Thursday, December 6, 2007


The number and location of ships at anchor, shoals, a lee shore, and other hazards to navigation limit maneuvering room and make it more difficult for a ship to enter, maneuver in, and depart from an anchorage. The shiphandler has to make plans that match the ship's maneuvering characteristics to the available space in an anchorage, adjusting his game plan.

Consider all options before entering so your ship and crew are prepared for whatever is required; once again, don't hesitate to maneuver on the anchor if there isn't enough space to turn or back and fill unassisted. A tug can be ordered to assist your ship when maneuvering room is limited, but a ship handler who is reasonably skilled in anchor work can usually turn and position the ship without a tug.

Sometimes there just isn't enough sea room in a crowded or small anchorage to turn to the final heading before letting go, and there will be no option but to let go. Adjust anchoring plans to the real world when you arrive and find the anchorage smaller or more crowded than expected: use your shiphandling skills to adapt the ship's maneu
vering characteristics to the maneuvering room in the anchorage or if there just isn't enough room don't go. Even the handiest ship may, under some circumstances, have to anchor elsewhere or stand off and wait for conditions to change.

Maneuvering room is as much a consideration when leaving an anchorage as it is when arriving. There may not be enough maneuvering room to turn and depart from an anchorage, even though there was sufficient room when your ship arrived. Other ships may anchor after yours, or your ship may swing to a new heading so there is no longer sufficient room to turn and depart. The same techniques that are used to maneuver at arrival-including backing and filling, using wind and current to advantage, heaving short and steaming around on the anchor, or turning with a tug-can be used to turn a ship departing a small anchorage.