Anchoring Techniques During an Emergency: What should you do if your engine stops while underway? Your response depends upon basically how close you are to grounding or drifting into something, and your troubleshooting capability. While at sea large waves could expose you to broaching, or at least make it difficult to troubleshoot your problem. If necessary, deploying a sea anchor at sea would allow the boat to position itself in a stable position, that is, with the bow of the boat facing into the waves and/or wind. If the possibility of grounding or striking an object exists you should deploy your anchor to put the boat in a stable position. Once in a stable position you can look into the problem and make a decision about how to deal with it. Options could be fixing it yourself, calling a Tow Service, calling the Local Harbor Patrol, or calling the Coast Guard, even if only to let them know that you are dead-in-the-water and are working on the problem.
If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 805-682-4543. Sail safely!