a windward bank or shore where the wind blows from the bank towards your boat, is an alternative, although you must be wary of wind shifts which might expose you to the storms.

When anchoring, remember that the best holding bottoms are mixtures of mud and sand, mud and clay and firm mud and sand. Gravel or hard sand bottoms will hold well if your specific anchor can penetrate them. Loose sand or gravel or soft mud should be avoided. Don't anchor in deep water; you'll have to use too much line for the proper scope, which will allow too wide a swing for the boat.

Scope: Adequate Scope is necessary if your boat is to be anchored safely. Scope is the ratio of the length of the anchor line to the distance from the bow chocks to the bottom. Satisfactory scope is generally considered to be a ratio of 7 to 1. If you anchor in 10 feet of water, you should pay out 70 feet of rope.

Remember also that a rising tide will change the scope. If the distance becomes 15 feet to the bottom, you should pay out another 35 feet of rope.


beaching graphic

When coming in for the landing, drop and anchor over the stern 50 to 75 feet away from the shore, and as your boat proceeds slowly toward the shore, set the anchor by placing tension on it until it holds. This stern anchor not only keeps the stern away from the beach, but when hauling in the anchor line as you get underway, the boat will automatically be pulled away from shore. Just as the boat reaches shore, a bow anchor can be set ashore or the bow line tied to a sturdy handy object. For obvious reasons, never drive your boat up on the beach.