Boating Lake County Blog

The Importance of Choosing the Right Boat Anchor

An anchor is an essential piece of boating gear. Knowing how and where to use it is part of being a good boater. An anchor’s purpose is to burrow into the bottom and hold your boat securely. The idea is, the more your boat pulls on the anchor, the more the anchor digs into the bottom. 

You will need an anchor to control your boat in bad weather or if the engine fails. You may also use your anchor to stop for a swim, fish at your favorite spot, or anchor to enjoy a quiet spot to relax.

The type of anchor you need is determined by several variables: the size, weight and type of boat; wind and water conditions; what’s at the bottom of where you’re boating; the space available to stow your anchor. Your owner’s manual will have recommendations. These are the four main anchor designs:

Pivoting-steel-fluke-anchors-Danforth
Pivoting Steel Fluke
Plow-anchors-and-claw-anchors
Plow / Claw
Grapnel-anchors
Grapnel
Mushroom-anchors
Mushroom

According to BoatUS:

Pivoting steel fluke anchors work best in mud and sand. They have two pivoting steel points to dig into the bottom.

Plow anchors and claw anchors are ideal for rocky bottoms. They’re similar to a pivoting steel fluke anchors except their points are fixed in one position.

Grapnel anchors have separate hooked arms, like a grappling hook, and are useful for uneven bottoms and thick weeds. Use should be limited to small boats during mild water conditions.

Mushroom anchors rely mostly on weight for hold, with a minimal amount of burrowing. They’re useful only for small, light craft, such as skiffs and canoes and are best on soft bottoms and in light wind or current.

Connecting the anchor to the boat’s bow or stern is a rope called the anchor rode.” Nylon is the best choice because of its strength and ability to stretch under stress. How much rode will you need? About three-to-five times the water depth. So, if you’re in water that’s 10-feet deep, you’ll need 30 to 50 feet. 

Choose the right anchor and it’ll be anchors aweigh” for a safe and fun day of boating on the beautiful waters of Lake County.

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