This article is an excerpt from NauticEd’s online Skipper Large Keelboats Course, a comprehensive online sailing course for beginner to intermediate sailors to learn how to sail large sailboats 26 ft (8m) and above. The Skipper Large Keelboats course is part of the Skipper Course Bundle of online courses, also teaching you how to master maneuvering under power and docking!

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Why Anchor?

There are many reasons for anchoring your boat:

  • Emergencies.
  • You are on an extended sailing trip.
  • You love warm romantic evenings under the stars.
  • Lunch in a gorgeous bay.
  • The kids (yourself included) want to go swimming.
  • Extreme hunger and your need to catch a snapper.
  • You have butter, garlic, and mango and it would go really nice with a barbequed snapper.
  • Just because.

Sometimes the “just because” in life is the best reason.


Why Anchor

A Beneteau 41.1 Anchored

While we might be able to forgo lunch in the bay, as a responsible skipper you have to understand that emergencies do arise (often), and thus anchoring knowledge beyond  “dropping the hook” is absolutely essential.

Those types of emergencies include:

  • Medical needs.
  • Gale force winds and waves that force you to hide behind shelter.
  • Engine failure (in current flow it is even worse).
  • Fog.
  • Tired crew.
  • Rigging failure.


Pure Skill

While sailing in a race in Auckland, New Zealand, we were in a current so strong and winds so light that boats were being pushed sideways and backward rather than ahead. We drifted sideways through the finish gate with line honors while others who missed the gate had to set anchor to wait out the tide. Some call our win luck; we call it skill with local knowledge.

Given the “whys” above, a “wise” sailor will carry at least two sets of anchors.

You can learn more in the Skipper Course....

Knowledge and theory for longer distances and overnight sailing in diverse conditions. The Skipper Course is a comprehensive online sailing course for beginner to intermediate sailors wanting to learn how to sail larger sailboats 26ft to 56ft. Or upgrade to the Skipper Course Bundle of online courses to also master maneuvering under power and docking!

Source: Skipper
Topic: Anchoring and Mooring
Authors: Grant Headifen, NauticEd Global Director of Education
NauticEd is a fully recognized education and certification platform for sailing students combining online and on-the-water real instruction (and now VR). NauticEd offers +24 online courses, a free sailor's toolkit that includes 2 free courses, and six ranks of certification – all integrated into NauticEd’s proprietary platform. The USCG and NASBLA recognize NauticEd as having met the established American National Standards.