You’re going to want to keep your anchor close to the edge of your toon where you can easily deploy that hunk of metal. So keeping it under a seat to be tethered to a cleat and then tossed overboard when needed isn’t exactly the right (or the safest) way to do it. Fortunately, there are better methods of keeping and deploying an anchor.
An anchor ledge and pontoon anchor mount is designed to give you a bit of a deck extension where you can safely mount your anchor away from foot traffic. But more than that, a pontoon anchor ledge also makes it incredibly easy to operate, deploy, and retrieve your anchor, which is beneficial if you’re interested in maxing out on safety.
The Best Pontoon Anchor Mount and Ledge
Designed to free up some space for your anchor or even a grill, this choice features premium powder-coated aluminum that easily withstands corrosion from saltwater exposure. The spacious ledge uses a universal fit that lets you install the accessory on almost any pontoon boat regardless of size or floor area.
The adjustable arms on the mount adjust from 14.7 inches to 24 inches, allowing variability to accommodate the size of your anchor winch. Complete with a 2-year replacement warranty, this mount works to free up space on your platform and prevent unwanted muck and weeds from making their way to your boat from under the water.
Another practical choice, this pontoon anchor ledge features a sturdy powder coated aluminum design that’s intended to withstand some of the most challenging conditions. Built for lasting performance, the nifty little accessory works well to resist corrosion and organism growth so you can rely on it’s durability for years.
The maintenance-free mount comes in a single size, but offers enough room for various anchor winch designs. Its intuitive mounting arms tout a universal fit that works with all boat types for a secure hold against the bottom of your deck platform.
Why Do You Need an Anchor Ledge or Mount?
Sure, you could always just toss your anchor and its rode onto your deck and be done with it. But there are lots of good reasons why you might want to consider having a ledge or mount installed instead. With benefits for safety, space economy, and overall efficiency, a simple mount can change the way you use your anchor and may even save a life.
Having an anchor on board right where people walk and move can be particularly dangerous especially when the rode is all coiled up with it. It’s not impossible for guests to trip and fall because of messy cables, and this could lead to serious injuries and accidents on deck - and even overboard. An anchor winch mount keeps the anchor and all of its parts away from foot traffic, significantly reducing the risk of accidents.
There will be times when you need to deploy or retrieve your anchor swiftly. A mount can help improve the efficiency of anchor operation all together. Providing a designated area for your anchor, a ledge can help you cut down on the time you spend operating your anchor letting you draw it back on board or toss it out into the water for those moments when time is of the essence.
If you’ve got a smaller pontoon, then every square inch of floor area should be maximized. Without a ledge for your anchor, you’re going to have to find a place for that winch on-board. And although an anchor winch might not seem too big off the bat, drilling it into the deck of a small pontoon can show you just how inconvenient it can be to have the unit eating up precious space.
Let’s admit it - anchor winches and anchors themselves aren’t exactly the best looking accessories. If you’re keen on keeping your boat looking neat and tidy, then designating a separate area for a winch can help reduce on-board clutter and maintain a sense of organization.
Then of course, there’s the issue of drilling holes to your deck. Without an anchor mount, you’d be forced to drill your anchor winch onto the platform itself. Although that might not seem like such a big deal, the issue arises when you find the need to move the anchor, change up your furniture placement, or even sell your boat. Anchor ledges just make sense if you want to preserve your deck’s pristine condition.
Where to Install a Pontoon Anchor Mount
The thing about an anchor ledge is that you don’t really have much of a choice as to where you should mount it. Most of the choices available online are designed to fit the aft of your boat just over one of your pontoons.
That means you could also possibly install it towards the bow of your vessel, right? Well, not exactly. It helps to remember that the pontoons extend slightly farther towards the front of the boat, so there won’t be sufficient clearance for the ledge to sit without pressing against your pontoons.
How to Install an Anchor Ledge or Mount
Properly installing pontoon anchor winch mount helps guarantee that it won’t break off or succumb to untimely damages down the line. Of course, manufacturers tend to have different ledge models, but in general, you should be able to use these steps for proper installation:
1. Measure the Width
You want to install your ledge just above the pontoon tube at the rear. Deciding whether you want to go with the portside or starboard side tube depends entirely on your preference. However most boat owners choose the portside aft.
Measure the width between the rails holding the tube to your pontoon. The legs of your anchor mount should fit this space, with both legs of the ledge pressing against the inside surface of the rails.
