There are five important factors to consider prior to anchoring your vessel.
1) Weather forecast and wind direction, choose a spot where you will be sheltered from wind where possible.
2) Access, how easy is the place to get your vessel into and out from? Will access be hampered by a change in tide?
3) Depth of the water and the tide direction.
4) Sea bed composition, is it sand or reef?
5) Swing room, how close is the nearest vessel and how much line do you need to let out?
Once you have decided on a suitable location, considering all the points above, it’s time to drop the anchor.
Start by getting the anchor out, and do a quick inspection of the rope, chain and D shackles. Ensure they are done up tightly and ensure there are no knots in your rope. Good preparation prior to dropping the anchor is essential for avoiding undue difficulties and things going wrong. After checking the water depth, and the direction of the tide, measure off five times the depth of the water and tie off your anchor line. Point the bow of your vessel into the wind, drop the anchor and let the boat drift backwards with the wind and or tide. When you have tension on the anchor line, you can check it’s not dragging by placing your hand on the line. If it’s shaking, that is a sign the anchor is dragging. When your anchor is holding the boat in place, take a couple of bearings off fixed objects, the more the better, and check these at regular intervals. Also, if you are planning on staying awhile, make sure to keep an eye on the weather!