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Types of Anchors: What You Need To Know

Written by James Schulz

In this article, we’re going to discuss in detail, the different types of anchors you need to enjoy your fishing adventure.

You need specific equipment like boat anchors to make a success of your fishing adventure.

Many new boats do not usually come equipped with an anchor, but it is necessary for every boat to have at least one anchor on board.

You may want to drop the anchor to hold the boat in a secluded inlet for afternoon relaxation or even a more extended stay or hold your boat while you fish.

What is An Anchor

An anchor is a device, generally made of metal material, used in securing vessels to the floor of a body of water to prevent the craft from drifting due to wind or current.

Anchors can either be temporary or permanent. Permanent anchors are used in creating a mooring and are less moved; specialist services are most times needed to shift or hold them up.

Some boats carry one or more temporary anchors, which may be of different designs and weights.

Boat anchor types may be classified based on specific descriptions, style, the anchor design or their utility. Examples;

  • Primary anchor
  • Stern anchor
  • Lightweight anchor
  • Navy anchor
  • Traditional anchors vs modern anchors
  • Scoop anchors: the scoop anchor can dig deep if you apply some pressure
  • Claw anchors: the claw anchor is also known as the Bruce anchor
  • Fortress anchors

Choosing The Right Anchor for Your Boat

Getting a suitable anchor for your boat depends on the size and type of your boat.

Therefore, you should consider the size of your boat before you choose an anchor.

It is good to know that the bigger and heavier the boat, the bigger the anchor style.

Your boat anchor is significant as a critical item and acts as safety gear while fishing.

So, it is essential you get the most suitable anchor for your boat.

When you have a better idea of your boat and what anchor size you need, you will also want to consider the type of anchor and why you may need more than one anchor for different kinds.

You might want to ask, why do you need anchors of different types?

The anchor you might want to get depends on the bottom you will use it on; is it a rocky, sandy, muddy, or grass-filled area.

You must consider these factors to determine the type of anchor you will need when sailing or fishing.

Let’s see some of the options available for boaters when it comes to anchors.

How To Select the Right Anchor Size

Several boat anchors are available to pick from, made of different materials and styles.

This article will give you more precise details of some of the most popular types of boat anchors and how you can choose the best anchor for your boat.

1) The Fluke Anchor

The fluke anchor
The Fluke anchor is also known as the Danforth anchor. It is a prevalent anchor choice.

Fluke anchors are best used for smaller boats because it folds nicely and is easy to contain.

In addition, it has excellent holding power for its weight.

The Fluke is very suitable for muddy and sandy areas, and this is because small-grained sand is relatively easy for fluke anchors to penetrate and frequently offers high holding power and testable results.

Although Danforth anchor is very suitable in this area, it is essential to note that they are less effective in deep mud, lawn-like bottom, or rocky surfaces.

While holding, and the wind shifts, the boat drift over the anchor, then it moves opposite direction from which it was set, but a fluke anchor is likely to pull out.

 Pros:

The Fluke anchors are very suitable for muddy and sandy areas because It penetrates quickly.

In addition, it folds nicely and is easy to contain.

Cons:

The fluke anchors are less effective in deep mud, lawn-like bottom, or rocky surfaces.

 2) The Plow/CQR Anchor

Plow anchor

The plow/CQR anchor is a little heavier than the Fluke and is an excellent choice of anchor.

Since holding power is most dependent on where you happen to drop the hook, the plow-style anchor is an excellent choice because of its weight.

Unlike other anchors, the plow anchors are efficient enough because it has higher holding power than Danforth, which is likely to pull out if the wind shifts when the boat drifts over the anchor in an opposite direction from which it was set.

The plow anchor has a single penetrating point and is more likely to reset if the boat position changes.

Pros:

The plow/CQR boat anchor is heavier with structured to sustain the high point loads.

The plow-style anchor has a single penetrating point and is more likely to reset if the boat position changes.

Cons:

The way they designed it can make it a little complicated when storing.

3) The Wing Anchor

 Delta anchor
The wing anchor, also known as the delta anchor, is a very well-known anchor.

It is known to be good due to its ability to penetrate vegetation, and most boat manufacturers prefer Delta as the standard anchor of choice.

It is like a regular plow anchor with a fixed shank.

The difference between a delta anchor and a plow anchor is that the Delta anchor has a wing shape, while the plow has its plow-like form.

Amazingly, the wing anchor does well in different bottom conditions but sometimes struggles to grip the rocky floor. However, at large, it is tested to be very reliable.

Pros:

  • Wing anchors are known to do well in different bottom conditions.

Cons:

  • Struggles to grip in rock.

4) Mushroom Anchor 

mushroom anchor
There is a small and a larger mushroom anchor. The smaller mushroom anchors are chiefly used to hold boats up to 15 feet in length safely.

It is an excellent choice for small fishing boats that make short stops and anchors for a small amount of time, whereas larger mushroom anchors are used for moorings or securing buoys.

The larger mushroom mooring anchors are often regarded as permanent mooring anchors because as the silt from the ocean floor builds up over these anchors, it can result in extreme holding power, more than the actual weight of the anchor.

It is best at holding power in the mud or fine sand, allowing the mud or fine sand to come into the cup and act as a sucker.

Pros:

The larger mushroom anchors are best for permanent mooring buoys.

Cons:

If not used as a permanent anchor, a larger mushroom anchor can result in extreme holding power, more than the actual weight of the anchor.

5) Grapnel Anchor

grapnel anchorGrapnel anchors are available in many sizes. You have the lighter grapnel-type anchor that is great for smaller boats.

Their shape is great for rocky bottoms because it allows the blades to hook onto non-living objects and hold strong to them firmly.

