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Anchoring – warp and chain top tips

Anchoring best practice by Lewmar Experts

Whether it’s a quick lunch stop or you’re settling down for the night. The peace of mind in knowing your anchor is safe and secure, whatever the weather and tide state, is invaluable.

How much warp or chain should I use?
First, it’s important to know the maximum depth, considering the tidal state, that the yacht will be in. If you arrive at low tide the depth will obviously increase during the length of your stay, and you need to know the distance under the hull of the yacht and the seabed at the highest point of the tide during the stay. With this maximum depth measurement, you have the starting point to understand how much warp or chain you require.

We need to have far more chain and warp than this maximum depth, to allow a good length of chain to lie on the seabed, as this pull at an optimum 45-degree angle helps ensure that the anchor digs in.

It’s important to mark the chain or warp to ensure its quick and simple to identify how much warp or chain need to be deployed. Using paint or chain markers are popular ways to do that.

Warp or Rode length formula: Take in mind that there is never too much anchor rode you can let out. So, any formula (including this one) you can find out there will be the bare minimum. Also, the precise length needed will depend on various factors such as wind, length and displacement of the vessel, weight of the chain, etc. This would turn into a complex formula that we understand is not practical to apply every time you are set to deploy your anchor.

So as a simpler and more general rule of thumb is to use four times the maximum depth plus 50 ft for chain only and with a chain-warp combination, use six times plus 50 ft.

Additional Tip: Allow plenty of room behind the yacht when anchoring and for the swing. Remembering that not all boat will turn at the same time. Yachts will lie with the tidal stream and motorboats more often to the wind.

And don’t forget… Heavy chain will provide greater security than warp but puts a lot of weight into the bow and may be difficult to let go or pull up by hand.

Jargon buster:
Warp: Ropes used for securing a ship alongside a quay, jetty (etc.) or another ship or the sea bottom.

Shop for anchor rope: https://www.mauriprosailing.com/us/category/Anchor-Lines.html

Rode: The combination of rope and chain

Shop for anchor rode: https://www.mauriprosailing.com/us/category/2-Anchor-Rodes.html