Types of boat anchors and their intended uses

There’s a lot to learn for new boaters and plenty to remember for experienced ones. While the rules and etiquette of the water eventually become second nature, venturing out to new bodies of water can present new challenges. One thing to keep in mind as you buy a boat or explore new areas is the type of anchor you have. There are many types of anchors out there, but we’re going to take a simplified look at some of the most commonly used anchor types to help you get started in your search for the right anchor.

Plow anchors

Unsurprisingly, the plow anchor looks a lot like a plow and has great holding power for medium to large boats. With a hinged design, plow anchors tend to bury themselves deeper into the floor gradually as the boat tries to drift, making for great security. Plow anchors are great for sand, mud, and grass or clay.

Also Read: How to safely and properly anchor your boat

Claw anchors

Claw anchors are the only type that work well in rock and coral, so if you know that’s where you’ll most often be boating, this is a great place to start your search. The three-claw design of this anchor gives it the ability to set and reset, but it also is the heaviest of all the options listed here making storage a little more difficult. This type of anchor can weigh anywhere from 6 to 66 pounds and hold a boat up to 60 feet in length.

Wing anchors

The wing anchor looks and functions a lot like a plow anchor, but more like a propeller with hooks around the entire top. Ranging from 13 to 66 pounds, this is a heavy anchor that can be difficult to store and work with, but it is very effective in holding a boat up to 70 feet in length. Like plow anchors, wing anchors are great for sand, mud, and grass.

Also read: What you need to know when fueling your boat

Fluke anchors

Fluke anchors have the advantage of being lightweight and easy to store in your boat. The flukes at the end of the anchor are designed to do the digging and firmly plant the anchor deep in the sand.

Thanks to their ability to lay flat, their strong holding power, and their size, this is the most common anchor out there and can handle boats up to 49 feet in length with the largest 44 pound anchor. Fluke anchors work best in sand and mud.

If you’re buying a pre-owned boat, ask the seller what anchor they use or if they are also looking to sell their anchor. You may be able to find a great deal or at least understand what anchor works best for the boat you are buying.