Docking Equipment & Anchoring Accessories
Docking equipment, anchoring accessories and mooring gear aren’t just accessories to your boat, they should also be considered safety gear. You may need to keep your boat in one spot to avoid drifting into a channel or breakwater when there’s a mechanical issue, and your lines and fenders are the only items that keep your boat safe and secure in the slip. As you choose your anchor and “ground tackle” (chains and attachments), fenders, and lines, the most important variable to consider is sizing, because different boats require different sized gear to get the job done. Most items like anchors and mooring lines will be rated right on the packaging. But you’ll also need to choose between different styles of ropes. The majority are made from nylon and are either three-strand (which is the least expensive and easiest to splice), braided (a bit stronger and less stretchy), or double-braid (which has the most strength per diameter, but is more expensive). Finally, you’ll need to determine what length lines you need. For mooring gear this is simply a matter of slip and boat size. But as for anchor line (called the “rode”) how much you need depends on how deep the water is where you generally go boating. As a rule of thumb remember that you’ll want to let out five to seven times as much line as the water depth in order to securely hold bottom, in normal conditions.