Small boats can slip into small places that can make snug places to spend the night. When I did my very first cruise up the Inside Passage, back in 1980, I usually camped on shore and used a clothesline-loop system (also known as an outhaul)  to pull my 14′ dory skiff out to its anchor while I stayed on shore.

Photographs by the author

When I started cruising in 1980, the clothesline loop, or outhaul, was the standard anchoring method. It kept my skiff safe, but camping ashore, put me at the mercy of the mosquitoes. I began making a transition to sleeping aboard at anchor.

In more recent years, I’ve been cruising in somewhat larger boats, which I’ve built with comfortable accommodations spending the nights afloat, but it can be difficult finding anchorages that won’t dry out on a falling tide and are well protected from wind, waves, and currents. Some of the best-protected nooks and crannies in the shoreline are also the smallest and can’t accommodate an anchored boat that is free to swing about at the end of its rode.

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