Experienced sailors often say that mooring is the most difficult part of sailing. This week, MaxSea partner Leon Schulz talks to us about how to anchor a boat, using MaxSea TimeZero.
Leon outlines the steps to take for a perfect mooring. His boat is equipped with a fully-integrated system: MaxSea TimeZero PLOT, a Furuno BBDS1 sounder, and a Furuno NavNet TZtouch.
- Download the free weather forecast service included in MaxSea TimeZero.
- Understand the sea-floor. Navigate around the anchorage area many times. This is done to record bathymetric information so you know what kind of sea-floor you’re dealing with. To record this data, I use my MaxSea TimeZero PLOT, integrated with a Furuno BBDS1 Sounder.
The BBDS1 sounder collects and sends bottom classification data to MaxSea TimeZero software. I can also share this new data-rich bathy chart with the integrated Furuno NavNet TZtouch system. Sand or clay is best for anchoring.
- Check tidal range by displaying tidal data in MaxSea TimeZero. This is a really important step to know how much your boat will be raised or lowered by the tide, or vice versa.
You don’t want the boat’s keel to hit the ground during the night, just because the water has disappeared from under the boat. You must also avoid having the boat’s anchor break loose because the boat is suddenly 3 or more meters higher water than when it arrived!
- Calculate your desired minimum depth based on my boat’s draught + safety distance under the keel + allowance for tidal changes. Try to find a spot where the boat can swing freely in all directions according to changes in the wind or the tidal current.
- Take a last look at the Furuno BBDS1 sounder to check the depth and soil conditions and to see if the boat is in the tidal flow or in an area of strong wind and bring the boat to a complete standstill.
- Lower your anchor slowly until it reaches the ground. You can check the markings on the chain or just listen to how the anchor runs more smoothly when it has reached the bottom.
- Give the signal to the helmsman to reverse the boat slowly while letting out the chain. At a ratio of 1:4 to 1:5 (from the highest tides expected), stop the windlass.
- Wait until the anchor sets and the boat turns into the wind. Then it’s time to stretch the chain by reversing the gear carefully. Do so cautiously, so that there is no residue in the chain.
- Once the engine is stopped, set the snubber. This is the piece of rope that is hung with a claw hook into the chain and relieved with the help of a jerk. This also makes the disturbing noise disappear from the chain rubbing against the bow roller.
- In windy conditions, put a mooring sail aft, so the bow always points into the wind.
The advantage of MaxSea TimeZero is that you can so easily switch charts. So I often use raster maps at anchor, because there is a lot more information that are interesting for the anchors located. For example, the underwater cable at Iona (see image below).
Even small anchors are located on the raster maps. In comparison, the vector charts give less information about the anchorage.
Now it’s done, you can sleep soundly, even if the wind should freshen up in the night or the wind direction changes.
Leon Schulz is a MaxSea partner and is a RYA Yachtmaster Ocean instructor. His yacht, the Regina Laska is also available for charter. Learn more about his services on the Regina Sailing website.