Best pontoon boat anchors that hold the boat well.
An anchor is the most critical equipment for your pontoon. Whether you are trying to stay in one place offshore or on a sandbar or are fishing in a medium-sized river or lake with current, it is the anchor that keeps your boat steady and in one position.
Unfortunately, many pontoon owners do not give the anchors the importance they deserve and choose one based on convenience and storage space.
Anchors come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. You need to choose an anchor depending on the size and type of boat, weather, and the water bed conditions where the anchor will be used.
Different types of anchor available for pontoon boats
When it comes to anchors, the notion of ‘one size fits all’ does not work.
Here are a few different anchors that serve different purposes on different types of water bed conditions.
Suitable for muddy rivers and lakes and grassy bottoms
Box anchor is the best anchor for lakes and rivers, where pontoon boats are used the most. Most lakes and rivers have muddy bottoms that are covered with vegetation. Box anchors hold well under these conditions.
A box anchor sinks one or two feet into the bottom depending on the anchor’s weight and the density of the sediments.
You must ensure that you have enough draw line before you drop in the box anchor and let it sink. You must have approximately five times the draw line than the depth between you and the mud.
- The sides of this square-shaped anchor provide a lot of surface area, which improves friction and holding power.
- The box anchor has pointed flukes that can penetrate the roots of the vegetation and create a solid grip.
- If the river or lake bed has rocks, the flukes of aluminum box anchor can hook on to a rock or crevice and prevent the boat from drifting away.
- They are durable and reliable, and easy to use.
- Box anchors do not work well on sandy bottoms. Flukes don’t penetrate as deeply as other anchors, so the boat can come loose if there is too much wind or current.
- Box anchors are usually a bit more expensive than the other anchors.
Suitable for sandy and gravel bottoms
Fluke anchors have pointed flukes that dig into the bottom where they grab sand or gravel. The way this anchor works to grip the bottom means that it does not have to be too heavy.
A 15-pound fluke anchor can hold a 32-foot boat, and it can also stow flat for easy storage.
Now that you know how to use a fluke anchor, you may be wondering what size of fluke anchor you need for your boat. For sandy bottoms, you need a bigger anchor to ensure that the anchor digs in correctly.
So, a fluke anchor with 27-inch claws that weigh 13.4 lbs. can anchor a 30-foot boat.
- Lightweight and easy to use.
- Used for sandy and gravel bottoms but can handle clay and mud as well.
- Easy to retrieve and store.
- The fluke anchor can come loose if the wind direction changes suddenly or the tide changes.
- The sharp flukes can damage your boat, so store it in a padded storage box.
Grapnel style anchor
Suitable for rocky bottoms
The grapnel style anchor is the only one that works well with rocks. It has four long arms, which give it a firm grip on most sizes of rock below.
To set this anchor, you have to drop it on to the bottom and drift up or back up a few feet so that its arms can find a grip on the rock. Once it is set, it provides the most secure hold you will see from any anchor.
- It is relatively cheap. Many boat owners use it as a second option.
- It is small and foldable so that it can fit into a small space under a seat.
- The grapnel anchor is strong and durable.
- It can be more difficult to free up as compared to other anchors.
Suitable for sand and gravel
Plow anchors are shaped like a farmer’s plow, with a long shank ending in two curved flukes.
These anchors are also known as digger anchors as their perpendicular flukes are designed to dig into the bottom.
The flukes can adjust to different angles, and this helps the anchor to set faster.
When the current catches the plow anchor, it buries itself. This anchor has good holding power, which makes it ideal for windy conditions.
- It is dependable and easy to use.
- It grips well in mud, sand, and vegetation.
- The plow’s shape allows it to reset easily if the wind or tide swings the boat.
- These anchors don’t perform well in rock conditions.
- It is heavy, so you have to use it with an anchor winch.
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Best pontoon boat anchors
With pontoon boats becoming larger and larger every year, having a dependable pontoon boat anchor is very important.
Read on as we list some of the best pontoon boat anchors that you can use. Each of these pontoon anchors is different based on its weight, design, and other features.
SEACHOICE River Anchor 20 Lb
SEACHOICE River Anchor 20 Lb is one of the best anchors for a pontoon boat. Its highly effective design ensures that the anchor will penetrate the bottom better than a standard mushroom anchor.
