Chapter 3 X Vessel Operation
Back the engine so that the boat is moving astern very slowly. Then put the engine in neutral. Keep the engine running. If the engine is not running, you will lose control of the boat, and you may run aground or collide with a dock or other boats. Lower the anchor over the bow. Never throw it. Do not tie your anchor line to the stern. This could cause your boat to swamp or capsize. As the anchor lowers, let out (or pay out) line. Make sure your foot or other objects on deck do not get caught in the line as it is paying out. For secure anchoring, the scope of the anchor line should be at least seven to one—that means the line will be seven to ten times as long as the distance from the boat’s bow to the bottom of the water. Cleat or tie off the rode. Check the boat’s swing to make sure the boat will not go aground or hit something if the current changes or the wind shifts. Inform passengers of safe anchoring procedures in the event of an emergency. While You Are Anchored The anchor is set when the boat turns into the wind and the anchor line stops paying out or jerking. Once enough line has payed out, remember to cleat or tie off the rode. For safety: Check to see if the anchor is holding, not dragging. The line will bounce if the anchor is dragging. Check your position by noting several landmarks. Check your anchor. Never anchor from the boat’s side or stern. A strong current, a heavy sea or the wake from another boat may sink your boat. Check your position often, especially since tides, wind and weather can change constantly. Never anchor in a deep water channel between red and green buoys that mark the heavily traveled areas or channels used by large ships. Never anchor directly below a dam, because the hydraulic currents created by the rising or falling water can be hazardous. Never anchor directly above a dam. A sudden release of water from a hydroelectric power plant can suck the boat over the dam. Warning markers, such as a boom or buoys, often indicate restricted zones for traffic and anchoring. Check your charts for these restricted zones. If you have to leave the anchor, tie a floating marker to the line so you can locate it later.
Careful boaters always have an extra line, chain and anchor along, just in case!
California Course for Safe Boating
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