SAIL

Happily Hooked

If you are cruising, you need at least two anchors on board for the simple reason that you must have a backup. Imagine having to slip your anchor on a stormy night with other boats dragging down on yours, or having your rope rode severed by some unseen underwater obstacle, setting you adrift. If not up the creek without a paddle, you’d be on the beach without an anchor. The backup anchor is usually called the kedge, after the verb meaning to move a ship in a desired direction by means of a small anchor.

A kedge is not merely a backup to be held in reserve for emergencies, though; it can be used in a number of ways as part of your everyday cruising armory.

Any kind of anchor can be a kedge, including a fisherman, plow, Danforth-style or modern scoop anchor. Because kedges usually only are subjected to straight-line pulls, there is no need to carry one that

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