2. Adjust the Legs
Once you have your measurement, you can go ahead and adjust the width of the mount’s legs. There should be a few bolts on the underside that you can loosen to move the leg width to your desired measurement.
After making the adjustments, you can then proceed to tighten up the bolts to prevent the legs from moving around during installation and use. Make sure you fit the mount against the railings of the tube to see if you need to make any more adjustments.
3. Secure with C-clamps
Most pontoon anchor ledge packages come with a set of C-clamps that you can use to temporarily hold the mount in place. As you secure the mount, make sure the top edge of its legs are pressing against the underside of the pontoon as opposed to having the weight of the ledge resting on the tube.
4. Drill the Holes
Drill two holes on either side of the rails straight through the ledge’s legs. There should be two sets of holes on each side of the mount - one about two inches from the edge of the rail and another about four to five inches from the end of the leg inside, depending on the length of the mount’s legs.
5. Remove the C-clamps and ledge
Once you have your holes, you can go ahead and remove the C-clamps and slide the mount out of its place. Now, you’re going to adjust the leg width so that it fits the outside of the rails. The purpose of this is to see whether the leg sits parallel against the bottom of the pontoon when you line up the holes on the leg with the rail.
6. Install the Cinch Nut
If everything is nice and aligned, then you can go ahead and install a cinch nut in the rear hole. This will hold the bolt in place once you secure the leg in its final position against the rail. Again, you’re going to adjust the leg width so that both legs fit on the inside of the rails.
7. Secure with Bolts
Slide the mount into its position against the inside of the rails and secure it in place with four bolts - one for each hole. Get the bolts as tight as possible to ensure a proper fit and a secure hold. You’re also going to want to install a few bolts on the ledge itself - one inch from the side and one inch from the back. This just helps guarantee a stable platform for your winch.
Keep in mind that installation procedures tend to vary between anchor ledge models. But if you’re still not a hundred percent sure how to do it, this informative video should give you a better look at how installation is done:
There’s always going to be a bit of apprehension when it comes to securing something as expensive as an anchor winch on a mount that sits outside of your pontoon. If you’re still not sure if an anchor ledge is for you, or if you want to know more about how it works and what it requires of you, here are some of the most commonly asked questions about pontoon anchor mounts.
1. Will it fit my boat?
There aren’t a lot of pontoon anchor ledge options on the market. But even with the narrow selection, you can be certain that they’ll fit your boat. That’s because an anchor ledge is designed to have adjustable legs that you can calibrate to fit the space between your tube’s rails.
Do note however that all anchor ledges are designed to fit the aft of your boat since the bow won’t have enough space due to the extended tubes on that end.
2. Are they prone to rust?
That depends mainly on the kind of material used. Fortunately, the available pontoon anchor ledges tout powder coated aluminum construction which means they’re not likely to rust over time. Even when exposed to saltwater, the worst you’ll see is a build up of white crystalline substance.
However if you’re particular about water damage, then there are some things you can try to protect your ledge even more. Protectants and aluminum restorer solutions can help keep your mount in good working condition even after years of exposure to sun and waves.
We recommend getting the Ultimate Aluminum Cleaner & Restorer by STAR BRITE.
3. How much weight can they support?
One thing you’ll notice is that pontoon anchor mount manufacturers don’t really indicate the amount of weight that the ledge can support. What you’ll find based on reviews however is that some pontoon owners claim that their ledge can easily support weights up to 80 lbs.
Considering the fact that a standard 30 foot pontoon would require no more than a 14 lb anchor, it’s safe to say that these ledges are durable enough to support an anchor, it’s rode, and a winch all together. Keep in mind though that these mounts are not designed to hold weights other than that of an anchor and its accessories. They’re not built to stand on, and they’re definitely not built for added storage.
4. Do they come with a warranty?
That depends mostly on the manufacturer. Between the two options available, only the Extreme Max Pontoon Anchor Mount comes with a 2-year warranty. Do note however that there is a fine print when it comes to the kind of damages that a manufacturer will cover. Damages from improper installation and use, and typical wear and tear aren’t usually covered by the warranty.
A Safer Way to Beach Your Boat
A pontoon anchor ledge is a basic boat accessory that any serious pontooner should have. Designed to clear up floor area, improve safety and efficiency, and reduce damage to your deck through unnecessary holes and drilling, a pontoon anchor mount is a sound investment that won’t only maintain the value of your boat, but might also help to minimize the risk of accidents on board. And because they’re easy on the pocket and incredibly quick to install, there’s really no reason you shouldn’t get one for your watercraft.