How to safely and properly anchor your boat

If you’re new to the boat ownership, anchoring your boat might seem like the simplest thing to learn. Drop the anchor in the water, and voila, right? Although it’s never quite that simple, stopping for a quick dip in the water is fairly straightforward. If you’re anchoring for longer periods of time; however, it can become much more complex. Entire books, lengthy online articles, and plenty of other publications have spent a lot of time on this topic. Today, we’re going to give you some of the key basics on how to safely and properly anchor your boat.

Have the right equipment

Before taking to the water, make sure your anchor is the right choice for your boat. There are many types and sizes to choose from, as well as different types of rodes. Do your research and talk to boating experts to help you make the right choice.

Ease the throttle and sneak back

To begin, as you ease the throttle to a near standstill at the point you want to drop your anchor, drop the line and sneak back as you slowly let the anchor down. It’s important you know the depth so you can understand how long it will take to drop the anchor.


Most anchor manufacturers recommend that a scope of 7:1 will get the anchor’s full holding power, but most experts agree that more scope is better than less, so err that way if necessary. If you’re in a crowded area, less scope (3:1 or 4:1) will do for shorter periods of time.

Setting your boat

When your boat reaches the end of its scope, a quick reverse gear can help the anchor hook, but make sure you wait until the anchor has had a chance to fully drop, or it will skate across the bottom. Keep an eye on your GPS to make sure your anchor is truly hooked.

If you’re the only boat to anchor in a certain area, you have the pleasure of taking up some additional space. If there are other boaters around, be courteous and carefully choose where you want to anchor to avoid any collisions.