If you are somebody who just bought a new pontoon boat, then it is indeed a great choice. Your vessel can take you to the waters and you can enjoy the Sun, have some recreational water sports or have a good day catching fishes. Pontoon boats can serve various purposes. However, all this can be troubled if your pontoon boat loses stability. Proper anchoring techniques can keep your boat stable. Installing the anchor in the correct location is an important task, which can make way for proper anchoring and thereby achieving good stability. So let us explore more about the best locations you can have for installing anchor in your pontoon boat.
What is an anchor?
Anchor is an important gear used in pontoon boats. An anchor is a piece of heavy metal and it has a robust chain or cable attached to one end. It is used to moor down the pontoon boat to the bottom of the water body. It becomes crucial in achieving stability of your pontoon boat. When installing an anchor in a pontoon boat, you need to be aware of the best locations to have it added on so as to achieve the best results. Proper installation techniques are also equally important as having a loosely set anchor is similar to having no anchor.
Types of Anchors Used in Pontoon Boats
Anchors come in different types. A particular type may be fit for a particular pontoon boat. There is no such thing like the best universal choice. Some of the most popular types are listed below so that you can have something of your choice best suiting your needs.
Fluke/ Danforth Anchor
This anchor is a popular choice for most pontoon boats as they can be easily dislodged even by a sudden change in the tide. Their gripping ability is not based on weight. Hence a 30 feet pontoon boat can be calmed down by a 15 pound fluke anchor. The fluke anchor has two long sharp flukes that dig and bury themselves into the bottom waterbed. Hence the name, fluke anchor! Thereby, they can deliver a much larger resistance. It is also easy to retrieve and store, thanks to it being lightweight. All this makes them a great choice for most bottoms. They can dig into hard sand, gravel and soft bottoms, clay and even mud waterbeds, but not a good choice for river beds made of rocks as they cannot dig in and hold.
WindRider Fluke Anchor Kit also includes the ropes, shackles and chain. The Stainless Steel Boat Anchor (hot dipped galvanized) is available in 2 sizes: 8.5 lbs for 15 to 24 feet pontoon boats and 13 lbs for 20 to 32 feet pontoon boats. They offer super holding power as they articulate and dig into the bottom. They can be used for sand or mud bottoms. With the predrilled recovery hole (galvanized), you can recover it even if it does get stuck.
The plow anchor is another great option to have in your pontoon. They are quiet similar to Fluke anchors. They can do well with soft, muddy, clay and hard sand bottoms. They perform well with grassy and weed bottoms too. However, they also struggle with hard or rocky bottoms. They also come with two flukes. These depend on its weight so as to remain attached to the bottom. Thus, they offer a decent strength, as a result of which you can even consider using them on larger pontoon boats. However, some styles of plow anchors may fold up making them bulkier. As a result, they may not be easy to store and handle.
Seachoice Plow Anchor is found to be a durable and dependable choice with its versatile design. They can work well on sand, pebble, rock, kelp, coral and grass bottoms. They have good holding power and delivers outstanding stability with the quick setting geometric design. Having a hot dipped galvanized steel construction, they are corrosion resistant and durable. Available in 2 sizes: for lengths 24 to 31 feet and 32 to 41 feet.
Also known as digger anchors, they have perpendicular flukes. If you own a smaller pontoon boat, then a claw anchor can be a good option for you. They are not as strong as a fluke anchor. However, they will not break due to unpredictable changes in wind or waves. It can align somewhat quickly to the force of the wind and hence your pontoon boat can be made stable for some time. It works best in case of mud, vegetation and sand bottoms.
ISURE Maine Stainless Steel Claw Anchor is available in 11 lbs to 66 lbs sizes. They are made from Marine Grade Stainless Steel 316. With the highly polished surface, they look beautiful. Being corrosion and rust resistant, they can last longer. The anchor works well on sand, coral, silt, and muddy bottoms.
With its peculiar shape, grapnel anchors can be the best choice for rocky bottoms in lakes and rivers. It can also work well on coral, stone and heavy weed bottoms. The flukes of the grapnel anchor can hook into the rocks/ bottom and holds strong. However, they are mostly used in smaller or even medium pontoon boats (can be used in case of 18 feet to 30 feet length pontoon boats) and are best suited for short periods of anchoring. It can fold up and hence require smaller storage spaces. However, retrieval can be difficult in case if it gets tangled on heavy vegetation.
Seachoice Folding Grapnel Anchor is available in several sizes. This dependable anchor can be folded up to a compact size and thus makes way for easy storage when not in use. The versatile anchor allows to be locked in either the open/ closed position. It is made from malleable iron and is heavily galvanized for corrosion resistant performance and durability. They work well on rocky bottom.
The Richter anchor is another multipurpose anchor which has a weighted center and several flukes. It comes with great holding capability in most bottoms unless there are strong winds or waves. They can also do well in rocky bottoms and those bottoms having weeds, however they will not dig in properly in case of sand. They do not fold up and hence are bulky requiring large storage requirements.
Greenfield Store Richter Anchor of 25 lbs is a good choice for pontoon boats less than 32′ length. They can be used in almost all bottoms (rocks, mud, weeds and sand) and weather conditions. Require less anchor line and offers superior performance to traditional anchors.
Box Anchors are best for muddy and vegetative bottoms which is often the bottom scenario in lakes and rivers where pontoon boats are most often used.Hencethey are considered as an all round pontoon boat anchor.When dealing with muddy bottom, the box form creates the necessary friction resulting in the superior holding power. When dropped off, they can penetrate 1 or 2 feet depth based on the substrate density and the weight of the anchor used. They also can hold well when it comes to rocks and crevices thereby making your pontoon boat stable. They can also work well with sudden changes in currents too. They can flip over and dig back straight into the bottom. However, some people may find it hard to free up the anchor.
