Free Shipping

Premium Quality

No-Hassle Returns

customerservice@anchoring.com

844-524-7627

Bow and Stern Anchoring: How to Use a Stern Boat Anchor

Bow and Stern Anchoring: How to Use a Stern Boat Anchor

There is a wide variety of anchorages out there, each with its own challenges. It is therefore important, as a boater, to be armed with a wide variety of anchoring techniques to suit all occasions. This article will focus on one such technique: anchoring bow and stern. We’ll look at when to use this option and how to deploy it successfully.

When

Dropping a stern (a.k.a. Kedge) anchor in addition to your primary is a good idea in certain situations. You may want to use this technique If you are anchoring with limited space available such as in a channel or narrow bay. This way, you’ll prevent your boat from swinging into another vessel or running aground. Another possible case is to maintain a heading into the swell for greater comfort.

In most other scenarios, it is not a good idea to use a stern anchor this way because your boat will not swing. If you are unsheltered and conditions are unpredictable for example, you may end up with waves crashing astern, which is at minimum unpleasant but can be downright dangerous.

Setting both anchors well and aligning your boat the way you want takes practice, so even if you don’t think you need to add the stern anchor, you may want to put it out for practice to be ready for times when you do need it.

How

Preparation

Bow and stern anchoring begins with a little preparation. Find a safe spot to pause before setting anchor. Make sure you’ve got your stern anchor and rode prepared and ready to load into your dinghy. Attach the tripping line and buoy to your stern anchor’s trip line hole (adding a trip line is optional but a good idea for retrieval, and the buoy does double-duty letting other boaters know that you have a stern anchor out and where it is). Load the stern anchor, flaking the rode so it will pay out of the dinghy nicely. Check and double-check that you have the end of your rode tied to your boat or in a winch and through a fairlead if you’ve got one!

bow-stern-anchoring

Deployment

  1. Set your primary anchor as usual, facing into the wind
  2. Back away and set your anchor but pay out more line than your intended scope
  3. Using a dinghy, take the stern anchor behind and off one corner of the boat to angle the boat about 15 degrees off the swell windward. Drop the stern anchor with minimum 5:1 scope
  4. Take in the slack of the stern anchor and set it. Adjust to the desired scope for your primary anchor while paying out line for the stern anchor as needed. Both anchors should now be taut

Retrieval

  1. Ensure your engines are ready to power you out
  2. Give your stern anchor line some slack and take the dinghy out to the tripping line buoy (if used) to haul the anchor using the tripping line. If you didn’t employ a buoy and tripping line, you’ll need to slack the bow line and power back to the stern anchor point hauling the anchor like you would do for a primary anchor.
  3. Bring stern anchor rode and anchor back onto the boat and stow them properly
  4. Secure your dinghy
  5. Haul your primary anchor as usual, and off you go!

Finally

Now that you have the basics on when to use bow and stern anchoring and how to deploy and retrieve your stern anchor, it is time to practice. Through practice you will discover the little details that might suit your particular ground tackle setup better. During retrieval for example, if you have two bow rollers, you could haul your primary anchor first, then feed your stern anchor line through the second roller and haul the stern anchor like you would the primary.

You may now be left asking what type and how large an anchor you should use as a stern anchor. We have an article dedicated to that right here. Remember: anchor right, good night!

Published

Recent Posts

The Bahamian Moor: How to Set Two Anchors off the Bow
The Bahamian Moor: How to Set Two Anchors off the Bow
The advantage of using a Bahamian Moor over other two-anchor techniques such as Bow and Stern, is that the Bahamian Moor allows your boat to swing around a central point. This means that not only are you able to anchor in narrow channels or bays, you can also moor in a tidal cut between islands where there are strong changing winds and tidal reversals
10 Best Boating Apps
10 Best Boating Apps
In today's modern world, there are a plethora of apps available to help us navigate our everyday lives. In recent years the boating world has benefitted greatly from a variety of helpful apps that can help take your boating experience to the next level. Boaters today can download apps to help them log their trips, download nautical charts, reserve a slip, and even learn to tie essential boating knots. We have reviewed many of the apps on the market today and are sharing our 10 best boating apps.
Boating Essentials: What To Have On Your Boat
Boating Essentials: What To Have On Your Boat
No two boating adventures are the same. Scenarios can arise that can turn your average day on the water into something totally different. You can't control everything during your trip, like mother nature or mechanical failure, but you can minimize the chance of having these potential risks ruin your day by being prepared and bringing the right gear.
The Best Way to Store Your Sails for the Winter
The Best Way to Store Your Sails for the Winter
When you’re winterizing this year, don’t forget your sails. It is important to take your sails off the boat completely and store them in a dry, temperature-stable location out of the reach of animals. Be sure to clean and dry your sails thoroughly before storage. Use the opportunity to inspect your sails, repair any UV damage or tears, and make any modifications you’ve been thinking about. Remember to roll, not fold, your sails.
Four Main Reasons To Add a Bimini Top To Your Boat
Four Main Reasons To Add a Bimini Top To Your Boat

There are four essential reasons for installing a bimini top cover on your boat:

  1. Comfort
  2. Protection from the elements
  3. Protect your boat
  4. Quick and easy to change from open-air to shelter as needed
How to Prevent Water from Collecting and Pooling in Your Boat Cover
How to Prevent Water from Collecting and Pooling in Your Boat Cover

Preventing water collecting or pooling on your boat cover is best achieved by providing a proper boat cover support system or frame beneath the cover.

Boat cover support systems can be installed by a professional, come in kits ready to self-install, or can be created from scratch as a DIY project.

8 Essential Nautical Knots For Your Boat
8 Essential Nautical Knots For Your Boat
The 8 best knots to know for your boating life are: the figure 8 knot, two half hitches, square knot, bowline, clove hitch. anchor hitch, sheet bend, and cleat hitch. We've provided a complete how-to.
Dock Bumpers and Fenders: Protecting your Boat from the Dock
Dock Bumpers and Fenders: Protecting your Boat from the Dock
This article is a guide to the common dock fenders available and their usage. We look at tires, dock edging, piling fenders, inflatable or foam-filled fenders, and dock wheels.
How to Prepare your Boat for a Major Storm or Hurricane
How to Prepare your Boat for a Major Storm or Hurricane
Protecting your boat and yourself from an incoming hurricane involves planning, securing important documents, and relocating.