A smaller watercraft just makes more sense if you’re in it for the relaxation and solitude. But just because they’re smaller and easier to maintain, doesn’t mean you won’t need a few added accessories. The most important of them all would have to be the anchor. However because inflatable pontoon boats are lighter, choosing the appropriate anchor can be a bit of a predicament.
On one hand, an anchor that’s too heavy might weigh down your boat while it’s underway. But then again, something too light might not hold your ‘toon in place once it’s deployed. So what’s the ideal inflatable pontoon boat anchor? This guide should lead you to the right one.
The 3 Best Inflatable Pontoon Boat Anchors
This complete set includes a mushroom anchor, 25 feet of rode, and a marker buoy to keep your anchor’s position visible on the water’s surface. The convenient design weighs no more than 8 lbs which makes it an ideal choice for lightweight personal watercrafts that carry no more than one or two passengers.
The design uses a durable vinyl coating that protects both the anchor itself from dings and damage, while also keeping your boat safe from scratches, punctures, and scuffs while the anchor is on board. Designed for boats up to 10 feet in length, this anchor works best in inland waterways with muddy or weedy bottoms.
This interesting design combines the functions of a dry bag and an anchor, giving you a waterproof sack that you can fill with your desired amount of sand or rocks to work as your anchor. The 20L bag can hold as much as 50 lbs of sand, which is more than enough to keep a personal watercraft in place.
The heavy duty material uses 500D PVC that’s especially resilient and rugged. It comes with a 12 foot long braided rope, a buoy, and stainless steel clips that connect either ends of the rope to your boat and to the anchor. Available in a bright selection of colors, this bag was designed to maintain visibility even in the murkiest water conditions.
If you’ve got a slightly bigger watercraft, then you might want to consider something of a heftier weight. This specific anchor weighs in at 15 lbs, an touts a unique silhouette that’s intended to penetrate the surface of the bottom of the water for a steadier grip. Coated in a protective vinyl material, the durable design promises exceptional performance in the toughest of water conditions.
Equipped with a large rope eye to make it easier to secure a line, this choice works well for boats that are 16 to 20 feet long making it the ideal pick for larger personal watercrafts that pack slightly more size and weight.
How Much Holding Power Should an Inflatable Pontoon Anchor Have?
There’s a lot to consider when calculating the supposed weight (or holding power) of your anchor. For one thing, it should be heavy enough to hold your watercraft in place even in slightly rough water and wind conditions.
But then again, you don’t want it to be too heavy that it weighs down your boat and burdens your motor when you’re underway.
That said, it helps to ask yourself a few questions before you decide on the ideal anchor weight for inflatable boat.
1. How Big Is Your Boat?
What size anchor is best for inflatable boats depends mainly on the size of the vessel itself. Interestingly, boats will only require an anchor that’s about 1-2% of its total weight, especially in calm waters. In rough conditions however, it could require up to 10% of its weight.
2. How Heavy Is Your Vessel?
Including all the gear you have on board and your motor. If your boat is too heavy for your anchor, then it might simply drag the anchor around as it moves with the currents.
3. What Kind of Weather Conditions Do You Typically See?
Do you usually take your boat out in rough waters with high winds? The more the water and wind push and tug at your boat, the higher your anchor’s holding power should be. But if you usually visit calm lakes and inland water systems, then you might not need an anchor that’s too hefty.
4. What Covers the Water Bed?
It’s equally important to consider the substance that covers the bed of the bodies of water you visit. Some anchors work best in mud and weeds, while others are designed for rocky water beds.
Different Kinds of Inflatable Pontoon Boat Anchors
There are lots of different kinds of anchors in general, but only a few of them are qualified for use with inflatable pontoon boats. Understanding how each design performs when deployed should give you a better idea of which one really suits your needs.
These anchors look exactly as they’re named, featuring a dome shaped bottom connected to a stem. They’re pretty popular for PWC’s because they’re light, simple, and easy to deploy even when you’re on your own. The sleek, smooth silhouette also means that they won’t risk damaging your boat while it’s on board.
Mushroom anchors work best in muddy and weedy bottoms because of their shape. The little dome bottom works like a bowl, scooping up mud and debris to make the anchor heavier once it reaches the bed. That said, they’re not typically ideal for rocky beds because the shape doesn’t permit larger rubble to scoop up into the dome.
There are lots of various designs for river anchors, but the most common is the fan-like shape that features ‘blades’ that project from the base of the stem. They’re also usually slightly heavier than mushroom anchors, making them ideal for small to medium sized PWCs.
River anchors are named such because they’re used in waterways with rocky bottoms. The unique shape lets rocks and larger debris to fit between the blades, causing the anchor to ‘catch’ on to natural elements at the bottom of the water. This provides a more stable grip in situations where a mushroom anchor might not be able to grab a steady hold.
These aren’t quite as popular, but they are intuitive nonetheless. The design uses a waterproof sack or bag that you can fill with sand or rocks to your desire. That means that you can adjust the weight of the anchor depending on your needs. This can be particularly helpful when you’re faced with sudden changes in weather that require more holding power against strong wind and waves.
Similar to mushroom anchors, sack anchors work best in water systems with muddy or weedy bottoms. The reason for this is because while they might be made from heavy duty material, they’re not impervious to puncture damage. And when that happens, all of the sand the bag contains might pour out thus rendering the anchor useless.
Other Accessories for Inflatable Pontoon Anchors
The anchor is one thing, but the gear that connects it to your boat is another. While some anchors are sold as a complete set or kit, there are others that come as a solo purchase, requiring that you buy a separate rode, hooks, and other accessories to go with your anchor.
Here are some other things you might need to guarantee the safe and efficient use of your new anchor.
This is also called a line, this is the cable that connect your boat to the anchor. As a general rule, the rode should be 10 times the depth of the water you’re in. So if you’re sailing over water that’s 10 feet in depth, you’re going to need 100 feet of line.
It also helps to consider the durability of your rode. Not just any rope will do. Make sure you’re buying marine grade cable that won’t trip, break, or fray when exposed to moisture and heat. And while a chain might seem like a better option in terms of durability, it’s important to consider the weight that that would add to your vessel.
We recommend the Premium Solid Braid Anchor Rope by Young Marine.
A buoy or floater doesn’t only make it easier to see where your anchor is, but also helps ensure that you don’t lose your end of the line in case it accidentally falls into the water. Most anchors will come with their own buoy, but they’re also available as after market accessories for a small cost.
We find these Float 5" x 3" Buoy Floaters easy to use.
Hooks and Carabiners
There are lots of places to attach an anchor on an inflatable boat, but you probably won’t be able to mount any hardware since the boat itself doesn’t have a lot of solid surface that can accommodate all that drilling.
Whatever the case, a set of hooks and carabiners can be more than enough to secure the anchor to your boat. Find a stable, solid part to knot your rode in place, or secure a carabiner to your end of the line so you can connect it to a hook on your boat.
It's great to always have these Stainless Steel Spring Snap Hook Carabiner handy.
Over to You
Strong winds and rushing currents can easily push an inflatable boat where it shouldn’t go. And that’s why it’s important to invest in a suitable anchor. While there are lots of different kinds of inflatable pontoon boat anchor on the market, you don’t really need to go overboard. A smaller anchor with just enough weight should hold your boat in place and keep you safely tethered while you fish, make repairs, or simply bask in relaxation out in the open water.