How to anchor at a beach with Alistair McGlashan

Al McGlashan explains how to anchor your trailer boat at a beach.
Al McGlashan: So one of the great things of having a boat is obviously you get to go fishing, spend time in the water, but you can also pull up on a beach and go for a swim. After a big day's fishing there's nothing my boys like more than going for a swim.

Putting your boat on a beach. It's pretty easy, but there's a couple of rules you have to follow. First and it's absolute paramount, assess the situation. Now, other boats, swell, tide, that sort of stuff. Tide's probably pretty important on a running up tide, you don't wanna sit right on the beach. On a running tide you can, so you really need to know the tide.

Secondly, when you're coming in, you want to check your depth. Obviously it varies and beaches change over time. So even if you've been to that beach before, come in very slowly watching your sounder, watching visually. A pair of Polaroid sunglasses are really important for you.

So you can see there might be a bommie there, play it safe, go slowly. The idea is that when you actually anchor on a beach is that what we're going to do is drop the anchor out and then slowly drift back in. Now, you don't wanna go to close to the beach, 'cause you don't wanna end in the breakers. You need to monitor it at all times.

Once you've assessed the situation, the next thing is we're gonna drop the anchor. Now it's really important to understand the different sorts of anchors. If you're anchoring in mud or sand you need a plough anchor. It's that simple.

So you use a plough anchor. Anything that digs into the mud or the sand or the clay is perfect for this job. As for the old reef anchor, leave it at home.

I had to get my deck hands up the front, 'cause if they wanna go for a swim, they've also gotta do some work. They're gonna prepare the anchor.

So it's un-clipped, make sure there's no tangles in the line, and that way I can say on the wheel if something goes wrong.

You can see there we're coming in now to fathom, which is basically two meters.

Tom are you ready to go?

Tom: Yep!

Al McGlashan: It's really important that you communicate. I know he's ready now. So what we're gonna do now is turn the boat into the sea. The same time I'm monitoring my sounder at all times, and then we're slowly gonna bring it in on the beach.

Now I just turn the boat around slowly. Tom, you good?

Tom: Yeah.

Al McGlashan: Okay. I'm out of gear, let it go, mate.

Okay so now while he's letting it out slowly, to help him I'm gonna go in reverse. I'm monitoring my sounder to make sure it's deep enough and I'm going reverse. So at the same time I'm looking back to make sure it's safe.

So, now Tom's letting it out. As I'm going back, I'm trimming the engine up a little bit. The more rope I have out, the better it's gonna grip. So I've got a good set of chain.

So Tom is it pulling in tight?

Tom: Yep.

Al McGlashan: Okay, tie her off, mate.

So now, I've got a run out tide, so I've kept the boat deliberately a couple of meters, eight, ten meters off the beach because we know the tide's going out we'll be monitoring the sounder. I've got about a meter of water underneath me here at the moment.

Once the anchor is secure, just spend a couple of minutes just assessing the situation. A, Make sure the anchor is dug in properly, and B, that your drift is still what you thought it'd be, 'cause sometimes you might be sitting sideways to the beach.

And of course, monitor the sounder that you haven't got too shallow. So now, it's time for the kids to go for a swim.

Tom: Two, one, go!