There are usually three reasons why you want to use an anchor:
- An emergency need to stay in one location,
- A permanent or long-term mooring of your vessel,
- A temporary, often overnight, stay.
The vessel is attached to the anchor by the rode (six feet of 3/8 inch link chain) and about 150-200 feet of 1/2 inch anchor line and you are ready for anything Tellico Lake can give you. An anchor works by resisting the movement force of the vessel to which it is attached. There are two primary ways to do this – sheer mass, and by “hooking” into the seabed. Almost all small boat anchors are of the type which has metal flukes which hook on to rocks in the bottom or bury themselves in soft bottoms. A good anchor for the Tellico Lake area is a Danforth (Fluke) anchor.
How much line you will have out is dependent on the scope – the depth of the water plus the distance from where your anchor attaches to the boat and the water is called the “scope.” For temporary anchoring you need at least 5 times the scope, but preferably 7 times scope. If you want to anchor over night and sleep well, use 10 times scope. So now you are ready to anchor.
Make sure crew members know what is expected of them. Remember, it is almost impossible to hear commands from the bow in the cockpit, so a few simple hand signals should be established. Once you reach where you want to anchor, consider how the boats already there are anchored, or rafted-off. Position your boat with the bow in the approximate location you wish to be in when anchored. While still hovering above the spot where you intend to lower your anchor, final resting, spot and then slowly coast forward the approximate distance of your planned scoe. When your vessel has lost all way and is at a complete halt, lower the anchor, playing out the line hand over hand until you feel the anchor rest on the seabed. Then slowly back down, playing out the line while maintaining a slight tension on it unti about half of the scope is out, then hold the anchor line firmly until you feel the slack is taken up and the anchor is tugging. Feed more anchor line out, but keep tension on so the anchor is being set straight. Pass the anchor line around the cleat to make it easier to hold. Snub up firmly, just long enough to feel it tugging for a second, then ease off. Repeat this snub and feed pattern several times. When the anchor has taken hold, the boat will come to an abrupt halt, firmly setting the anchor. Now feed out line until the boat is in the position you want. Tie it off firmly and you are at anchor.