Contrary to the title, this is not a book about how to anchor. This is a book on how to select and size the gear required for anxiety-free anchoring. As such, it is a great resource.

Like all good engineers, the Sechez’ first determine the loads ground tackle will be subjected to under the different conditions expected. They then tabulate the types and sizes of anchors, chain, rode, shackles, and swivels needed to withstand these loads with capacity to spare.

Chapter 3 contains tables of the loads that different types and sizes of boats can be expected to impose on anchor tackle under conditions of winds and waves. Chapter 4 discusses chain, Chapter 5 concentrates on rope. Chapter 7 discusses different bottom conditions and the types of anchors that are best (and worst) for each. Every chapter starts with a sea story pertaining to anchoring and ends with an example of how the information in that chapter is used. All through the book and appendices are tables giving the capacities of ground tackle materials (working load, proof load, and breaking load). The comprehensive glossary is very useful for explaining the tech terms dropped into the text without explanation (I still want to know what a hockle is).

Along with the tables, there are lots of suggestions and interesting bits of information scattered throughout the text, and many boxes containing hints and tips covering all different aspects of selecting and using anchoring gear — things like how to throw a line correctly, what to do if the anchor is bent, how to apply snubbers, and how to correctly determine scope (there are six factors in the calculation, not three like most books describe).

The book thoroughly covers the hardware. By comparison, selecting an anchor system for a specific set of conditions, setting and recovering it, and alternative anchoring layouts, such as the Bahamian Moor or dual anchor, are only touched upon. A serious weakness in the book are the illustrations, many of which are too small, poorly edited, and unclear. A few more page-inches devoted to larger pictures would have paid off.

If you make it to a harbor of refuge ahead of the green clouds and the Sechezes are there, ask how much scope they have out. Then do what they tell you. Failing that, refer to this book.

Anchoring: A Ground Tackler’s Apprentice — Basics And Beyond by Rudy and Jill Sechez (Wateway Guide Media, 2015, 248 pages)