Any tips on anchoring?

I figure cruisers must anchor frequently, so any tips would be appreciated:
Have you added a foredeck cleat or just tie the rode around the mast?
Without a cleat, how do you adjust scope?
In a squall, would you anchor from bow or stern?


Lake Norman, NC

I don't anchor often, but when I have, I always tie off to the bow eye. This way the boat trails downwind from there and stays pretty stable. Since any wind generated waves are then coming from the bow, the tend to go under and past the boat and don't push as hard or splash into the boat.

The stern points downwind, and the wind going by the sails, which I presume are down, doesn't push too hard on the boom crutch.

Anchoring from the stern with the waves hitting the transom seems like a bad idea. Also, it is quite possible to get wind pushing on the sails and wanting to turn you around, or pull the mainsail out of the boat unless you have it rolled up tight on the boom.

If you wanted to adjust scope, you could feed the rode from the water, through your bow eye and then tie or cleat it near the mast. One option would be to use the wooden cleats that are on the side of the stanchion. Many boat also have cleats on the coaming for the spinnaker halyard, which are used only when the spinnaker is raised.

Be careful of cleats on the foredeck, because they will grab the jib sheet, spin sheet, your docking line, etc, all at the most inopportune moment.

It is also more graceful to raise the sails and resume sailing, with the bow into the wind. If you anchor from the stern, you would have to get the boat around to head-to-wind before raising sails.

If you think you will anchor often, and don't want to go on the foredeck to do so, you could leave the rode fed through the bow eye all the time.

Phil Scheetz
FS 4086

Thanks for the response Phil, but I should have been more clear that I was looking for comments and tips from sailors who had to anchor for safety in storm conditions. A 1967 article reprinted in "Highlights of Scots n' water" suggests anchoring from the stern in such a situation and I was hoping for insight from those who may have tried it, used different methods or added hardware to make even normal anchoring more convenient. I agree that a cleat on the foredeck may be nothing but trouble. Right now I have the rode passing through the boweye and I then double the rode around the mast and tie it off. It does the job, but much clumsier than a cleat hitch.

Lake Norman, NC

The one time that I needed to emergency anchor was in a viscious squall that came into West River. We stowed the main just in time with the boom dropped into the bilge and under the fore deck so that the rudder was free to pivot. To stay upright I turnrd the boat downwind as the crew struggled hard to physicallly pull down on the jib and get it down. We were pretty much planing under bare poles and approaching the shore fast. I did not have enough time, nor did I want to have the crew go to the lee to prepare our anchor for tossing over the side. I knew that the bottom was sandy, and preferred that over the rip rap stones ashore so we lowered the centerboard all the way and it kept us about 200 ft off the beach. Waves slapped the transom but except for some occasional splash not much water came in . There was no apparent centerbord damade. FS 3512