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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 Mantus M1 Marine Anchor is a premium boat anchor that promises some of the toughest and most reliable holding power in the business. It’s a plow anchor that Mantus claims to be superior to similar products from the likes of Rocna, Bulwagga, Fortress, Bruce, CQR, Danforth, Manson Supreme, and other leading anchor manufacturers.
It’s a compact anchor that’s available in a wide range of weights, ranging from a lightweight 8 lbs, to a heavy duty 175 lbs. Even the heaviest weight anchor can be collapsed down for easy storage, making it an ideal choice for a variety of boat types.
The M1 is manufactured from tough, high-quality, hot dipped galvanized steel plate. It’s not made from any cast parts, but features strong and secure welds, with heavy duty fastenings. Oversized ASTM certified steel bolts secure the flukes to the shank. The whole anchor is hot dipped galvanized to protect it from the negative effects of saltwater, preventing corrosion and rust.
Each anchor is equipped with a sharp nose that delivers precise and fast-setting anchoring. It’s ideal for a wide range of river, sea, and lake beds, with sand, gravel, or mud beds. It’s not very effective on hard rock beds, but it can still be used.
The Mantus M1 Marine Anchor ships with a lifetime warranty that covers damage sustained while in use, and against manufacturing defects.
Anchor Type: Plow anchor
Anchor Dimensions: From 17” to 40.5” long depending on weight
Anchor Weight: 2.5 lbs to 175 lbs
Material: Stainless steel and galvanized carbon steel
If you’re looking for a budget anchor to keep your boat steady while you’re out on the water, then the Danielson anchor might be the solution. Ideal for lightweight, inflatable boats and kayaks, and for use on calm waters, this item from Danielson is a folding anchor that’s available in two sizes: 1.5 lbs, and 3 lbs. In all honesty, the smaller version isn’t very useful at all. The 3 lb model is far more usable.
This anchor is small and compact, measuring only 7 inches in length, and weighing only 3 pounds. It’s a folding grapnel-style anchor which has four flukes that can be released for better grabbing power, though it works fine without the mechanism being activated too. It’s made from galvanized steel, which is resistant to corrosion and rust, and it’s very, very cheap to buy.
It is cheap, and it is very lightweight, so you shouldn’t have massive expectations from this anchor. It’s great for keeping you in place while you’re aboard your lightweight float tube, pontoon boat, or kayak, during calm and mild conditions but it’s not going to hold your super yacht in place during a squall.
This anchor features a ring for the attachment of a rope, but many users of this rope favor the use of a chain instead, since it adds a little more weight to the anchor. For lightweight use, for lightweight vessels, in gentle conditions, this is a very affordable boat anchor that won’t let you down.
Our last inexpensive folding anchor is this gem from Airhead. It’s a lightweight, folding grapnel anchor that’s available in two sizes: a 3.5 lb model, and a larger 5.5 lb model. Since both are very lightweight, and there’s very little difference in the price, we’ve selected the larger of the two for this list. Even though it’s bigger, it’s still light and compact, which makes it ideal for kayakers, SUP users, and inflatable boaters.
This anchor has a well-engineered 4-fluke design that can fold down for easy stowage. It’s easy to deploy, and the sturdy prongs have no trouble finding purchase on almost every type of surface, including mud, rock, gravel, and sand. The anchor is made from tough mild steel that has been coated to protect the anchor from corrosion and rust, but also to protect the side of your boat from scratches.
Each anchor ships with 25 feet of durable, marine-grade rope, an inline-buoy, and a huge stainless steel snap hook for easy deployment and tie-ups. The Airhead folding grapnel anchor also comes with a useful Nylon storage bag which has a padded lining to dampen any clanking sounds from your anchor when it’s in storage.
All in all, this is a great anchor for kayakers, SUP paddlers, and inflatable rafters. It will work fine with some larger boats too, however, we recommend that you only use with smaller watercraft or use it in tandem with another anchor if you want to use it on a larger vessel.
Anchor Type: Grapnel anchor
Anchor Dimensions: 13.63” long and 6.75” wide
Anchor Weight: up to 15.5 lbs
Material: Coated steel with stainless steel components
The Lewmar Galvanized Delta Anchor is a tough and rugged anchor that works well in most situations. It’s ideal for mud, sand, gravel, and weed-ridden beds, but it can also hold its own in rock and coral environments too. It’s strong, durable, and very reasonably priced.
This plow anchor is made from galvanized manganese steel. The plow design allows it to easily find purchase in the seafloor, giving you a strong and confidence-inspiring hold. It’s easy to deploy, and thanks to the shape, it’s very easy to pull up too.
Thanks to the use of high-grade materials and intelligent design, many boaters opt for this anchor rather than splashing out on a more expensive stainless steel product instead. In fact, this anchor has so many positive reviews that it’s hard to understand why anyone would pay more for something when this one does the job for a smaller price tag.
Installed correctly, and with a decent amount of chain attached, this galvanized anchor will have enough strength to hold boats that weigh more than 7,000 lbs in place—even in the most challenging of conditions. Some sailors have even reported a strong and tight anchoring position even in swells above 5 feet in height.
Lewmar’s Galvanized Delta Anchor is available in three different sizes: 14 lbs, 22 lbs, and 35 lbs. For our review, we tried out the 22 lb anchor, and we think that it’s more than enough for boats over 25 feet in length, with large weights, even in challenging conditions. If you pair it with a decent amount of chain, you can guarantee that you boat won’t budge an inch!
