The Importance of Your Anchor

An anchor might be the single most important piece of safety equipment you'll have on your boat, if it were to ever malfunction the results can be very expensive, but more importantly, very dangerous. 

Using your Anchor

Anchors work by digging themselves into the seabed and should be able to reliably keep your boat there - and they will do just that - as long as you're using it correctly. The effectiveness of the anchor will depend on using it in the correct situation. Some anchors penetrate the surface of the seabed and dig in more and more thanks to the resistance from the boat, so it's important to position the boat correctly for the anchor to be effective.

You'll want to have your boat in reverse, pointing towards the anchor, and facing the wind. If the wind is changing directions and causing the boat to veer, it's possible for the anchor to become dislodged so this is definitely something to keep in mind. There are anchor alarms that you can get which will alert you if this is becoming an issue, and also electric compasses that can notify you with an alarm as well.

Most important is to have your own situational awareness so that if all else fails, you can always rely on yourself. Simply take note of what's around you, maybe a notable tree in the distance, and you'll notice if your position starts to change. This isn't meant to be an in-depth guide about how to use an anchor, so if this is new to you, we recommend taking some time to read up, take a good look at the manual, and ensuring you have a good understanding of how it all works.

Choosing the Safest and Best Boat Anchor

We've curated a selection of many great anchors in stock, but before you hit the Order button, there are a few things to know. First and foremost, you need to ensure you're selecting the correct type of anchor for your boat. We've seen too many people go with something makeshift, only to end up regretting it. There isn't really a "one size fits all" kind of option, for example there are anchors for shallow waters, river and lake anchors, coastal and offshore anchors, and more.

Anchoring into Various Materials

Let's take a look at some common materials you'll find at the bottom of the water, and some quick info about anchoring into them and what to consider. Again, this information along with knowing the body of water you'll be in will help a great deal with choosing the correct equipment to get the job done.

Anchoring into mud: Mud can be tricky, since there's often something else not too far below it, and it doesn't always offer the most resistance to keep you in place. An anchor with a more broad shank-fluke angle is going to be helpful in these situations. They'll allow you to grasp onto a larger surface area, and really dig in for maximum hold. 

Anchoring into sand: This is one of the easier materials, sand offers a consistently good hold if you're using the correct anchor. Light Danforth-style anchors work well and can get the job done, but a more heavy-duty Fortress-style anchor will also get the job done and offer a bit more diversity in case you come across some mud or another element. 

Anchoring into rocks and coral: There are a number of types of anchors that work in these situations, for instance Delta, CQR, and the Bruce anchor. This is also a suitable use case for a Fisherman-style anchors, basically if you asked a kid to draw a picture of an anchor - that's the type. 

Grass, clay, shale: These can be among the trickier surfaces to properly anchor into. In these cases, the weight of the anchor plays a bigger role than the design. The major concern is a false setting, when you may dig into vegetation that holds temporarily but can't withstand a gust of wind or tension over a longer period of time. 

Sometimes, you just get unlucky and you'll need to anchor again nearby. You'll get more and more of a feel for it, but by following the best practices along with having the right equipment, you'll be setting yourself up for success. 

Popular Types of Anchors

You might think of an anchor as just this giant heavy chunk of metal, and those are definitely still around and can be very useful, but there's also been a huge rise in more strategic anchors that rely on lighter weight materials, making them more practical for lugging around, and that work by securing themselves to the bottom of the body of water. 

Dansforth/Fluke/Lightweight Anchors: These work great in materials like clay, mud, and even sand. They work by digging into the ground, but they can become loose if there's a rapid change in current, as they rely on the tug from the current to fully dig themselves in while it's moving in one direction, thus becoming vulnerable to currents from the opposite direction. 

Plow Style: As the name suggests, these look like an old fashioned plow that you would use in a field for farming. Instead of simply turning over the first layer of soil, this type of plow is designed to push itself deeper and deeper in place. With a horizontal swivel feature, these are less likely to get pulled out of place due to changing currents. 

There are many other types, and sub-categories of the above as well. In addition, there are specific anchors for various types of commercials vessels, but that's generally not something you'll need to worry about with leisure boats.