Anchoring skills: expert advice to improve your knowledge

Rachael Sprot, July 20, 2022

Yachting Monthly instructor Rachael Sprot steps aboard to help Sophia Lagus and crew anchor off the beaten track with confidence and improve their anchoring skills.

Anchoring is one of the greatest joys of sailing, yet for many people the sound of the chain rattling over the bow-roller is the start of an anxious night. Will it hold? What if the wind shifts? Will you swing into something? There are many questions and many anchoring skills to master for the uninitiated.

If you can master the art of anchoring you’ll enjoy a huge sense of freedom and independence, dropping the hook miles from the nearest settlement. I joined Sophia Lagus in Dartmouth on board her Malo 46 Wimsey to help build her confidence to leave the pontoons behind.

Diagnosis: Sophia and her crew are planning to cruise the west coast of Ireland in her Malo 46 Wimsey. Although they’ve got lots of sailing experience, they tend to marina hop and don’t often spend time at anchor. But there aren’t many marinas where they’re heading, so they need to put the lines and fenders away and become more familiar with their ground tackle.

It’s easy to get confused by tidal heights and chain scopes, but the sums are simple once you’ve done them a few times. Photo: Nic Compton

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