Ranking The Best Boat Anchors On The Market
Crown Sporting Goods Galvanized Grapnel Anchor
Lewmar Galvanized Delta Anchor
Mantus M1 Marine Anchor
Updated on March 8, 2020. In Reviewsby
Your boat anchor is one of the most important tools you can have aboard—and overboard too! These special objects are specially designed to sink to the ocean floor, find purchase, and keep your vessel held tightly in place. Anchors are there to stop your boat from drifting away, as the current, tide, and wind try to push and pull it on its way.
Anchors can be dropped when you’ve located a prime fishing spot, or when you’ve decided to take a break and have a spot of lunch, or over a dive site. Stronger anchors can be dropped at nightfall, to keep you locked in place while you sleep, or to keep your boat in place for permanent mooring.
They can be used in freshwater rivers and lakes, as well as in the ocean, and these anchors have to deal with tricky river, lake, and sea beds which come in an enormous variety of conditions. Sand, mud, rock, and weed beds all require different anchor types to ensure the best hold.
With so much to think about, it’s no wonder that shopping for a new boat anchor can be an overwhelming experience. To make life a little easier, we’ve put together a list of some of the best boat anchors currently available, with a handy buying guide to help you make an informed decision when you’re shopping around.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the top anchors out there, that are guaranteed to keep your vessel locked in position, no matter the conditions!
The Boat Anchor Buying Guide
Buying a boat anchor is something that all boat owners are going to have to do sooner or later. Larger vessels generally come equipped with an anchor as standard equipment, but anchors can be lost, get stuck, can buckle and bend, and will eventually need to be replaced.
Smaller vessels may not come with anchors, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need one. If you’ve ever wanted to “park” your boat on the water and have it stay in one place, you’ll need an anchor. Small inflatable boats, kayaks, pontoon boats, and SUPs can all benefit from an anchor.
There are so many types out there, with different shapes, different weights, and suited to different environments, that it’s hard to find out which one is the right choice for you. To make life easier, we’ve put together this little buying guide that gives you an overview of the types of anchor available, and what factors you need to consider before buying one. Let’s get started.
The Types Of Boat Anchors For Sale
There are many different boat anchors for sale, and they serve a number of different purposes. We’re going to give a quick run down of the most popular types, starting with permanent anchors for long-term mooring.
Delta wing anchors are heavy duty anchors that feature a triangular blade, with a sharp pointed end that can hook into the sea, lake, or river bed with ease. They’re designed to dig deep and create a firm hold. They can keep a boat steady in strong currents, strong winds, and changing tides with relative ease.
Mushroom anchors are exactly what you’d think they’d be: mushroom shaped anchors. They’re dropped head first into the water and provide solid and stable anchorage in all conditions. They come in a variety of sizes, but bigger, heavier-duty units provide the best stability.
If you’re looking at long term mooring, the above two anchors are arguably some of the best available. However, if you’re out on the water and only want to a short-term option, that’s quick and easy to deploy, then one of these types will suit your needs better:
Claw anchors get their name from their obvious claw-like shape. They have sharp barbs that can grab onto a wide range of surface, and settle easily in the bed. They’re fast to set up, but they don’t have a lot of holding power when compared to other anchor types.
Fluke anchors, sometimes known as crown or cruising anchors, are very popular. They are compact anchors with sharp flukes that maintain strong purchase in soft ground, such as mud and sand. They have a practical design for easy setting, but they’re not particularly useful in rocky conditions.
Grapnel anchors are basically small and compact grappling hooks that can easily find a hold across a wide range of floor types. Most grapnel anchors comprise of a shaft, with collapsible prongs or flukes. They’re easy to stow, easy to deploy, and can grab on anything. Generally, they can’t hold a lot of weight, but they’re ideal for small water craft.
Lastly, we’ve got plow anchors. These are very similar in shape and design as the above-mentioned Delta anchors. However, they’re slightly different. They resemble a farming plow in shape, which helps them to stick into the ground and find purchase. Once they’re embedded, they make for strong and confidence-inspiring holds. Unfortunately, the shape of them can make them difficult to store, especially if space is a premium.
Anchor Weight & Size
When it comes to buying an anchor, you need to consider the shape and size of the anchor in relation to your boat. A heavier anchor will be able to hold a heavier boat and provide more stability; but that’s only useful if you have a boat that’s large enough to accommodate a large and heavy anchor. The heaviest weight that your boat can carry without compromising the handling or hull integrity will be your best choice.
Heavier anchors are quite big though, and the overall dimensions of an anchor need to be considered. Again, if you have a big, long boat then you’re likely to want a bigger, longer anchor to keep it in place. When searching for an anchor, check in with reputable brands because more often than not they’ll give you access to a sizing chart, which will tell you exactly what kind of anchor size, weight, and dimension, you’ll need for your vessel size.
In summary: a heavier anchor can secure a heavier boat, but carrying one too large for your vessel will have detrimental effects. “Big” doesn’t necessarily mean “best.”
