Anchoring can be defined as the action of using a weighted device which connects a vessel or boat via a cable, rope, chain or line to the bottom of a body water. The aim is to prevent the vessel or boat from moving on the surface as a result of current or wind. Anchors similarly provide safety during loss of power in the boat or inclement weather.
Types of anchors
When it comes to anchors, some believe that the weight is the determining factor while others are convinced that the design and functionality are important. Either way, there is a lot that goes into making the decision as to the type of anchor that is suitable for a fishing boat. The main categories of anchors are as follows:
These are shaped like inverted mushrooms and are suitable for holding in softer substrates such as sand and silt. It is basically a length of chain that is connected to the tie end and functions by tilting the anchor on one side prior to being buried. For holding power, it depends on its own weight.
And offers minimal resistance due to its Mushroom Lip. It is suitable for light current or wind conditions and on soft bottoms. They are available in the market as from 10 pounds.
They have a compact design that simplifies their storage. A good example of this type of anchor is the WCSS Mushroom Anchor Kit 8 lb that is corrosion and rust resistant and has drainage holes that simplify the process of pulling it from the water. It is available for purchase by interested clients on Amazon.com.
This type of anchor is light in weight and is designed to dig when establishing anchorage. It has excellent holding power when attached to the right substrate. It is essentially designed for pea-gravel, sand and mud (soft bottoms). The flukes on the anchor penetrate deeply when under sufficient pressure conditions and at the correct angle.
They tend to need longer ropes. Have a built-in mechanism which breaks or reverses the anchor line’s plane when extract the anchor and commence its retrieve. It is not suitable for grassy bottoms.
A good example of this type of anchor is the 3.5 pound 4-fluke Jet Logic A-2 Complete Folding Anchor System that will hold in rock, mud, gravel and sand and is readily available for purchase on Amazon.com.
These are mostly used in salt water to hold on reefs. It is made of soft metal tines and a heavy center shaft. When a grapnel anchor lie over, its tines hold onto wood or rock.
Working load are grabbed by the tines, if the anchor snags it straightens when pulled harder thus releasing it from the bottom. An excellent example of this type of anchor is the 5lb Folding Grapnel Anchor that is made of galvanized steel and is readily available for purchase on Amazon.com.
Best Small Anchors for Fishing Boats
There are several types of small anchors that are available in the market, they include the following:
It is basically a derivative of the Mushroom Anchor. It comprises of three flukes which have replaced the Mushroom Cap. They are not very sharp but are very capable of digging into river bottoms that are soft.
Spike anchor of Grabber
These types of anchor use approximately four to six spikes that look like � inch nails and stick out of the main body of the anchor. They stick or grab the bottom for enhanced anchorage on the river. It has a built-in mechanism that facilitates the slipping of the anchor ring back so as remove the anchor easily.
This is an all-purpose anchor that operates in numerous conditions. It depends on a single fluke to dig to the bottom and is also capable of resetting itself if the boat turns.
This is an anchor which has a digging portion that resembles a farming plough. It is new in the market but are renowned for their excellent holding power. They are not recommended for sandy bottoms.
They are heavy traditionally looking anchors. They are characterized by 2 heavy weight flukes. Not popular on fishing boats as they heavily rely on their weight for holding power. They are excellent in areas with grassy bottoms.
Typical bottom conditions For Anchors
Anchors ought to develop sufficient resistance on the bottom of the water body so as to withstand destabilizing environmental forces acting on the boat i.e. waves and the wind. Some options of bottom conditions include the following:
Here are some things to consider:
- Rock and Coral
- Grassy and Shale
Here are some more links to help you decide
- Christine Merchant Anchor Guide
- NautiED Online Anchor Reference List
- West Marine Anchor Guide
- Boating Guide – Best Anchors of 2017
Sand that is fine-grained is suitable for anchors as they are easy to penetrate and provide high holding power that is consistent. A good number of anchors will have highest tension in hard sand. Non-hinged scoop and pivoting-fluke anchors are the best options in sand.
Due to its low shear strength, it needs anchor designs that have greater fluke area and a broader shank-fluke angle. Anchors with such designs will be able to deeply penetrate to the locations where the mud has more shear strength. Fortress anchors have excellent holding power in mud and the main reason for this is that they can be conveniently adjusted to a broad forty five degree fluke angle from its standard thirty two degree angle.
Rock and coral
Grapnel-type or Plow-shaped anchors have high structural strength to be able to sufficiently sustain high point loads.
Grassy, shale and clay bottoms
The weight of the anchor is prominent to the design in such bottoms. It is the weight that will determine the holding power and penetration. Delta, CQR, Supreme and Rocna anchors are best on such bottoms.
Factors to consider in selecting best anchors
Selecting an anchor can be a confusing affair as there are various weights, conditions on the water and shapes. There are several factors to consider when selecting best anchors for fishing boats. Selection of an anchor is for convenience, utility and most importantly safety. Some of the main ones include the following:
A couple are:
- Size of Boat
- Ease of Use
- Weight Rating
Size of boat
This is mainly the height and length of the fishing boat. The rule of thumb is that the bigger the vessel the bigger the anchor.
Ease of use
Select an anchor that will keep the fishing boat in place and that you will be comfortably in control of.
It is important to know the specific fishing boat weight that an anchor can safely handle.
Select an anchor that will guarantee your fishing boat longevity in service life. The more durable an anchor is, the better it is.
One should choose an anchor that is capable of deep penetration in the floor. This is indicated as the penetration ratings on all anchors.
The best anchors for fishing boats is one that performs the task when you need it to. However, for a good number of fishing boats in fresh water, 15 to 20 pound spike, digger or flake should suffice.