Using Two Anchors on your Boat


Most of the time, one anchor is strong enough to hold your boat in place, but there may be the odd occasion when you need two anchors but how do you go about setting two anchors?  There’s more than one way to set two anchors; it’s just a matter of knowing which conditions are most suitable for one of three methods.

Situations where you may need two anchors:

  • Strong wind or storm
  • Tight anchorages
  • Soft mud seabed with poor holding ability
  • Shifting currents
  • Swell
  • Being tied to another one or two boats
  • Staying in an exact fishing spot

Methods for Setting Two Anchors

There are four main methods for setting multiple anchors.


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Tandem Anchoring

Setting two anchors with one behind the other is known as tandem anchoring. The primary anchor needs an eye at the crown to attach the chain rode to the secondary anchor. The rode should be the length of your boat and be attached to the tandem anchor connection point by a sturdy shackle. The Rocna anchors, amongst others, have a dedicated anchor point for attachment.

If the anchors drag or plough through the bottom, the secondary anchor may be able to hold in the disturbed seafloor created by the primary anchor. For this reason, it is best to use a plough anchor for a tandem rig.     

Sometimes you need to set two anchors to keep your boat in the one place despite changing wind or current conditions. There are three methods for setting opposing anchors.

Bahamian Moor

The Bahamian moor is two anchors set from the bow at 180 degrees apart to allow your boat to swing pointing into the wind or current. This method minimises the swing radius, making it ideal in a tight anchorage or when you are anchored close to other boats on moorings.

Bow and Stern Anchorage

This method of anchorage maintains the position of the boat tightly and is, therefore, ideal for anchoring on a beach, on the edge of a channel or other tight position where you don’t want the boat to swing.

Rolly Anchorage

This type of anchorage is ideal for boats anchoring overnight or long-term. The boat can be anchored without rolling from side to side if it uses a bow and stern anchor while being turned into the direction of the waves.


The better an anchor holds, the harder it is to retrieve. If an anchor becomes stuck, pull the rode in as far as possible and then once it’s vertical, let the wave action on the boat work the anchor out or power it out by driving over the anchor in the reverse direction to which it was set.

Two is not always better than one. In some conditions, it’s best that a boat can swing freely with the wind and waves on one anchor. Having a wave hit the boat side-on rather than the streamlined bow puts additional load on the boat and its anchors. Keep an eye on conditions and change your method of anchoring as needed.  

If you are unsure about the size, type or method of anchorage, don’t hesitate to contact the friendly team at Boat Accessories Australia on 1300 308 161 or send us an email.

Category: Anchors

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