Swaying - The different behavior of yachts under wind pressure or the current flow must also be taken into account. While heavy boats with longer keels usually lay into the wind at anchor and hardly move, light short keelers move back and forth. If one lies too close, a collision can result.
Too little chain The worst case scenario is when the weather is bad and you don't have enough chain or hawser. If the boat then starts to drift, you either get stuck in your neighbor's ground harness, endangering him and others, or drift onto the nearest sand - because the line of the dinghy has become entangled in the propeller in the rush. Most of the time, the whole thing happens in the dark of night and with a strong wind.
Rule of thumb: Only drop anchor when at least five times the water depth can be put on chain without getting too close to the neighbor. To estimate the swell circle after dropping anchor, an anchor buoy is a great help.
Take your time The command "Drop anchor!" may only be given when the ship is no longer moving forward. Then give reverse and slowly pick up speed over the sternpost. Meanwhile, the crew on the foredeck puts chain or hawser evenly and reports the passing chain lengths aft. It is important to avoid rushing out the entire chain immediately after dropping the anchor, but only as much as the ship will fetch. Otherwise, the chain will fall onto the anchor, snagging it and stopping it from digging in.
Vibration alarm To check whether the anchor is holding, first put in only about half of the intended chain length. Then the brake is applied to the capstan and the man at the helm is signaled "disengage" beforehand with a hand signal. Once the anchor is securely in place, the bow is turned in: it swings in the direction of the stiff chain. Then let the ship slowly pick up speed again, continue to put in the chain (or hawser) according to the water depth, and apply the brake again. On an unstable bottom, you should then pull back again briefly with about half power to drive the anchor deeper into the bottom. If the stem remains blocked and no vibration can be detected by placing the hand on the chain, it's time to call it a day - vibration is an unmistakable sign that the anchor is slipping.
Do not forget to set the anchor ball!
A second anchor in uncertain weather conditions If the weather situation is uncertain, it is recommended that the second anchor be dropped immediately with the dinghy so that this work does not have to be done in strong winds and rough seas. It should then be dropped about 30 degrees to the first anchor and about 20 meters ahead. The anchor buoy of the main anchor serves as a guideline. In strong winds, the hawser pull of the second anchor is adjusted to that of the chain. Most importantly, the hawser must be protected against piles, ideally by a piece of hose.
Advantage of having two anchors Many sailors think that one anchor is sufficient for any weather, provided it is properly sized and there is enough chain and/or hawser attached. But during the passage of heavy gusts, one can clearly observe how the bow swinging back and forth distributes the pressure on both anchors. Sure, you can't just add the holding power of both anchors, but the deployed second anchor of different type has a huge advantage: If one of them doesn't hold due to the ground less suitable for it, you still have the second one available, which might be especially suitable for this ground.
It is better to not "back an anchor" For the sake of completeness, it is worth mentioning the so called "to back an anchor", an anchor maneuver during which a second anchor is put on the same chain. Practical experience has shown that this is not recommended: The deployment of the anchors and subsequent hoisting is laborious and often enough associated with anchor and chain wuling.
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