SHIPTALK: Continued From 77th Edition

Assuming the boat straightens out, uncinch the rode and start paying it out  again, as above, only as fast as the boat is backing. When you reach 2/3rds the length of your intended scope, cinch off the rode again.

After a few moments, the boat should again start straightening out, indicating that the anchor is holding. You have just gently nudged the anchor a little deeper. As before pay out the rest of the scope and again, cinch it off. Let the boat straighten out again. It should be gently setting even deeper.


Now, take a look around you. Line up two objects along the shore abeam of the boat. Watching these two objects, signal the helmsman to gently give the boat some throttle in reverse. Watch those two objects.

They should appear no longer lined up. Your catenary should straighten. Indicate to your helmsman to return to neutral. The boat should slowly move back forward as the catenary slacks and the objects you have selected on shore should realign. Now your anchor is ready to be set hard. Indicate to the helmsman to set, or snub the anchor with a hard reverse. If you're not sure, repeat step 6 before snub.

You may want to snub more than once if you're in a hard bottom or an unknown bottom. Once set, kill the engine. Or at least, turn it off.

Use your hand-bearing compass to take bearings off several objects around you. It is helpful if one or more of them is lighted so you can check after dark. Wait 15 or 20 minutes and check your bearings again. About half an hour after sunset, TURN ON YOUR ANCHOR LIGHT! And record it in the log that you did so.

(A well-organized logbook, with each page signed by the Captain, can be a legal document in court. If another vessel runs into you at O: dark: thirty, and claims you didn't have your anchor light on, you can point to your log and show that you did. If you have a history of logging these things, it adds more credence to any testimony.)However, the above steps concern the preventive measures against dragging, but what if your vessel is already at sea and dragging anchor? Firstly, the master should be informed in order to set the appropriate objectives and tasks for the crew. Then, the engine room should be informed to start the up the main engine which will increase the vessel's manoeuvrability.

While navigation procedures run, all cargo operations must be stopped and all VTS (Vessel Traffic Systems) must be informed to avoid potential accidents while permission to re-anchor is obtained. When your vessel's manoeuvrability is restored, pull up your anchor to place in a position where either drifting could be safer or lead to open seas. Bow thrusters, main engine and steering must be used to manoeuvre the vessel; as it becomes more difficult to weigh anchor when the vessel is pressed more to the leeward side and takes considerable amount of time. Use bow thrusters for stemming the wind.

 Do not override the anchor especially in shallow waters as the vessel may impact on the anchor during pitching. Finally, tugs must be called in if they are available.