Making sure your boat and you are safe at anchor

January 9, 2013 By In Uncategorized No Comment

I do most of my sailing in the Mediterranean now. Well it’s much warmer than British waters for a start. I watch the normal antics of sailors coming into anchorages, motoring around before finding their desired position. Then, anchors away and put the tea on or break out the gin. The thing about the Med is that the evening wind has a very different direction to the afternoon.

Soon boats are moving in all directions and eventually we all sit comfortably again in our anchorage. But, then there’s the one boat that seems to be moving more than anyone else. His anchor is holding but the boat is still moving making those around a bit nervous. It’s not until you take a closer look at the chain that you realise there’s no weight in it to keep him still. I have seen 14 metre length yachts with 6mm chain. No weight at all considering the volume of the vessel it’s got to hold in position. On a calm day, yes it will hold but what if you are at anchor in 40 knots of wind and a lee shore to your stern, I would be worried.

There are recommendations as to what chain size should be used and typical of me I would allow an extra 10% safety margin. For peace of mind be a bit over the top with anchor and chain sizes.

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