Dahlgren Yacht Club Training and Seamanship


Items needed

The following items will be needed to anchor safely in the hurricane hole and need to be on the boat before it is moved into the slip at the DYC dock. The dockmaster may check at any time to insure compliance. The listed material will not be available at the last minute when the boat needs to be moved to the hurricane hole.

  • 2 suitable anchors, at least one size larger than normal for your boat
  • Suitable length/size of chain for each anchor
  • At least 150' of anchor line for each anchor
  • Shackles/thimbles to assemble all
  • 3 'bleach bottles'
  • 3 15' lengths of 1/4 inch line
  • 1 weight, such as a brick, with a hole in it
  • waterproof gloves for anchor line retrieval

Anchoring Procedure

The following procedure should be used by all DYC boats to insure that they swing at the same radius to avoid collision when the wind direction changes as the storm passes. Keep in mind that other boats on the waterfront may also be using the hurricane hole and may follow different procedures. It is recommended that you get to know the other DYC boats and anchor adjacent to them so that all DYC boats are located adjacent to each other to avoid issues with non-DYC boats. The hurricane hole is shallow water with a muddy silt bottom containing many contaminants so it is recommended using waterproof gloves to avoid contact with the silt upon anchor line recovery.

  1. Assemble each set of ground tackle with the thimbles/shackles. Be sure to seize each shackle with stainless wire or some such.
  2. Fasten one 15' line to each bleach bottle.
  3. Fasten brick/weight to other end of one 15' line.
  4. Motor to anchor site.
  5. Position bow of boat where first anchor is to be placed.
  6. Tie one of the bleach bottle assemblies to the anchor chain, near the rope/chain junction.
  7. Untangle anchor and gently lower overboard with ground engaging part down. The bleach bottle will mark the anchor location.
  8. When anchor reaches bottom, slowly back away from the anchor, paying out line.
  9. About every 10', snub anchor line on cleat.
  10. When anchor seems suitably set, and enough line is out, at least 100', cleat line and back down hard on it. Some captains like to cleat line to stern in this step, because outboards have little backing power.
  11. Fasten the bottle/brick assembly to the snub point of the anchor line, and drop the whole mess overboard. The bottle will mark the spot where the bow should end up later.
  12. Proceed to the spot where it is desired to place second anchor and set it as the first, including the bottle assembly.
  13. Return bow to spot where it was in step 11, the bottle with brick. Retrieve anchor line and cleat to bow. Stow the bottle/brick for use during retrieval.


  • The above steps allow you to clearly see all the angles/placements, and allows easy retrieval using the brick/bottle. Just fasten to rode and toss overboard, while retrieving other anchor.
  • Others can also see your anchor placements to determine your boats swing arc.
  • In the event ONE of your lines is cut or chafes through, you can always retrieve the anchor via the bottle. Be sure to use lots of anti-chafe gear where lines touch boat.
  • I will not suggest anchor angles, some people favor 45/60 degrees while others favor 180 degrees. The last certainly reduces swing arc!
  • Plow type anchors seemed to perform better than Danforth. Recently, mine was buried 18' up the rode!

For more information, please contact the Training and Seamanship Governor.