Its holding power applies to any composition underwater, which means it can be used in lakes, rivers, and seas. This anchor is made up of cast iron with a durable black vinyl coating, which makes it rugged and durable.
It has a large rope eye that makes it easy to attach the anchor line securely, and it includes a galvanized anchor shackle. This anchor weighs 20 pounds.
Tie Down 95045 Anchor
This lightweight, hot-dipped galvanized anchor is the right choice for your anchoring needs. It has strong wide flukes that penetrate quickly and firmly.
This 14 lb anchor is lightweight, even though it has a powerful holding ability. Its fully-welded crown configuration provides the right angles for ultimate holding power and secure penetration.
It is suitable for a watercraft that is 24 to 30 feet long.
The Tie-Down 95054 Anchor stows flat and can be used with most fluke type anchor storage systems.
MarineNow Anchor Kit
The MarineNow Anchor Kit contains –
- 13 lb Hot Dipped Galvanized Fluke Anchor
- 98′ Anchor Line – three-strand – 3/8″ (10mm) with stainless steel rope thimble (316 marine grade)
- 6.5 Feet of 5/16″ (8mm) chain – Hot Dipped Galvanized
- 2 3/8″ 10mm Shackles – Hot Dipped Galvanized
The hot-dipped galvanized fluke anchor that comes with this kit works pretty well. It is ideal for sandy bottoms and also works on muddy water floors.
The anchor weighs 13 pounds and measures 24.5″ tall, 18″ wide, and 6″ thick. The anchor is a little heavier than other anchors, but it does its job well and can hold the boat in place even on the windiest days.
Mophorn Delta Style Boat Anchor
The Mophorn Delta Style Boat Anchor is made of high-strength 316 stainless steel and corrosion-resistant at 20 to 35 feet. This triangular anchor is constructed to maintain high tensile strength.
The unique design of this anchor – the low center of gravity and self-aligning geometry ensure fast placement.
It is the primary anchor used for lifeboat organizations in many countries.
This anchor weighs 24.7 pounds and measures 28.3″ L, 12.9″ W, and 12.6″ H.
Fortress Marine Boat Anchor
Fortress Marine Boat Anchors are manufactured with hardened high-tech, rustproof aluminum-magnesium alloy that is as strong as steel. They have a corrosion-resistant, durable anodized finish.
They are lightweight and robust and can outperform heavier steel anchors. The precision manufacturing process of these anchors makes them sharper than conventional anchors so that they can penetrate the surface deeper and faster than anchors that weigh more.
The Fortress Anchor is available in two fluke angles. The 32o angle can be used for clay, mud, or sand, while the 45o angle can be used for soft mud.
This anchor weighs 4 pounds and measures shank length 24”, fluke length 14”, and stock length 19”.
Fortress marine anchors can be assembled quickly, making them the perfect choice for spare or storm anchors. They can also be rapidly disassembled for easy storage.
They also come with a 100% hassle-free lifetime warranty.
Extreme Max 3006.6563 BoatTector Anchor Winch
This anchor is ideal for fishing boats, pontoons, and runabouts up to 24′ long. At 25 pounds, it is relatively light.
You can use it with or without an anchor winch in lakes and rivers with mud, sand, or rock bottoms. You can also use it with inches like MinnKota Deckhand, Power Winch, or Anchor mate.
This anchor has a wide base that prevents rolling and maintains an anchor position. Its unique fluke design and carefully designed hydroponics enable straight drops and precise positioning.
Its 45o angled flukes, wide base, and split flukes provide steady deep digging action.
This anchor has a PVC or vinyl coating, which makes it UV resistant.
MinnKota Deckhand 40 Electric Anchor Winch
If you are looking for the best pontoon boat anchor and are willing to pay for it, this is the one for you.
The MinnKota Deckhand 40 Electric Anchor Winch anchors up to 40 pounds and comes pre-spooled with 100 feet of 800-pound test nylon rope.
It also has a shear pin that safeguards the motor from burning out and comes with mounting hardware and installation instructions and is compatible with other MinnKota accessories. It can also be mounted horizontally to stop the anchor swing.
You can use it with a whole range of anchors, including those that are a bit bulky.