Grapnel anchors are primarily used lighter anchor for small boats such as Kayaks and a short anchoring period.

How is it shaped? It has a shape like a grappling iron hook.

The good thing about this boat anchor is that it has a very strong holding power on an object when it hooks on the object.

So sometimes, it is a little difficult to retrieve the anchor.

Another thing that makes this anchor great for smaller boats is that it folds up nicely and fits into the storage compartment.

Pros:

  • A grapnel anchor has a very strong holding power on an object when it hooks on the object.
  • Great for smaller boats because it folds up and fits into the storage compartment

Cons:

  • Sometimes, it is difficult to retrieve the anchor from the hooked object.

6) Spade Anchors

spade anchor

The spade anchors are in these different materials, i.e., Galvanized Steel, Aluminum, and Stainless Steel.

They are also available in different sizes. Unlike some other anchors, the spade anchor is reliable and tested to be hassle-free, it can easily penetrate the sea bottom deeper than the other types, and it has been tested and known to perform well.

One good side of the spade anchor is that it requires no special anchoring techniques.

This anchor can be quite expensive, but it is excellent at doing its job, so it is worth buying.

With the way it is shaped-like, stowage in a bow can be somehow difficult because of its stretched Fluke.

Pros:

  • Spade anchor requires no special anchoring techniques for its usage.

Cons:

  • Stowage in a bow can be somehow difficult because of its stretched Fluke.

7) Rocna Anchor

rocna anchor
Anchors are securing safety material for boats to help you get the best out of your relaxation and fishing experience.

Here again, it is another good anchor for your boat.

The Rocna anchor was developed by a New Zealand sailor named Peter Smith.

Peter Smith is an experienced sailor who has been building and cruising sailing yachts since the early 1960s.

The Rocna is a multi-purpose anchor that sets and holds on most seafloor, from hard sand to soft mud, clay, grass, and seaweed.

This boat anchor provides great resistance power because it has a concave fluke which gives it the most outstanding possible resistance needed for securing your boat.

The Rocna is reliable when you talk about setting itself on the seabed; it is reliable because of its maximum versatility.

 Pros:

  •  The Rocna is a multi-purpose anchor.
  • Rocna Provides great resistance power.
  •  Resistant to wind and wave shifts.

 Cons: 

  • Users should take caution concerning how quickly the anchor sets.

8) Box Anchor

Box anchor
The box anchors’ unique design lets you hold your boat at a 45-degree angle; it digs downwardly, facing flukes firmly into the bottom without sinking them permanently on detritus.

This boat anchor is unique because it sets into any condition at the bottom and folds flat in storage, making its stowage simple.

Regardless of the water conditions, the box anchor requires no mechanical power from your boat.

Pros:

  • Box anchor folds flat for quick and easy storage
  • The anchor requires no mechanical power from your boat.
  • Sets into any condition at the bottom.

Cons: 

  • No part of this anchor is upward-facing.

 What to Consider When Choosing an Anchor

1) Materials

Anchors are primarily made of metals resistant to long-term corrosion (Galvanized Steel, Aluminum, and Stainless Steel) that use appropriate protection methods such as copper-sulfate and galvanization.

2) Your Boat

The size of your boat is a determinant factor when you are considering getting an anchor.

Getting an anchor that is way smaller for your boat isn’t a good idea; it could be detrimental.

You must know what you want when choosing an anchor type for your boat.

It is recommended that you consider the anchor manufacturer’s suggested sizes when buying.

3) The bottom condition

Boat anchors need to have a high resistance holding power on the seafloor, but this depends on their ability to penetrate the seabed area.

If your area of use is the rocky and lawn-like bottom, you will not choose a fluke for it because flukes are for muddy and sandy areas.

You would go for anchors penetrating and engaging the seabed like Rocna and the likes.

4) Holding Power

Weight is one important factor when it comes to boat anchors, but that shouldn’t be the only consideration when getting an anchor because on a rocky seabed, you need more than weight to penetrate; it has to hold on to the bottom and hold firmly.

5) Getting Two Anchors with Different Styles

For good anchoring security, you should get anchors of different styles because this will provide you with greater protection to handle the kind of seabed you are presented with.

It could be a muddy, lawn-like, sandy, or rocky bottom. Some seafloor situations can call for more than one anchor to be used simultaneously.

 Conclusion

Sailing and fishing can be an exciting experience if you have all the necessary pieces of equipment needed, such as your boat anchor.

Anchors are very important when on the boat, and so it is wise to get the most suitable anchor for your boat readily available.

You would not want the wind tossing you about while having this experience, so considering the best anchor out of the numerous that would be suitable for boat size is necessary.

Know the bottom and weather conditions. I would recommend going with two anchors for better security.

There are indeed many anchor options available for boaters when it comes to anchors, but the right one is what you need.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How many types of boat anchors are there?

There are many options available for boaters for anchors. Here are some reliable anchors you may want to check out: The Fluke Anchor, The Plow/CQR Anchor, The Wing Anchor, Rocna Anchor, Spade Anchors, Grapnel Anchor, Mushroom Anchor (small or large mushroom anchors). 

How do you choose the right anchor size?

Getting the suitable and best anchor for your boat depends on the size and type of your boat. It is also dependent on the kind of bottom it is used on; is it a rocky, sandy, muddy, or grass-filled area? These factors should be taken into consideration properly before you make a choice.

What are the four different types of anchors?

There are more than four anchor line options available for boaters. The type of anchor you go for should suit your boat size. This is necessary because having the right size of an anchor will enable you to enjoy your sailing/fishing experience. 

Should I get two anchors?

Yes! For good anchoring security, it is recommended you get 2 anchors of different styles. This will provide you with greater protection to handle the kind of seabed you are presented with.

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