Toms Tips About Knowing Your Bottom

By Tom Neale, 9/16/2010

1. A clean anchor can mean that the bottom is very hard, as with tightly packed sand, which is going to be very poor holding for most anchors.

2. Loose mud of very low viscosity on your anchor may mean that the mud is too soft to hold well, but not necessarily. Often a layer of very soft mud covers a deep layer of thicker good holding mud. If there’s nowhere else to go, try to work your anchor down deeper by putting out more chain, letting the rig settle awhile before backing down, and then backing very slowly.

3. If you think you’re going to need to spend time working your anchor in, lower it in a spot where you have some dragging room to give it a chance to dig in.

4. Your rode can telegraph signals from the bottom to you. For example, rapid jerking as you drag may indicate a rocky bottom. Slow jerking may indicate good but thick mud that’s going to require a little patience to work with, and that you back down much more slowly.

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