How to Rig an Anchor

by Lisa Campbell
Boats on the anchorage.

Boats on the anchorage.

Boating without the proper anchor rigging can leave you adrift. Improper anchoring can also cause your boat to sink, capsize or wash ashore. Anchors are a necessity if your boat breaks down on the water. Your anchor needs to be the right size for your boat; too small and the anchor will just drag along the bottom. Make sure the anchor is designed to effectively work with the bottom conditions. There are different types of anchor design for sandy, rocky or other water conditions. Anchor chain is recommended to aid the anchor in digging in and holding fast.

Anchor

Choose the correct anchor.

Take the anchor and one galvanized shackle. Unscrew the shackle. Slide the shackle over the anchor's neck hole and through one end of the anchor chain. Secure the shackle by turning the shackle screw tight.

Take the other end of the chain and a second shackle. Unscrew the shackle. Insert the end of the chain and the spliced anchor line. Hold both and screw the shackle tight. Use the end of the line that has the thimble. The thimble will be the metal or plastic end that has the line looped around the outside.

Secure the anchor rigging to the bow of the boat. See the manufacture's recommendation on where and how to attach an anchor to your boat.

Items you will need

  • Anchor
  • 3 shackles
  • Anchor line
  • Chain

Tips

  • Most boating supply stores can help you choose the right anchor and line size for your boat. A general rule for anchor line is 1/8-inch diameter of three strand lines per 9 feet of boat length. For heavy boats, 1/8-inch line for every 8 feet of boat. For lightweight boats, 1/8-inch per 10 feet of boat.
  • Chain will protect the anchor line from chafing and fraying. Figure on one boat length of chain when rigging your anchor.
  • Shackles should be galvanized or stainless steel. Choose shackles that are one size up from your chain. So if your chain is 1/4-inch than the shackle should be 5/16-inch.

Warning

  • Do not attach your anchor to the transom of a boat. There is not enough free-board on most boats. Attaching an anchor there could result in swamping the boat if the water gets choppy.

About the Author

Lisa Campbell has been writing green-living and boating articles since 2005. She has been published in "Healing Garden Journal" and "Water Life," as well as several websites. Campbell studied English literature at the University of South Florida.

Photo Credits

  • Dynamic Graphics Group/Dynamic Graphics Group/Getty Images