Selecting the right anchor for your boat

We have all at one point or another have come to the crossroads of anchor purchasing.  It is at the corner of “How Heavy Avenue” and “What Style Street”.  What I have found is most boaters will go by word of mouth when deciding on an anchor.  The reason is quite simple.  There is not a lot of information available to explain what anchoring solution the boater needs.   As a consequence, boaters end up buying what their boating friends have on their boats.  The question then becomes “Is this the right anchor for me or for them?”

When trying to figure out which anchor is right for your boat we have to look at a few important factors.

Firstly we have to know what size boat and what is the working load of that boat.  All things equal, if we take two boats of the same size, with one heavier than the other, the heavier boat will have a larger working load.  Working load isn’t just weight, it is also related to the drag forces place on the anchor due to wind and current acting on the boat.  A boat with a deeper draft (the vertical distance between the waterline and the bottom of the hull (keel)) will provide greater forces of drag in current.  (See image below)

Similarly, how much a boat sticks out of the water is important because wind plays a roll in forces placed on an anchor.  A cruiser with a big broadside will catch more wind than say a cuddy cabin style of boat.

The second thing we have to understand is what type of sea bottom do you do most of your anchoring in?  Anchors are designed for different bottoms.  A good comparison is the Danforth style anchor versus the Bruce/Claw anchor style.  The Danforth works well in clay and rocky bottoms whereas the Bruce works best for soft sandy bottoms.   We want to get the best hold in the sea bottom we can, with the least amount of effort.  Selecting the wrong style of anchor could mean you will have to use a much heavier weighted one to accomplish the same holding power as the correct anchor style.  If you travel to different moorage areas having different sea bed conditions, a good solution is the QuickSet Series of anchors.  This is the best all purpose anchor.  It works well in all conditions.  It is not the best in all, just works well in all.  This style due to its design, will self launch if you use an anchor roller on the bow of your boat.

Once we are aware of this information we can start looking at the proper Anchor Style first, then match up the anchor weight.  Using our Anchor Selection Guide we can easily find the appropriate style to suit the mooring seabed.  Using the boat size cross reference, select the anchor weight.  Please note the chart is for average draft and size vessels, so if your boat is outside these parameters, please feel free to call or email us to discuss.