How Long Should Your Anchor Line Be? You’ll Find The Answer Surprising

At one point in the boating career, you’ll probably need to anchor. There might be need to stop and have lunch, swim, fish or even stay overnight. The second reason you might need to anchor might be to take total control of the boat especially if bad weather comes your way ashore. Your engine might also quit, thus allowing currents and/or wind to push you right into shallow waters. All these are valid reasons to anchor. Check out these tips on how to anchor smoothly.


Choosing the proper anchor is the maiden step when it comes to anchoring. The fact of the matter is that no one anchor design fits all situations. Mushroom, plow, and fluke are the three anchors you can choose when the situation comes calling.

Ideally, your rode for an anchor set up ought to comprise of both a rope and chain. The chain must be right on the end together with the anchor. So why should you use both rope and chain? Primarily, it ensures the nylon rode is kept away from wearing away. That happens by rubbing at the sea-floor’s bottom as your boast swings. Secondly, since the chain is highly heavy, it perfectly holds your rode firmly to the bottom. It drastically reduces the chances of the anchoring unsettling.

You can learn more about anchoring here.

Before looking at how long your anchor line should be, let us first look at the type of rope you ought to select, polyester, nylon or …

Nylon or Polyester, Which Type Of Rope to Settle For?

Nylon is the most commonly chosen type of boat by most boaters when it comes to anchoring. The truth is that nylon brings with it countless advantages, including (but not limited to):

  • It sinks perfectly
  • It is the most common type of anchor rope that is found in many marine stores
  • It boasts excellent strength
  • It is highly elastic meaning it offers excellent shock absorption

SEE ALSO : 2017’s Top 5 Best Bay Boats for the Money

How Long Should Your Anchor Line Be

The ratio of your anchor is usually determined by/from the lake’s bottom to the top part of your vessel’s bow. Both Chapman and the USCG highly recommend a 5:1 minimum ratio. Enough anchor line your board ought to extend to 10:1 ration. The agency also recommends that if it still drags, you ought to move and/or reset it.

While a tiny fishing boat or bow - in familiar or close to home waters - with merely daytime anchoring - there is no doubt that you are highly likely to work with a ratio of 5:1.

Nonetheless, if you happen to be an overnight voyage on a large live aboard in unfamiliar waters and with changing weather and wind conditions, then you definitely more than a single anchor system with not less than 300 feet line on each.

Rules for selecting anchor chain size and length

Besides the rope, you also ought to have a lesser amount of chain between your anchor and rope. The chain keeps your rope against rubbing against the seabed. Additionally, it also creates the best angle between the seabed and your rode. The golden rule is the fact that you need around 1' of chain per every 1' of boat. Therefore, a 30' boat might need 30' of chain.

Nonetheless, often particular constraints like locker room and weight do not allow such an ideal chain amount. Consequently, in these kind of situations you need to have not less than 10-15' of anchor chain just because of the above mentioned reasons. For those boaters anchoring in severe conditions and/or for extensive periods, you’ll want roughly 1 foot of chain per every 6 feet.

The main reason for the diverse requirements is the fact that, theoretically, by having 1 foot for every 6 feet, you will surely achieve the best angle between the rode and the seabed.

Anchor Rode Selection

Whenever you are selecting an anchor line, the golden rule is to always have an eighth inch of anchor line diameter per nine inch in terms of boat length. This means that for instance, a 3/8’’ line can be appropriate for those boats roughly 27’. Just to be clear, this is just the golden rule, you should make considerations for anchoring conditions, boat weight, as well as other factors.

Here is a breakdown to help you with anchor rode selection:

  • 3/4" by 300' Braided Rope: ideal for Boats roughly 54'; 11200 lbs worth of Breaking Strength:
  • 3/8" by 150', 200', 250', 300', 600' Braided Rope: ideal for Boats roughly 27'; 4000 lbs worth of Breaking Strength:
  • 5/8" by 200', 250', 300', 600' Braided Rope: ideal for Boats roughly 45'; 9000 lbs worth of Breaking Strength:
  • 1/2" by 150', 200', 250', 300', 600' Braided Rope: ideal for Boats roughly 36'; 5200 lbs worth of Breaking Strength:

Check out this video on how to choose an anchor rode to learn more about the same.

Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions.

You can read more fishing tips here.

How Long Should Your Anchor Line Be? You’ll Find The Answer Surprising
5 (2) votes
Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments