Pontoon anchors come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Each has a different design and function depending on the lake or river bottom that your pontooning on. We will explain the different types of pontoon anchors and help you determine which anchor style is best for your pontoon boat and pontoon boating location.
When your out on the water, anchored in your favorite fishing spot or anchored out near a sandbar with your family and friends swimming and relaxing, the last thing you want to happen is to drift into the shallows. That actually happened to me once. We were using a basic mushroom type of pontoon anchor. This type of pontoon anchor doesn't lock into the lake bottom, it basically just holds your pontoon in place by it's weight. The winds were high enough to push our pontoon boat signficantly over a period of time and right onto a sandbar. It was a good size sandbar and we were on top in the middle of it. It took us more than a few hours to get off. If you're fishing on a river, you definitely don't want to drift into the shore or fallen timber. So, the pontoon anchor you select is very critical. And, if you trailer your pontoon boat to different water locations, you may need more than one type of pontoon anchor to meet your requirements.
Using the right pontoon anchor for your application is the key. You have to know how to set it and get it locked in. Searching for pontoon anchors isn't hard, you just have to know where to go to find the right pontoon anchors, because you may need more than one for your pontoon boating style and location.
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So, let's start off with the different types of pontoon anchors and where they are most effective. There are four basic types of anchors, actually there are more, but for the sake of getting to the point we'll cover the four standard types.
The Claw Anchor
The first is the bruce or claw style boat anchor. Generally the claw anchor does well on most lake or river bottoms, however it's design is a single piece design that's hooked at the bottom. This means that's a bit more difficult to set as it only hooks in on one side. It's also less effective on softer bottoms. Also, since it's one solid piece it's more bulky to store and you generally need to size your claw style anchor based on the size of the boat. The bruce or claw style boat anchor dates back to the 1970's timeframe.
The Plow Anchor
The next is the CQR or Plow style boat anchor. Similar in design to the claw, the difference is it's a two piece design and generally holds well in most types of bottoms. Since it is a two piece it does fold down and store more easily But, since is hinges at the bottom it can break loose if your pontoon boat drifts due to the wind.
The Fluke Anchor
Another very common style of anchor, actually that comes standard with most pontoon boats is the fluke style pontoon boat anchor. The flukes on the ancho the best in mud and sand, but don't set effectively or hold effectively in gravel or rocky conditions. They also tend to drag in sand and mud conditions.
The Grapnel Anchor
The last type of boat anchor or pontoon boat anchor that you can choose from is the hook or grapnel type anchor. This type of anchor has four hooks or grapnels. The same type hook that's used to retrieve objects from underwater or to hook and secure a location above. For boat anchors that grapnel anchor hooks are a bit wider and rounder to allow for some release. Grapnel boat anchors are most effective in rocky water bottom conditions or where fallen debris like trees or stumps are in the water.
So, as you can see, there are several types of pontoon anchors to choose from. Picking the right one for your pontoon boating application and setting it effectively is the key. Again it depends on where you're going to be boating and the type of bottom. Some lakes and rivers have different conditions depending on your boating location. Properly anchoring your is a key safety item, especially in bad weather conditions. Having the right style of pontoon anchors on board, you should have two, one for a backup is important. Also, having the right amount of rope on board is also very important as it is critical in setting the anchor correctly.