The best boat anchor will have a weight heavy enough to hold your boat in place, but with a small and compact nature that makes it easy to stow, and gets out of your way, freeing up deck space. When you’re searching for a new anchor, it’s always wise to look for the manufacturer’s specifications about how much weight an anchor can hold. It’s also a very wise idea to read reviews from existing customers.
The boating community provides excellent feedback about the quality of a product and just how true it performs to the manufacturer’s word. Pay attention to the real holding power specifications, and in what conditions an anchor can perform in.
Similarly, it’s worth taking into account what kind of boat you have, and how it needs to be anchored. An inflatable kayak will have very different anchoring needs to a similarly sized boat, with different anchoring points. A boat designed to be anchored at the front may require different specifications to one that’s anchored at the rear.
One thing’s for sure: never anchor your boat in the middle. This can leave a vessel vulnerable to capsizing in difficult conditions.
Where Will You Use It?
Before you invest in an anchor, you should do some research into the underwater topography of your favorite boating and fishing areas. Not all anchors are created equal! Some are designed to be used in very specific conditions, and even the most versatile products designed as all ‘rounders can fail.
Grapnels will work great on rocky sea beds. Flukes are really handy in the mud. Plows are very useful in the sand. Unfortunately, flukes and plows aren’t much good in rocky environments, and grapnels can fail to get a hold in flat, sandy situations. Claw anchors are decent in most conditions, but they’re not particularly well-suited to any either. Familiarize yourself with your local conditions, and focus your search on an appropriate anchor type for the best results.
Once you’ve decided on the style of anchor you’re looking for, and settled on an appropriate weight and size for your needs, there’s one more important factor that you need to take into account: the materials used in the anchor’s construction. No matter whether you’re in fresh water or out on the ocean, all anchors have one thing in common: they’re going to be used underwater. That means they need to be protected from the harmful effects of corrosion and rust.
Stainless steel and aluminum are great material choices, but they can be expensive—and aluminum isn’t particularly heavy, so you need a lot of it for an anchor. Galvanized steel is an excellent choice, since the galvanized coating resists rust and corrosion. Some anchors are covered with a layer of plastic or rubber too. Whatever material appeals to you the most, make sure that it’s non-reactive with water, or you may end up losing it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are anchor lights on a boat?
An anchor light is a white light that must be displayed when a boat is at anchor. The light needs to be visible from 360-degrees. It’s usually placed on the top of a mast, or near the bow or stern. Anchor light are used to alert other boaters that a ship is anchored for the night.
Do new boats come with anchors?
Different boats ship with different standard equipment. It’s always safe to assume that a new boat will not ship with an anchor, and if it does, it may not be the right anchor for your needs. However, anchor kits are included with most luxury boats.
How much chain on a boat anchor?
It’s generally accepted that you should allow 1 foot of chain for every 1 foot of your boat’s length. For example, a 25 ft boat should have 25 ft of chain on its anchor rode.
How much rope on a boat anchor?
The amount of rope needed for your anchor rode depends on the depth on water you’re boating in. It’s recommended that you have 8 feet of rope per 1 foot of the water depth that you plan to anchor in. For example, a depth of 6 feet would require 32 feet of rope for your anchor rode.
In Summary: What Is The Best Boat Anchor?
There are far too many variables involved when choosing an anchor for there to be one anchor that’s the best on the market. Different boats require different anchors. Different customers have different needs. And different conditions demand different construction materials and deployment methods. A pontoon boat will have different anchor requirements to a yacht, a casual paddler won’t require the same anchor as a deep sea fishermen, and a river anchor isn’t going to cut it out on the ocean.
However, if we had to choose some exceptional models from our list that have outstanding qualities, then here are our favorites, or best of the best. What’s the best boat anchor out of there? We’d choose one of these.
For boaters on a budget, we’d suggest the Crown Sporting Goods Galvanized Grapnel Anchor. It’s a small and compact grapnel anchor that’s ideally suited for operators of inflatable kayaks and boats, stand-up paddle boards, and small personal water craft. However, it can also provide exceptional hold of larger vessels too. It’s tough, durable, incredibly cheap, and easy to stow. This would be our number one choice for those on a tighter budget that are looking for temporary anchoring in moderate conditions.
If you’re not concerned about the budget and want a premium product that will do the job and do it exceptionally well, then we would choose the Mantus M1 Marine Anchor. It’s a plow anchor that’s available in a wide range of sizes and dimensions, manufactured from top level materials such as stainless steel and galvanized carbon steel. It has been thoroughly tested, and according to the manufacturer, it’s superior to the competition in almost every way.
However, if you’re looking for the perfect anchor that’s versatile and tough, that has a reasonable price tag but doesn’t compromise on quality, then we’d recommend the Lewmar Galvanized Delta Anchor. This anchor is a plow style galvanized steel anchor. It’s an exceptional anchor that offers excellent performance at a price point that won’t bankrupt you in the process. It’s a great mud, gravel, and sand anchor that can be used for small and large boats alike, even in challenging conditions.