Dropping anchor for lunch or to enjoy time in a pretty cove or along an island is one of the more enjoyable benefits of owning your own boat. You are in charge of the time, and under no pressure to get the boat back to the rental agency at a certain time.
Anchoring for a short period of time is easy if you follow a few rules. You probably won’t be the only boat in the area. You can look to your fellow boaters and see where and how they have anchored. These guidelines apply to anchoring in a cove, as opposed to nudging up to an island.
No. 1: Approach the anchorage at a slow rate of speed. You may be anxious to arrive, but the folks already at anchor won’t appreciate the wake and commotion if you come screaming in at speed and halt just outside the recognized anchorage.
No. 2: Pick a spot to anchor that’s well clear of other boats. Remember that your boat is going to swing on the hook in response to wind, waves, and wake from other boats.
No. 3: Drop the anchor from the bow of the boat. Back up at a slow rate of speed while your crew pays out line. When the length of line paid out equals five times the depth of the water, tie the line to a cleat with a half-hitch knot.
No. 4: Enjoy your view! Keep an eye on a fixed object on the land. You are watching to see if the anchor is slipping on the bottom, resulting in the boat moving from the original spot. If so, retrieve the anchor and repeat the anchoring process. This time, after the knot on the cleat is tied, give the engine a small amount of additional fuel in order set the anchor into the bottom. The crew on the anchor line will feel the line become snuig.
No. 5: Enjoy your time! Keep an eye on the horizon for approaching storms. If stormy weather is coming, leave yourself plenty of time to retrieve the anchor and get back to the marina before foul weather arrives. Better that everyone talks about how they wish they had stayed longer, because the story wasn’t as bad as it appeared, than to talk about how they wish they had come back earlier.