Thursday, December 6, 2007


The master's most common ship handling task may be simply putting a ship to anchor. The skills involved are so basic that no mariner is qualified until he can put a ship to anchor safely with confidence under all conditions.

On almost every voyage a master anchors for some reason. Done well, the task is completed without fuss or confusion. Done poorly, it becomes complicated and dangerous as the ship works against nature and the anchor, rust and mud flying, the chain straining and jumping across the wildcat. The skills of the master or officer at the conn make the difference. Anchoring skills are easily mastered with practice and planning. A ship approaches an anchorage, maneuvers as closely as possible to the desired final heading, slows or stops, and drops the anchor or anchors to the bottom.
On the other hand, there is no one anchoring technique "for all seasons" because there are a number of combinations of weather, ship types, anchorage locations, and other factors to consider; so it is impossible and to try to discuss every anchoring method as a distinct and different evolution.