Procedures for anchoring 

The scope of chain or warp you need depends on the maximum depth of water you expect during your stay

  • Chain = 4 x depth (example: Water depth 5m = 20m of Chain
  • Warp/rope = 6x depth (example: Water depth5m = 30m of warp


Anchor Chains

A ship’s hawsepipe is the pipe passing through the bow section of a ship that the anchor chain passes through.

Spurling pipe  – a pipe or tube through which an anchor chain passes to the chain locker below the deck of a ship.

Selecting an anchor berth

  • Shelter from wind/swell/tidal stream
  • Tidal rise and fall
  • Nature of the seabed
  • Swinging room-other boats/hazards etc
  • A good mixture of sand, mud, and shingles are safest to anchor on.
  • Two Anchors in Narrow Channels or creek (Fore and Aft)
  • Anchoring in heavy weather, Set Two anchors fore at 45 Degrees to each other


Types of Anchors

  • Bruce: Good holding to weight ratio- very awkward to stow in small anchor locker.
  • Fisherman: Traditional type, good for a rocky and weedy bottom, poor holding power in sand and mud.
  • CQR or Plough: Good holding to weight ratio -hard to stow and moving parts can capsize.
  • Danforth: Good Holding to weight ratio -stows flat, can be hard to break out of the mud.
  • Delta: Good Holding to weight ratio designed to stay on bow roller for self-launching.

Check the seabed, See what the chart says about the seabed. Is it suitable for your anchor?

  • S. Sh. G – Mixed: Where the seabed comprises a mixture of materials, the main constituent is given first. e.g. Sand, Shells, and Gravel
  • S. Sh – Mixed: Sand and Shells
  • R – Rock, Rocky
  • Sn – Shingle
  • M – Mud
  • G – Gravel



BML Boatmaster Licence Notes