How to Increase an Anchor’s Holding Power
In crowded anchorages, you might need to use shorter scope. Or perhaps a blow is coming and you need to make sure your anchor stays buried.
Try one of these techniques to increase your anchor’s holding power.
Send Down a Sentinel
1. Gather heavy chain, shackles, or lead weights. Place them into a canvas or nylon bag.
2. Attach your largest snatch block to the rope rode so that the sheave will ride down the rode. Attach a strong, light line, as long as your scope, to the block.
A sentinel is a weight sent down the anchor rode on a line that places a bend in the rode.
Th is pushes the rode toward the seabed to keep the anchor dug in.
3. Open the block’s snap shackle and attach the weighted bag’s handles.
4. Lower the sentinel. When the line becomes slack, you’ve reached the rope-to-chain joint. Pull the line up a few feet and cleat it off .
Rig a Shock-Absorbing Buoy System
1. Purchase a large mooring buoy with a solid core rod and bails at both ends.
2. Make up a line with a length equal to one half of the intended scope of the rope part of your ground tackle. For example, if the rope part of your tackle will be 40 feet, make up a separate 20-foot length with a proper eye splice
and thimble in one end.
3. Cleat the bitter end of this line and shackle the eye at its other end to the top end of the mooring ball.
Rigging a large mooring buoy into your anchoring system helps minimize strain on your deck.
4. Make up an eye splice and thimble in the top end of the anchor line that’s connected with the chain. Shackle this thimbled eye splice to the submerged bail on the buoy.
5. Lower the anchor and set it deep into the seabed. Th is system keeps the load on the rode and off the deck gear.