Double Team It: How to Anchor a Boat with Two Anchors

    For any boater looking to minimize their swinging space when at anchor for reasons such as fishing in a small spot or being wedged between two other boats, the method of double anchoring may be of an advantage. It reduces the swinging space without reducing the scope of your rode rendering your anchors ineffective. There are a few precautions and rules that are generally followed in order to have a secure and effective double anchor.

    How to Use Two Boat Anchors?

    Set the anchor into the current, reverse the boat to set the first anchor. The other anchor should be down-current from the already set anchor, extending in a V shape, not the opposite side. Position the boat roughly between the two anchors. Keep all the anchor rodes away from the propellers.

    Most newbies to doubling down believe the myth that you have an anchor on opposite sides of the boat stretching in opposite directions. Instead, they should be on opposite sides, but extending in a V shape. They should also not be dropped off the bow and stern as the anchor being set off the stern will add to the weight of the motor and generate significant risk to sinking your boat in the case of smaller boats. An alternative to this is called Bahamian Mooring which is a method of anchoring that involves two anchors extending from the bow. As one of the tightest anchorages, this one is a 180-degree angle between anchors, one extending in the opposite direction of the bow and one past the stern. Just drop the first anchor from the bow, fall back to set it, then drop the second and go forward to set that one.

    Before you try to anchor, the bow of your boat must face the wind. The first step is to drop the first anchor and fall back to set it. Then motor back upwind and to the opposite side to drop the anchor. Drop back again to set the second anchor and tighten the anchor rodes so the scope is still at least 5:1 for each. Your goal here is for the angle between the anchors to be somewhere between 45 and 90 degrees. Another form of double anchoring is Tandem anchoring (considered unsafe for some experts) which when done right, can be a great way to secure your anchorage.

    You first need to establish a primary heavy weight anchor and a secondary lighter anchor. The secondary anchor must be downwind from the primary or else when the primary one drags, the secondary will as well due to it being in the midst of the disturbed ground the primary one created. They are connected to the same rode with the primary at the very end so it goes upwind. For the rode attaching the two anchors, rope is ill advised as chain will make it easier for retrieval.

    These main methods of anchoring times two are more common than one might think as some look to become more secure when at anchor and others look for less wiggle room. Either way, these provide more security which any boater might want. Just follow these rules and the intimidation of double anchoring will disappear. However, someone without two anchors might want to try some extra security with anchor angels or kellets, but these are to be used instead of a second anchor and not with two anchors.

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