Boat Anchors – The Right Way to Use Them


The right way to use boat anchors is probably one of the least understood parts of boating. If you are new to boating, you may be thinking - how hard can it be? You simply throw the anchor in the water, wait until it hits the bottom, then tie it off, correct?


Let's dive right in.


The Way to Use Boat Anchors


Anyone who is experienced with boating has probably seen the types of problems that type of attitude can cause. Just like everything else in boating, anchoring requires the right equipment, careful thought, and a lot of practice.


Starting Point


The starting point is selecting the right ground tackle (the proper term for the anchor, line, chain, shackles and swivels) for your boat and your style of boating. There is no single anchor that will do everything perfectly.


Different Types of Boat Anchors


Each style of boat anchors has its own unique benefits and drawbacks, and each one performs best under its given conditions.


The Danforth Anchor


This anchor is one of the most popular, being easily identified by its two long, sharp pivoting flukes and long shank. The Danforth is also a great choice of anchor for small to medium sized boats as well.


These boat anchors are light and easy to store. They dig well into sand and mud, and releases easy when pulled from different directions.


Ideal for Fishing


The flukes on the Danforth boat anchors pivot so that the shank can be pulled at a more vertical angle. It's ideal for fishing, which requires quick release and moving around to different locations.


If you fish overnight or do a lot or travel to different areas of the water you may want to consider a different anchor, which will hold better in changing conditions.


The Plow Anchor


The CQR, or plow boat anchors, feature a single shaped fluke that pivots at the end of the shank. This design works well on many bottoms. The plow shank pivots from side to side, while remaining parallel to the fluke.


This design also makes releasing a snap when these boat anchors are pulled vertically.


Bruce Boat Anchors


These boat anchors were originally created for offshore gas and drilling rigs. The more scaled down version of this anchor is popular with boaters. The anchor holds fast, yet it will still come loose when pulled vertically.



Anchor System


Always make sure to select an anchor system that matches the length of your boat, displacement, and the windage. If your looking for strength, elasticity and durability, you should use only top quality braided nylon anchor line.


Anchor Line


It's very important that the size and length of your anchor line is appropriate for your boat and it's requirements. Small and medium size boats should use a section of galvanized steel chain between the line and the anchor.


Anchoring Techniques


If you are new to boating, anchoring is something you should become familiar with along with the different types of boat anchors. As you use your boat more, you'll pick up the proper anchoring techniques.


Or, if you prefer, you can always take classes and learn everything you need to know about anchoring from a qualified professional.


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