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Techniques to Make Your Anchoring Safe & Comfortable By Kimberly Grant


e’ve all gone through it, the learning curve that comes with a new skill. And just when you think you’ve got it down, something comes along and gives you a lesson in humility. Well—anchoring is one of those skills, and it doesn’t seem to matter how much you’ve done it, there will always be a situation where you learn something new. After cruising in a shoal keel monohull, we bought a catamaran, and I remember being on the verge of tears the first time we anchored in a place with both poor holding and strong current. Fortunately, since then I have become reasonably proficient with anchoring our boat in the Bahamas but have watched countless others repeat some of these same frustrating—and sometimes dangerous—mistakes. There are several factors which make anchoring in the Bahamas different from Florida. The bottom type is more varied, and there are many situations where current has a bearing on your technique and comfort level, but the best difference is that you can see the bottom, so diving your hook means you know it’s well set. Being so close to Florida, many boaters assume that— as in the Intracoastal Waterway—you drop the hook, back down on it and you’re set. In many places, this is the case, but there are numerous anchorages in the Bahamas where


September 2006


more complex anchoring skills are needed because of differences, especially in holding and current. Add to these the weather changes in the Bahamas. And quite frankly, there’s nothing better for ruining a good night’s rest than an anchoring problem. So, in order to assure a good night’s sleep—as well as the safety of your vessel and its crew—it is important to have a good understanding of anchoring in