The SeaSense slip-ring fluke-style anchor is another budget-friendly product that offers impressive performance at an affordable price. It’s a simple fluke anchor that can hold your boat in place, even in stronger currents. That’s providing that you’re piloting a lightweight boat of up to 24 feet in length, and not at the helm of an oil tanker.
As anchors go, this one is relatively compact and very light weight. It’s manufactured from magnesium and aluminum, with galvanized features. All of the materials are corrosion and rust-resistant, which is ideal for saltwater applications. The anchor has a slip ring, which allows for easier retrieval in case of snagged flukes, and sharp sturdy flukes that can anchor in anything.
The flukes are designed with a sharp angle, to help find purchase in a wide range of conditions. While it’s better in rockier conditions, it can grab easily in sad and muddy bottoms. Rocks are this anchor’s favorite, but since it’s still a cheap product, we recommend that you take care when dropping it and retrieving it, since those flukes can bend if too much force is applied.
Ideal in depths of over 40 feet, this anchor is a cheap and cheerful product that won’t let you down providing that you aren’t expecting too much from it. For the best results, users recommend it in conjunction with a length of chain between the slip ring and anchor line.
The FX-7 fluke style anchor from Fortress Marine Anchors is one of the most popular choices for boating enthusiasts. It’s perfect for a wide range of applications, and can handle strong currents and challenging conditions with ease. The only downside is that it can be fiddly to put together if you’re not particularly DIY minded.
Manufactured from a high-tensile and corrosion and rust-proof aluminum and magnesium alloy, this anchor has been machined into shape using advanced computer-aided design. This means that there are no welds or weak spots, and no manufacturing defects. It’s sharp, strong, and can easily penetrate and find purchase in most sea, river, and lake beds.
The clever lightweight design may only weight 4 lbs in total, but this gives the Fortress FX-7 up to 700 lbs of holding power, keep boats of up to 27 feet in length safe and secure over mud, sand, gravel, and other sea floor types.
This anchor from Fortress Marine Anchors has been product tested by both the U.S Navy and U.S Coast Guard, so you can be sure of the quality. However, if you’re still in doubt, Fortress offers a full, 100% hassle-free lifetime warranty on their products. If that doesn’t inspire confidence, then nothing else will.
If you’re looking for a tough and durable anchor that has been made in the United States, that offers exceptional value for money, then this could be the one for you.
If you’re looking for a more heavy duty anchor for your lightweight pontoon boat, kayak, or inflatable, then this folding grapnel boat anchor from Crown Sporting Goods is an excellent choice. It’s available in 7 sizes (1.5, 3.5, 5.5, 7, 9, 13, and 17.5 lbs), but we’re specifically going to talk about the largest size they have in stock: the 17.5 pounder.
Designed for vessels of up to 24 feet in length, this grapnel anchor features 4 retractable flukes that can be locked in place with a twisting locking mechanism. The whole item is made from tough, durable, and rust and corrosion-proof galvanized mild steel. The prongs can find a hold on a wide variety of surfaces, but it’s best suited to coral, stone, or gravel beds, or those with thicker seabed vegetation.
Despite its weight, it’s actually very compact and easy to store. With an overall length of 18 inches, this grapnel can be folded for a smaller profile, making storage a cinch. It’s a great space saving anchor, and unlike many other cheaper anchors out there, the overall finish isn’t rough or sharp. Many cheaper anchors need a bit of grinding to take the rough edges off of their cast finish. This one doesn’t, which makes it an ideal choice for inflatable boats.
This claw anchor can grab at anything, and it works well in strong currents too. It’s compact, strong, and will last a long time. It’s easily one of the best anchors for sale if you’re on a tighter budget.
The Rocna Vulcan is another award-winning product from Rocna, following on from the success of their first anchor. It’s designed for exceptional holding power and purchase, but without the complicated bow roller design of its predecessor. It’s sleek, strong, reliable, and incredibly versatile.
Rocna’s Vulcan is available in 10 different sizes, with 6 of those sizes currently available on Amazon. The sizes range from 9 lbs right up to 121 lbs. Naturally, the heavier the anchor’s weight, the more expensive the price tag. But even the most expensive items are appropriately priced for the quality of anchor you get in return.
Expertly designed for easy, instant setting in a wide range of conditions, and engineered got compatibility with a wide range of vessels and hull configurations, the Vulcan offers reliable anchoring in sandy, muddy, rocky, and gravel-like conditions. The V-bulb, large fluke, plow design provides effective holding power, smooth action, and confident anchoring.
Manufactured from high tensile stainless steel and galvanized mild steel, the Vulcan is corrosion and rust resistant, and can hold against all the stresses of life under the ocean. If you’re in doubt, each anchor ships with a lifetime warranty that covers breaks, bends, and manufacturing defects.
Anchor Type: Plow anchor
Anchor Dimensions: From 18.6” to 44.6” long depending on weight
Anchor Weight: 9 lbs to 121 lbs
Material: Stainless steel and galvanized mild steel
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.
Joe Appleton is an outdoor enthusiast who loves everything from bushcraft and hiking to wild camping and boating. If he’s not out in the woods, you’ll find him out on the water.