Double-anchoring a boat

How to Double-Anchor a Boat

Written by Kim Kavin
December 12, 2023

Last Updated on January 11, 2024 by Boatsetter Team

Double-anchoring (or dual anchoring) a boat is exactly what it sounds like: Two anchors hold the boat in place. How to double-anchor a boat depends on a number of variables, like the wind, water depth, state of the water, and other boats in the area. Post summary:

  • When to put double-anchoring to use 
  • Using the Bahamian moor 
  • Double-anchoring to beach the boat

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Okay so, when is double-anchoring a good idea?

Double-anchoring can be helpful in situations where there’s a lot of wind, current, or both; it also comes in handy in crowded anchorages where you don’t want your boat to swing into other vessels. Also, having an extra anchor out can also be a good idea if the bottom is made of a material that is less-than-ideal for holding power, and you want a backup anchor in place just in case the first anchor loses its grip. Some fishermen will set out two anchors simply to hold the boat steady over a favorite fishing hole.

Double-anchoring & other techniques

There are several ways to double-anchor a boat. You could set two anchors off the boat’s bow, or you could set one anchor off the bow and another anchor off the stern. The technique that you choose will depend at least in part, on where you are and what’s going on around the boat.

Using the Bahamian moor

A Bahamian moor, for instance, uses two anchors off the bow, a good amount of space apart. Many boaters consider this the easiest version of double-anchoring, because it starts by setting the first anchor into the current, and then backing down just like you usually would, in order to make sure that first anchor is set. The difference between the Bahamian moor and double-anchoring is, you then drop the second anchor down-current from the first one and set the second anchor, too. The boat should end up halfway between the two anchors, giving you twice the holding power that you’d have with just one anchor (a real benefit if you’re anchored in fine Bahamian sand).

Double-anchoring when beaching a boat

In other cases, you might be onboard a small boat that you want to anchor close to the beach. In this case, setting a double anchor works differently. First, you back the boat up to the beach and set out a bow anchor in the water, at whatever distance from shore you would like the boat to stay. Once that first anchor is set in the water, you can get off the boat and carry a second (usually spike-style) anchor onto the sandy beach from the aft section of the boat, and then position that second anchor to help hold the boat in place.

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