Choosing The Right Anchor For Your Boat April 06 2012

Here's a quick tip: When boating be sure you choose the proper anchor based on the bottom conditions of the water.  There are four types of anchors, each for a different bottom condition:  kedge, grapnel, mushroom, and plow. Your boat will be more securely anchored if you use the correct one. Read below to learn more about each one.

 

Kedge - The kedge has one of the most famous anchor looks as seen in books, sculptures and in many maritime museums. It is a lightweight anchor used for kedging or mooring. It is a common piece for yachts who may want to maneuver in calm waters and is often used for anchoring in bottoms with rocks and heavy grasses. While the shank is sturdy, the kedge is not a primary anchor for larger boats like yachts and should be used secondary to another heavier anchor.

 

 The Kedge Anchor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grapnel - These are great for smaller crafts. They are lightweight and because they have 4 or more pines (the shank-like edges) they will grab onto the floor or coral easily. The downside is they can require some additional maneuvering or even extra tools to pull them in.

The Grapnel Anchor 


Mushroom -The mushroom anchor is great for seabeds of silt or fine sand. It gets its name from its shape which is much like an inverted mushroom. This anchor works through suction and cohesion to the sticky muddy bottom. The holding power of this anchor is about twice its weight unless buried, in which case it can be up to ten times its weight.

The Mushroom Anchor 


Plough - The plough is a good general anchor for all bottoms. It's not really particular to any bottom so be sure to have other anchors available should you be dealing with extreme bottoms. Because of the often lead-based weight in the tip, the plough is a little heavier than the grapnel or kedge for the amount of resistance it creates. It can take longer to pull through. You can store these in a roller at the bow but they can not be stored in a hawse pipe. 

The Plough Anchor

 

So if you boat in different conditions, be sure to use the anchor that's right for you. You can find anchors as well as other boating accessories in our Boat Parts collection.