Anchoring a small to mid-sized vessel is an easy task as long as you’re prepared and know the steps! Here are five tips to keep in mind whenever you drop the hook.

The size of your anchor matters

Size Matters.

An anchor that’s too light pulls as conditions change, one that’s too heavy is tough on the back. Follow your manufacturer’s suggestion for size and size up if you’ll be in rough or windy waters.






Style Counts.

The Danforth style sticks well in sand, mud and gravel. The plow style is best for rocky anchorages. Ask your local Sea Tow captain if you’re unsure what style to use in the area you’ll be boating in.






add chain between the anchor shank and anchor line

Add Some Chain.

Adding chain between the anchor shank and anchor line lowers the angle of the line pull to help absorb the shock of a tossing boat. Six to eight feet is standard for small craft. For larger vessels, use one half the boat’s length.






boating heading up-current or up-wind before dropping anchor

Head Up-Current.

Head up-current or up-wind (whichever is stronger) before dropping anchor. Hold position far enough ahead of your desired anchor point, then lower your anchor to the bottom and begin letting out line.






lower your anchor smoothly from the bow of the boat

Lower Smoothly.

Know how deep the water is where you plan to anchor and let out 5 – 7 times the depth so you have enough scope. Never toss the anchor over the side. Instead, lower it from the bow at a steady pace.






Anchoring is a basic skill that every boater needs to know and master, even if don’t anticipate doing it often. If you’re new to the water, make sure you learn the basics before you head out.


Sea Tow has been the premier leader in on-water boating assistance since 1983. With Sea Tow, you pay one annual rate and receive the most comprehensive member benefits available. Membership includes a full suite of on-water assistance services for every boat you own, rent, bareboat charter, lease or borrow. Learn more about our membership options today. To find the Sea Tow closest to you, use our service locator or call our Customer Care Center at 800-4-SEATOW.

Tom Schlichter

Tom is a full-time outdoors writer, editor and marketeer living on Long Island, NY. Follow him on Facebook at @outdoortomcorp or visit his website at

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