Slide Box Anchor will provide more control of placement irrespective of the water conditions. The galvanized marine anchor is capable of setting into any bottom conditions without needing mechanical power from your boat. You can toss it and relax as it sets 1 foot within the landing. It also makes way for easy retrieval. As it folds flat, it is compact for easy storage. It can be used for boats measuring up to 40 feet in length.
Advantages and Disadvantages of using Anchors
Anchoring helps in making your pontoon boat adventures safe and secure by stabilizing the vessel. You need not have to worry about the harsh weather or the currents and the wind. Most of the anchors are made from corrosion resistant and heavy duty materials with rugged built so they can last longer. Also, they are pretty affordable, so why not invest in it and get the best out of it? Setting them up, maintenance and storage requirements is not a big deal. If used in the best possible way, they will yield the best results for you by keeping your pontoon boat stable.
Drawback is obviously related to the anchoring procedure, which if not properly taken care of as otherwise your pontoon boat will be prone to accident. You need to be really careful with the anchoring procedure or else your life can be in danger. In this article we have also dealt with the correct anchoring procedure so that you can worry less and act smart at the need of the hour.
The Best Locations to Install an Anchor on a Pontoon Boat
Knowing the best location to install your anchor is vital part in the anchoring process. This will bring about the best possible results in terms of the stability of your vessel. Here we will discuss the best location where you can have your anchor installed which makes way for the best anchoring procedure ensuring stability of your vessel.
On the Front
It is found that the best among the best choice for having your anchor installed is on the front of your pontoon boat. At this location, the anchor is found to offer more stability than most of the other locations. This can also make way for more secure holding when compared to rear anchoring. With rear anchoring, there is chance that the anchor can get entangled with other objects while floating.
On the Cleat
The cleat of your pontoon boat is considered the second best location to set up an anchor. Check the depth of the water from which you can have an idea about the length of rope that you may require. Then stabilize the anchor on the cleat and make sure it is secure, then you can turn on the engine and drop the anchor on to the water bottom.
On the Rear End of the Boat
Anchoring on the fore or rear end of a pontoon is recommended only in case you use an electric anchor winch. If not otherwise, the anchor would possibly get entangled with other objects in the water around.
On the Boat’s face into the water current or wind flow
Water current and wind flow are the two obvious causes which may cause instability to your pontoon boat. Hence, anchors can be best installed on the location facing the wind flow or water current, whichever is the strongest.
On the decking of the Pontoon Boat
Some people also consider the pontoon boat decking a great choice of location to get the anchors installed. With the addition of ledges to the decking, no drilling of holes is required. These ledges are also corrosion resistant and you can have additional benefits, such as improved stability in case of pontoon boats with narrow foredecks
How to master anchoring a Pontoon Boat?
Now we have seen some of the best anchor types and the best location on your pontoon boat you can have them installed. So now it’s time to have some anchoring tips. Being buoyant vessels, proper skills are important to achieve anchoring. The following steps are involved in anchoring:
Step 1: Position the pontoon boat
First, you need to head to the spot where you want to settle. Keep in mind the required safety measures. You need to keep your pontoon boat away from rocks and banks so that no one on board gets hurt.
Step 2: Calculation of rode length
Now you need to check the water depth. Based on the kind of bottom or seabed you can arrive at the rode length. It is actually the length of the rope that connects the anchor to the pontoon boat. It is to this depth that the anchor will fall into the water.
Hence rode length is significant and if proper care is not given to measurements, then either the anchor will not reach the bottom or it can open up more than required. Depth finder will ease out the process. It is usually recommended to have about 5-7 times the depth of water as the length of the rode.
Step 3: Installation of the Anchor
After finding the rode length, prepare the anchor for installation. Put the engine in idle state and keep the pontoon boat static. Install the anchor in the best location. Putting the bow slightly forward to the direction where you choose to anchor is also good.
Step 4: Dropping the Anchor
Drop the anchor slowly so that it doesn’t get tangled in its way down. You need to secure the anchor first on the pontoon boat and then lower it gradually. Give sufficient time for the anchor to dig in the bottom. If you are facing the current’s direction, you will drift backward a little bit after lowering the anchor and this is normal.
Step 5: Testing the Resistance
As the pontoon boat settles, you need to test the resistance. For this, you just need to pull on the anchor or you can even do a slow reverse. Upon strong resistance, you can be rest ensured that anchoring is perfect.
Step 6: Pick a Landmark so as to have a continuous check on the location
Picking a landmark or tree or rocks as a reference point can help you have a check on your location. This can alert you in case if there is some problem with anchoring and when your pontoon boat drifts.
Step 7: Retrieving the Anchor
At the end of the day, you also need to know how to retrieve the anchor correctly. Retrieve the anchor with care as it can damage your pontoon boat. By pulling it gradually in a vertical position, you can prevent any damages. You can wash off the debris as you lift up the anchor.
In order to have the maximum fun experience when using pontoon boats, proper knowledge of the best location to get the anchor installed and proper anchoring is a must. In this article, we have tried to throw light on the same. Even though pontoon boats, mostly seen in shallow waters with not much wind or current hazards, you cannot be sure what Mother Nature has in store for you. So it is better to have the idea regarding anchoring so that you can act wisely in critical situations by stabilizing your pontoon boat.
Pontoon boat vs Wind and Current
As you know that pontoon boats are vulnerable to wind, you need to be careful. There is nothing much to worry about when there is slight breeze. If the water is calm, then the position of your pontoon boat will not alter much.
However, during situations of strong wind or current, you need to position the pontoon boat in such a way that the nose of the pontoon boat faces the direction of the strongest one among the two.