MinnKota Deckhand 40 Electric Anchor Winch may be a bit pricey compared to the other anchors, but it is worth the cost as it is back by a 2-year warranty.
Hurricane 14 lb Galvanized steel anchor
If you are looking for an anchor that makes anchoring and retrieving hassle-free, the 14 lb Hurricane anchor is the one for you. It is suitable for all boats 20 to 27’.
Hurricane Boat Anchors are designed to function on a 2:1 scope instead of 5:1 or 7:1 like all other anchors.
The Hurricane 14 anchor uses considerably less chain than other plow and fluke type anchors. It pivots 360 degrees with ease in the wind and tidal shifts.
It can easily be disassembled for storage. The removable pin allows the roll bar to fold down for storage.
The Hurricane anchors are 100% made in the USA and they come with a money-back guarantee.
Factors to be considered when choosing the best pontoon boat anchors
Here are a few things that you should keep in mind while choosing the best pontoon anchor for your boat:
Holding power of the anchor
The holding power of an anchor is the amount of pull force it can withstand to hold the boat in place. Anchors are also rated according to their holding power.
The holding power of an anchor is based on environmental factors like wind speed.
Generally, holding power of 90 pounds is sufficient for anchoring a 20’pontoon boat in winds up to 20 mph. At the same wind speed, a 25’pontoon needs an anchor with a holding power of 125 pounds.
This is why you can not only rely on the weight of the anchor for making your decision.
Weight of the anchor
The weight of the anchor you choose should depend on the size of your boat. For an average-sized pontoon boat, the anchor should weigh between 15 to 20 pounds.
The box-type anchors are the heaviest. Many people believe that the heavier the anchor, the better it is. This is not necessarily true.
The weight of the anchor should depend on the size of the boat. More weight on the anchor means more work for you.
If your boat is 20 feet or less in length, a 12 to 15-pound anchor is the best.
If your boat is 20 to 30 feet in length, your anchor should weigh between 20 to 30 pounds.
Condition of seabed
The condition of the water bed where you use your boat is also an important consideration when choosing the best pontoon anchors.
The anchor’s ability to penetrate the bottom is of prime importance. Anchors can easily penetrate hard sand bottoms.
In mud, you get less holding power, and the anchor must penetrate to reach the secondary bottom material, which is more challenging.
In rivers and lakes with grassy bottoms, the anchor’s weight is more important than the design.
Material of anchor
Pontoon boat anchors are available in a variety of different materials.
Stainless steel, aluminum, aluminum-magnesium alloy, galvanized steel, and vinyl-coated steel are common materials used for durability.
Stainless steel and aluminum are both corrosion-resistant, but they are also expensive.
Anchors made with conventional steel that is coated with vinyl or epoxy are the cheapest option. However, these coatings can get damaged, and the steel can corrode.
The anchors made from galvanized steel are the best option as they are not very expensive and corrosion-resistant.
They may not be as attractive as some of the other anchors, but they serve the purpose well.
Rope or chain
The rope and chain are a part of your anchor system. However, not all anchors come with a rope or chain.
You must ensure that the anchor you are purchasing comes with one. Your anchor rope should be strong enough for your boat.
The anchor rope should have a strong weave that will not tear quickly. It should have air pockets where it will allow water to move through, impacting how the rope moves about in the water.
Nylon is one of the most common anchor lines for pontoon boat anchors. It is inexpensive, strong, has a little bit of giving, and resists saltwater.
As a general rule, you need 1/8″ of rope diameter for every nine feet of the boat length.
For a boat up to 18 feet long, you need a rope diameter of ¼”. Similarly, for a 27 feet pontoon boat, you need a rope diameter of 3/8″.
Though you should not buy an anchor based on what accessories that it comes with, there’s no harm in getting some value for your money.
A good-quality storage bag for your anchor can be for great use. It will help prevent scratches and marks.
Is your anchor foldable?
Though pontoon boats are relatively bigger, you do not want to buy an anchor that is too bulky and takes up a lot of space.
A foldable anchor provides you a larger anchor when it is water, but it takes up as much space as a smaller anchor.
Anchoring a pontoon FAQ
How do you anchor a pontoon boat?
