Boats, Anchors and Anchoring

Anchors, Lines and Windlasses:
We have tried a number of anchors over the years and have settled on a 15KG (33 lb.) Bruce anchor with 50 feet of chain and 500 feet of 5/8 double braid nylon rode.  This anchor is indestructible, will turn and reset without coming out and is good for clanking over the edge of a rocky drop-off with a sternline to the beach. It held us for over 12 hours of 50 knots with furious gusts at Snow Pass Alaska in the summer of 1998; Conditions that would surely have completely wrecked the Danforth anchor that we once bent in a minor blow.

We have a small electric windlass to haul the rode. It, unfortunately, does not have a chain wheel so the last of the chain and anchor must be pulled by hand.

For tying alongside a wharf and rafting to other vessels, we have found that the large round "Scotchman" fenders are best. They roll rather than rub and squeak and are large enough to absorb those sudden heavy impacts from boat wakes.  The exception is when tied alongside a logboom where we use three 8 inch tubular fenders weighted at the bottom with 5 lb steel shackles.
Stern Line:
We often anchor close ashore with a stern line to the beach. The line is two 500 foot lengths of inexpensive 1/2 yellow poly rope with spliced eyes on both ends so they can be joined with a shackle.  This stuff is easily tangled into a nasty, knotty snarl if you wrap it up. The solution is to coil it into a large plastic "laundry tub'. The line never tangles and will pay itself out of the tub as you take the line ashore.  The shore end of the line has an eye slice and is connected using a stainless steel shackle, not a knot. 

Looping the line around a tree and taking it back to the boat is generally a pain in the ass and when you do go to release it without going ashore you have a fifty-fifty chance of it snagging on something. We don't do it.  When setting the anchor for a stern tie we always try to place it so that if things get really out of hand we can chuck the stern line and swing out into open water to ride downwind.

Skiff Beach Line:
A 100 foot line of 3/8 inch soft nylon with a quick connect clip serves as the shore line and tow line for the skiff. A small, folding grapple anchor is useful for broad sandy beaches and mudflats. 
Logboom Ties:
Generally, don't tie to either "end" of a logboom, particularly bundle booms.  As the boom moves with tide and wind the ends of logs may be driven with great force over or under the head or tail end boomsticks and into the hull of anything tied alongside..



Logbooms seldom have convenient points to tie to so we carry a collection of log "dogs" which can be driven into the boomstick to provide mooring eyes as required.  They are easily driven and removed with a light hatchet that we carry aboard.

After a fiasco where we both almost ended up swimming in Kwatna Bay while tying to a very slimy and exquisitely slippery standing boom, much to the amusement of the tug crew tied nearby, we now carry a pair of rubber caulk boots aboard. TIP: In this situation, if you don't have caulks the best bet is to lose whatever footwear you have on and head out in your woolly socks.


BC Kayak .com