What is the best type of anchor for my boat?
The answer is often “more than one anchor, of different types.” The type of bottom, mud, grass, sand or rock will dictate different choices of anchors, as will the size and windage of the boat, the wind conditions and the sea state.
Rocna & Manson Anchors stand out for their holding power, setting ability and ease of use.
Which style or category of anchor?
The most popular type of anchor is the fluke anchor, also called the Danforth, and is often the only anchor on many smaller boats. Light and easy to weigh, it stows flat and holds well in mud or sand. Its excellent holding power-to-weight ratio means you can use a lighter anchor compared to other types, but it doesn’t hold well in grassy or rocky surfaces. Its flukes and stock are prone to foul on rocks or the anchor rode.
Plow and Scoop anchors style represented by the Manson Supreme, Rocna, CQR, Delta and Claw have the best all round holding ability in varying bottom conditions. They generally reset themselves easily if the wind or current changes direction. The newest designs, like the Manson and Rocna anchors, include “roll bars” that self-right the anchor, turning it right side up.
Plow/scoop anchors hold more effectively in grass, mud and sand. They do not have projecting flukes that foul easily, but their shape makes stowing them more awkward, with a bow-roller or bowsprit is the best solution.
Deltaand CQRPlough anchors are popular in boats with bow rollers.
Use Two Anchors of Different Styles
Most boating experts agree that, for greatest anchoring security, you should carry two anchors of different styles, one each of the Danforth style and the plow/scoop variety. The type of bottom will dictate different choices of anchors, as will the wind conditions and the sea state. Some anchoring situations also call for more than one anchor to be used simultaneously, at the bow and stern of the boat to limit swing, or two anchors set from the bow at a 60° angle to improve security against swinging and dragging.
What weight range fits my boat?
Choose an anchor that’s the right size for your boat and the locations and weather where you anchor. Take the anchor manufacturer’s suggested sizes into account and consider your boating style. Do you typically anchor for two hours or for two weeks, in a river or in the ocean.
Materials to Choose From
You have three options: galvanized steel, Grade 316 stainless steel or lightweight aluminium. Most boaters choose a galvanized anchor for cost reasons, with the added advantage of having the highest tensile strength. Stainless anchors resemble works of sculpture to dress up the bow of your vessel. Boaters who care greatly about weight in the bow (owners of ultralight sailboats, sailboat racers) often choose the highly respected aluminum-magnesium Fortress anchor or the Manson Racer.