Choosing an anchor for your pontoon boat can be a challenge as there are quite a variety of styles and weights to choose from. Though no one anchor will work best with ALL boats, taking into consideration where you boat, the size of your boat and properly anchoring your pontoon boat is important.
When choosing an anchor, don’t go cheap. Experienced captains say always be prepared for the worst. Consider having two anchors of various styles on board. Don’t cut corners when choosing an anchor. When it comes to anchors too much of a good thing is never too much of a good thing.
The 4 Best Pontoon Anchors
Slide Anchor Large Box Anchor
One of the most highly recommended anchors is the box anchor. It works in sand, mud, grass, rocks, virtually anywhere. The box anchor is available in four sizes. The baby box will hold your personal water craft, and the extra-large will hold a boat up to seventy feet.
The design allows you to just throw the anchor over the side of the boat, no powering down necessary. The anchor allows you more control over the placement of your boat, and if the current or wind changes direction, the box anchor rolls over and quickly resets itself.
Retrieval is easy too, just move the boat over the top of the anchor and because there is no surface tension the anchor releases itself from the bottom. There are four sizes to choose from, and they all range in prices depending on these sizes.
SeaSense River Anchor
Another highly recommended anchor is the SeaSense River Anchor. This 20 pound anchor is specifically recommended for pontoon boat anchoring as it combines the traditional mushroom anchor with the fluke anchor for better anchoring on mud bottom lakes or rivers.
Greenfield Richter 5 Prong Anchor
The third anchor that is an excellent choice is the Richter 5 prong anchor. It has the centered weight of the river anchor and the penetration of the grapnel anchor. It has an easy release system for added convenience and simple retrieval. What makes this Richter so great is the types of bottoms and the currents this anchor maintains its hold in. You can choose from a 14lb, 18lb, 25lb anchor and each range in price.
Mantus Anchor Stainless-Steel
The Mantis it the fourth anchor recommended. It is good for hard and grassy bottoms, and is lightweight and folds away for easy storage. Made from high quality steel plate, it is designed with a sharp headed nose to penetrate hard bottoms. It comes in stainless steel or galvanized steel. This new generation anchor has been tested and proven that it sets faster and holds better than any other anchor. This anchor has a lifetime warranty and the price rang varies from under 100 all the way to over 2k for the stainless version. The galvanized is slightly cheaper.
Other Anchor Types
Other popular anchor types include:
This is a popular burying anchor. It is lightweight but has strong holding power. It is not great on holding during tide shifts, but has a long history of being a good, tough anchor.
The plow has a single swivel at the shank base that inhibits it from pulling out. This anchor has difficulty holding on harder bottoms, but it is good in light grass.
The claw is a newer design. They say it sets in most conditions and is stowed on rollers.
The herreshoff is dubbed as the “Fisherman’ anchor”. It is known to hold on harder bottoms like rocks as well as heavy grasses.
Tip: When storing your anchor always make sure it is stored away neatly so it is ready to go next time.
What to Consider When Looking for a Pontoon Anchor
The size of a pontoon boat anchor depends on the size/weight of a pontoon boat. If you're unsure of the size of your vessel, you can easily measure the length of the boat.
It is typical for a boat twenty feet or smaller to use an anchor that weighs twelve to fifteen pounds. For a pontoon boat that is over twenty feet and up to thirty feet, choose an anchor that weighs twenty to thirty pounds. Some anchors can weigh up to one hundred and twenty five pounds, and are designed to hold boats up to seventy feet long.
Pontoon 20 feet or less
Pontoon 20-30 feet
The conditions are also a factor when picking out the size of your anchor. If you are on a smaller, calmer lake, you may not need a fifty pound anchor, but if you deal with tides and rougher anchoring conditions you should go with a bigger anchor. If purchasing an anchor to ride out a storm, choose fifty or more pounds, and have more than one.
Pontoon Boat Winches and Anchoring Systems
The weight of these anchors can become cumbersome, so this is where a good pontoon anchor winch or pontoon boat anchoring system will come in handy. There are two that are specifically recommended for pontoon boats and support the heavier anchors.
The first is the Powerwinch 24’ Class Pontoon Boat Anchor Winch. It is the number one selling winch for pontoon boats. It lifts anchors that weigh up to 40 pounds and has the fastest line speed of 80 feet per minute.
The second winch is called the TRAC 35 pontoon Electric Anchor Winch. This winch lifts up to 33 pounds and has a line speed of 65 feet per minute.
Anchoring a Pontoon Boat
I say this with the upmost caution; take great care when anchoring any boat. There have been many injuries and some deaths due to accidents that have happened during setting an anchor. Watch where the rope is, and where your extremities are in relation to it.
The first rule is to NEVER anchor off the back or stern of the boat as this could cause the boat to swamp or capsize. Always anchor off of the bow, and use a second anchor to prevent the boat from spinning. The coast guard recommends using five to seven times the length of rope for your water depth. For instance, if you are in twenty feet of water you will need at least one hundred feet of rope for safe anchoring.
Some of the anchor manufacturers state that the use of a chain on the anchor is not necessary, that using just line is acceptable, but using chain helps prevent the line from fraying and also helps the anchor set and stay on the bottom. It keeps the waves from loosening it up and setting you free as well.
If you are in twenty feet of water, drop the anchor off of the bow of the boat, approximately seventy feet upwind from where you want to be, and allow ten feet for the anchor to bite, and then let out fifty to sixty feet of rope before tying it off. To ensure you remain on hook, spot two stationary objects (preferably on land) and check every so often that you are in the same spot.
In the case of a storm it is recommended that two anchors be set, but this may complicate things in that the lines might twist around each other during tide change or rough seas. For more on safe boating practices go to www.boat-ed.com.
These choices for the best pontoon anchors cover all different sizes and conditions. You may have difficulty choosing certain items for your boat, but don’t skimp when it comes to an anchor or a pontoon boat anchoring system. For safety sake, buy the best!