Pontoon boats can be more challenging to anchor than other boats. The pontoons that keep them stable in rough waters can also keep the pontoon boat in motion if the anchor is not set correctly. Follow these simple steps to learn where to tie anchor on a pontoon boat?
Head to the location where you want to anchor and determine the depth and the nature of the bottom. You will need to release five to seven times as much line as the depth of the water plus the distance between the surface of the water and the anchor attachment point.
Point your boat heading into the wind or current direction, whichever is stronger. Bring your pontoon boat to a stop and slowly release the anchor. Do not throw it because it is more likely to get tangled. Because you are pointing in the direction of the wind, the boat will drift backward. This allows the anchor to move away as it sinks.
Keep the tension in the anchor rode. This will ensure that your boat points towards the anchor and your rope and anchor will not tangle.
Once you’re in the right spot, it’s time to secure the rope so that your anchor will dig in. Wrap the rode twice around a cleat. When you feel the anchor digging in, you should put the engine in idle reverse and back down on the anchor to secure it to the bottom.
Pull the anchor up when you are ready to leave. Lift the anchor as vertically as possible to avoid damaging your boat.
Benefits of using an anchor on a pontoon boat
If a large pontoon boat catches waves or is pushed by the wind, it will definitely drift unless it is anchored properly.
So, whether you are beaching your pontoon or are out in deep ocean waters, you need a proper anchor for your pontoon boat.
Drawbacks of using anchor on a pontoon boat
There are no drawbacks to using anchors on a pontoon boat. However, you must learn how to anchor correctly and follow the precautions.
There have been cases in the past when people have got their legs tied around an anchor line and have drowned.
Who makes the best anchor for pontoon boats?
Sea Choice, Tie Down, MarineNow, Mophorn, Fortress Marine, Extreme Max, MinnKota, Attwood, Danielson, New Sport are some of the best manufacturers of pontoon boat anchors.
How to install a pontoon boat anchor?
You need two anchors for your pontoon boat. You also need three to four feet of the chain when you go on the mooring. The length of the anchor chain should be balanced to the boat’s length.
The chain acts as a shock absorber. It also allows the anchor to tip over and starts its job. It also prevents the waves from pulling the pontoon boat.
Once you have finalized the chain, you can place the anchor in the center of the pontoon’s bow. This lessens the resistance to water and wind, and there will be only a slight pull on the mooring.
Mooring helps prevent unnecessary back and forth movements of the boat.
What size anchor do you need for your pontoon boat?
The size of the anchor depends on the size of the pontoon boat. You can use the following chart for reference –
- 19 feet and below 10 lbs
- 20 feet to 27 feet 14 lbs
- 28 feet to 34 feet 18 lbs
- 35 feet to 42 feet 22 lbs
How long of a rope do I need to anchor my pontoon boat?
To determine how long your anchor rope should be, multiply the deepest water you expect to anchor in by eight.
For example, if you desire to anchor in 25′ of water, you need 200′ of rope.
What is the ideal place for pontoon boat anchor storage?
Pontoon boat anchor storage is as important as the maintenance of the anchor.
To keep your anchor and your boat in perfect condition, store the anchor, anchor line, and chain in a bow storage locker under the center seat.
You can avoid tangles by flaking the line into your anchor locker.
What care and maintenance are needed for the anchor of the pontoon boat?
Even an anchor requires regular maintenance for it to work correctly. Follow these tips to ensure that your anchor lasts a long time –
1. Cleaning: Clean your anchor after every use, especially if you have been in salt water. If salt isn’t removed from the anchor, it can lead to corrosion, which will shorten the life of your anchor.
2. Replace rope every season: The anchor rope takes a lot of abuse as it slides over the rail and rubs on the rocky bottom. You must change your anchor rope every season.
3. Learn to use your anchor properly: Anchors beak or are lost often due to improper use. Learn to use the anchor properly to ensure that it lasts a long time.
Final thoughts on best pontoon anchors
If you are looking for the best anchors for pontoon boats, you must consider the anchor’s weight and material, its holding power, and the condition of the sea bed.
You can choose from the list of the best pontoon anchors mentioned above. Once you have bought the anchor, make sure you know how to use it properly.
Regular maintenance of your pontoon anchor will ensure that it lasts a long time.