One of the most fascinating areas of this new life that I'm really enjoying the study of is anchoring. I've concluded that it is part art, science (physics, sociology, and psychology), and even a bit of philosophy. This is why there are so many different anchoring approaches because when you blend art, science, and philosophy, you find as many ways to anchoring as you do people!
I've dubbed our boat anchoring strategy the Go Many Go Heavy approach-
have as many different anchors as you practically can and go as heavy as you practically can.
For us, this manifests as having 3 different types of larger anchors (70 lbs Luke, 35 lbs Fluke, and 45 lbs Plow), plus 2 smaller anchors (10 lbs Plow and 10 lbs Fluke) for kedging.
Anchoring, to us, is everything from the physical end point anchor all the way back up to its connection point on the boat. Thus, we also consider the rode as part of the anchoring system.
We will have 2 lengths of 100 foot 5/16 inch PC/BBB chain, 2 lengths of 50 foot 5/16 inch PC/BBB chain, 2 lengths of 25 foot 1/4 inch chain, and 5 lengths of 100 foot 3 strand 9/16 nylon.
Given our load capacity, this means that we are choosing to exchange some creature comfort type stuff for more ground gear.
Our big Plow will be primary, and the big Fluke the secondary. The Luke will be pulled out when in a questionable situation (bottom type, current, or weather ambiguous situations).
Why so much? Because we intend to live a vast majority of time on the hook. The anchoring system is our insurance that the boat will stay put. Studying the load dynamics the system must accommodate, I don't feel comfortable doing anything less. It is the psychological element, comfort, that is also in play here.
When I worked as a divemaster on a boat in the Keys, I would manually set a single anchor (that is, I'd dive down with the anchor and set it by hand in the ocean floor ... it was a great ride!). In the boat living situation, I do want to dive the anchor but that won't always be an option so the varying types of anchors will help ensure we get at least one to set.
We plan on setting 2 anchors when we are staying overnight in a location, and only 1 anchor when just stopping for the day. By having a 3rd anchor on board, the big Luke, if something crazy starts to happen, like another boat starts dragging our lines, we can set the Luke to help keep us from dragging.
We have 60% of the items listed (the big and small Fluke, the big and small plow, and much of the rope). We have about another $1,000 we will need to spend to complete our anchoring system.
This is, of course, all theory as we are not yet living out on the ocean; this is our starting point strategy. Only real world experience will tell me if I've got it right! Reality, in the end, always trumps theory!