Boat Anchoring: What You Should Know

Anchoring is done for two primary factors: first, to stop for fishing, swimming, lunch, or an overnight stay and second of all, to keep you from running aground in bad weather or as an outcome of engine failure.

Anchoring can be a basic job if you follow these easy standards:

  • Ensure you have the appropriate kind of anchor, such as danforth, plow or mushroom.
  • A 3- to 6-foot length of galvanized chain ought to be connected to the anchor. The chain will stand up to the abrasion of sand, rock or mud on the bottom much better than a fiber line.
  • An appropriate length of nylon anchor line must be attached to completion of the chain (this combination is called the “rode”). The nylon will extend under heavy strain, cushioning the effect of the waves or wind on the boat and the anchor.
  • Select an area that provides optimum shelter from wind, present and boat traffic.
  • Determine depth of water and type of bottom (preferably sand or mud).
  • Calculate the quantity of anchor line you will need to find. General rule: 5 to 7 times as much anchor line as the depth of water plus the range from the water to where the anchor will attach to the bow. For instance, if the water depth is 8 feet and it is 2 feet from the top of the water to your bow cleat, you would increase 10 feet by 5 to 7 to obtain the quantity of anchor line to put out (see diagram above).
  • Secure the anchor line to the bow cleat at the point you want it to stop.
  • Bring the bow of the vessel into the wind or present.
  • When you get to the spot you want to anchor, position the engine in neutral.
  • When the boat comes to a stop, gradually lower the anchor. Do not toss the anchor over, as it will have the tendency to entangle the anchor.
  • When all the anchor line has actually been discharged, pull back on the anchor with the engine in idle reverse to assist set the anchor.
  • When the anchor is securely set, use reference points (landmarks) in relation to the boat to make sure you are not drifting. Inspect these points regularly.


There are a number of types of anchors, and you need to choose a design based on the bottom attributes in the areas you will anchor frequently. It is essential to select an anchor that fits your boat and the boating conditions. These are the most typical types of anchors:


Boat AnchoringThe plow-style anchor has good holding power and is good for most boats. This kind of anchor gets its holding power by raking into bottom sediment. Great for sand and rocky bottoms, weeds and lawn.

Obcursco Kayak Anchor, Marine Anchor Kit, 3.5 Pound Folding Grapnel Kayak Anchor for Kayak Fishing, Canoe, Jet Ski, SUP Board and Small Boat with 50 Feet Marine Anchor Line (Black & Yellow)
  • Excellent corrosion resistance: 3.5lbs zinc electrical plating surface folding anchor can oppose moisture erosion. It is suitable for fresh and salt water.
  • Portable 4 fluke grapple: Anchor easily drag into rivers or lakes to create better horizontal for kayak when it stays.
  • Premium 8 mm double braid anchor rope. Professional anchor rope loads up to 2200lbs, which can use in 50 feet depth water.
  • Simple operation, easy to work: Turn lock system and simple fold open the 4 flukes grappling anchor collar upwards and then turn on lock system to lock into position. When boat stops and stays, find location that drop the anchor.
  • Attractive floating anchor marker buoy. High visibility anchor marker buoy is easy to find out anchor location and pull it back.


Boat AnchoringMuch like plow-style, however is more light-weight. This type of anchor is good for a lot of boats, and it gets its holding power from pointed flukes digging into bottom sediment. Best in hard sand or mud, where flukes can quickly dig into the bottom.

WindRider 8.5lb Boat Anchor Kit | Fluke Style | 6ft Galvanized Chain | 75ft 3/8in Line Spliced with Shackles | 15-24ft Boats…
  • READY TO LAUNCH KIT - For smaller boats (15-24ft) this is a perfect plug and play kit. No more worrying about buying the line, splicing the line to the chain, drilling a hole for easier retrieval. Just order this and go.
  • SUPERB HOLDING POWER - Fluke style anchors are perfect anchors for sand or mud bottoms. The flukes articulate and will dig into the bottom, allowing these relatively lightweight anchors to hold tight. Just make sure you give it the opportunity to bury into the ground.
  • PREDRILLED RECOVERY HOLE THEN GALVANIZED: Sometimes anchors get hung up and nothing is worse than having to cut your line because you can't free it. We predrill a recovery hole so you can recover it (without scuba gear) if it does get stuck. We drill the hole and then galvanize it, so you don't have to worry about rust and corrosion or drilling the hole yourself. We recommend attaching the anchor like the image using zip ties, so if you need to break it free you need to.
  • WHAT'S INCLUDED: 75ft of 3/8in triple strand nylon rope that has an eye splice. 2 5/16 Hot dip galvanized bow shackles with holes for wiring shut. 6ft of 1/4in hot dip galvanized chain. 1 Hot Dipped Galvanized Steel Fluke Anchor.
  • FROM A MINNESOTA BOAT MAKER - WindRider is a Minnesota based small boat manufacturer. We believe in standing behind our products, so if you ever have any issue, comment or concern you can feel confident you will talk to someone who is knowledgeable and passionate about boats - Here in the USA!


Boat AnchoringThe mushroom-style anchor gets its holding power by sinking into bottom sediment. This sort of anchor ought to not be used for boats larger than a little canoe, rowboat or inflatable boat, considering that it holding power is weak.

Seachoice 41510 River Anchor – Vinyl-Coated Cast Iron – with Large Rope Eye – Galv. Anchor Shackle – Black – 15 Pounds
  • Highly effective design ensures anchor will penetrate the bottom surface better than standard mushroom anchors
  • Durable, dependable iron anchor
  • Protective black vinyl coating
  • Large rope eye makes it easy to secure anchor line and includes a galvanized anchor shackle
  • Reliable anchor weighs 15 pounds

Last update on 2021-10-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API