When anchoring, use a scope of 1:3 when using all chain, or 1:4 if possible. More scope means less vertical strain on the anchor, and less chance of unsetting it. The longer scope is not always possible in tighter anchorages, which is why having a considerable lenght of chain will increase horizontal tension. A mininum of 15 m (50 ft) chain linked with at least 90 m (300 ft) of nylon rode is recommended. A nylon rode with a short length of chain requires a bigger scope, of 1:7.
Using a kellet near the chain/rope connection can help further increase horizontal tension.
Don't anchor too close to your neighbor, especially if the neighboring boat is a motor boat, or much larger yacht. Boats orbit their anchors differently, especially lighter vessels. A lighter boat, with an all-nylon rode might "dance" around its anchor more and requires more space.
When coming to anchor in a bay to find other boats already occupying it, observe how they are set up, and how far apart they are spaced. If unsure about the set up of a neighboring boat, ask, the last thing you want is to set your anchor too close to theirs. Some boats may have a stern anchor, which means they won't swing, and so if you are near, you must do the same or you will swing into them. Anchor behind other boats, or well in front if there is enough space, and try to stagger your spacing to one side or the other to avoid being directly off someone’s bow.
We prefer to anchor in waters no deeper than 11m, to make it easier to retrieve our anchor. We have found plenty of anchorages in the South Pacific in that depth range. Also, in many places in French Polynesia, The Marshall Islands, Fiji and Tonga, they recommend the use of mooring buoys to keep from damaging coral reefs on the sea floor.
Read about our anchoring setup.