Unless you want your boat drifting aimlessly across the lake, you’ll need an anchor. The function of an anchor is simple – it keeps your boat in place when the motor isn’t running.
A boat anchor is something you don’t want to be without, especially when you’re out on the lake.
Almost everyone is familiar with the traditional anchor design. You can find it emblazoned on nautical-themed clothing and used as advertising for seafood restaurants.
This type of anchor might be the design that most commonly comes to mind but it’s not boaters’ only option.
Today, you can find anchors in a variety of shapes. Each one is capable of securing your boat in place, but how do you know which anchor is right for you?
This comprehensive guide was created to help you choose the best boat anchor for lakes. You’ll learn about the various anchor designs and which one is right for your boating activities.
Top 10 Boat Anchors for Lakes
You need a boat anchor before you head out onto the lake. Here’s a brief review of the top boat anchors.
1. Slide Anchor Box Anchor B07G3JXDG6
This box anchor from Slide Anchor is easy to set and retrieve without using power from your boat’s engine.
Just tug on the line to free the anchor from the lake bottom and pull it back on board your boat. Setting it is just as easy. The anchor automatically settles within one foot of where it was thrown, regardless of water conditions.
Designed for boats measuring up to thirty feet, this box anchor will keep sport and cabin cruisers securely in place.
Constructed from stainless steel, it’s incredibly durable. You’ll also appreciate how easy it is to store. The anchor folds flat for compact storage when you’re not using it.
- It comes with a durable and lightweight stainless steel construction
- The anchor folds flat for convenient storage.
- Designed for controlled, easy placement.
- The silver paint coat easily flakes off and can give the anchor a ‘cheap’ appearance.
2. Lewmar Galvanised Delta Anchor B012BFF14G
This sturdy anchor is constructed from manganese steel and has Lloyd’s Registry type approval. This helps to ensure that this self-launching anchor will last for years in any water condition.
The sturdy steel construction also ensures that it can hold your boat securely in place. Its self-launching design means that you can set and retrieve the anchor without using power from the boat’s engine. For a fisherman, this lack of sound and vibration is important when they’re trying to catch the “big one”.
- Sturdy manganese steel construction.
- Designed to be easy to set and retrieve.
- Has a sleek appearance.
- The anchor does not fold up for out-of-the-way storage.
3. Shoreline Marine #7 Slip Ring Anchor Kit BOOBNTZ6P6
This anchor is designed with two 5/16″ drop shackles that will keep your boat from drifting with the current. Primarily used for river fishing, this slip ring anchor kit is also ideal for lakes.
The forged shackles are sturdy enough to hold smaller fishing boats firmly in place, regardless of how fast the current might be moving.
The kit comes with everything you need, including the rope. You’ll also appreciate the lightweight design when you are setting and hauling the anchor in. Its compact size makes storage a breeze on smaller boats.
- Lightweight and compact design.
- Designed for river currents.
- The kit comes with a sturdy nylon rope
- This slip ring anchor is only designed for smaller fishing boats.
4. Danforth S-600 Standard Anchor B0000AY6Q0
Anyone that wants to “drop anchor” on muddy or sandy lake bottoms knows that it’s not also easy. It takes an anchor with traditional strength holding power to keep a boat in place under these conditions.
This won’t be a problem with the Danforth S-600. It comes with a “shank design” that allows the anchor to securely attach to almost any type of lake or river bottom.
The anchor is constructed from high-strength steel and galvanized to ensure long-lasting durability. It also has an anchor stand for easy storage when not in use.
- Constructed from steel and galvanized for durability.
- Ideal for use on sandy or muddy river and lake bottoms
- It comes with an anchor stand for easy storage.
- Its small size may not be appropriate for boats over 30-feet.
5. Airhead Complete Grapnel Anchor System B0000ATY5P
Everything you need to keep your small boat or personal watercraft securely in place is included with the grapnel anchor system by Airhead.
Weighing 3 1/3 lbs. and with four flukes, this anchor will hold your boat steady in all types of river and lake bottoms. This includes sand, rock, and gravel.
This anchor can be used for sail and fishing boats, along with personal watercraft. Its compact size allows it to fit in most onboard storage containers. It also comes with a padded nylon storage bag for added convenience and protection.
- Sturdy enough to hold small watercraft in place.
- The four flukes provide a sturdy anchor in all types of river and lake bottoms.
- The anchor comes with a 25-foot marine-grade nylon rope.
- The included anchor rope may be too thick and heavy for use with personal watercraft, requiring it to be replaced.
6. Fortress Marine Anchors – Fortress FX7 B001TXQOME
This lightweight anchor is ideal for boats measuring 16 – 27 feet. Weighing only 4 lbs., it has the strength to keep your boat secured in most water conditions.
The anchor is constructed from an aluminum-magnesium alloy. It is durable, rust-proof, and designed to last for years.
Storing the anchor is easy, just fold it down flat. It also comes with a stand, if you want to keep it safely secured on deck. Tested by the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, the Fortress FX-7 also comes with a lifetime warranty
- The anchor comes with a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty.
- Weighing only 4 lbs., it is easy to set and retrieve.
- It’s designed for convenient storage.
- It can be difficult to assemble the anchor out of the box
7. Rocna Vulcan Galvanized Anchor B01G1ZLRF4
The Rocna Vulcan has a unique Kiwi design that is setting the standards for the next generation of boat anchors.
This design allows the anchor to “dig in’ to almost any river or lake bottom, while also providing a sturdy base.
It is resistant to wind and tidal shifts so your boat will stay in place no matter the water conditions. Its Kiwi design also allows the anchor to securely rest on most boat bows.
You’ll appreciate its sturdy and lightweight construction. Along with the fact that it is self-righting when tossed overboard.
Just toss the anchor over and it will settle itself on the seabed. Rocna also backs up the anchor with a lifetime warranty.
- Unique Kiwi design for an exceptionally secure hold.
- The anchor comes with a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty.
- It is self-setting and resistant to wind and currents.
- Even though it is worth the price, it might cost more than some consumers are willing to spend on a boat anchor.
8. Mantus Marine M1 Mantus Anchor B008LVOSZI
There is a lot about this small anchor to recommend to owners of small boats. It is constructed from galvanized steel so it is durable and rust-resistant. It is also lightweight for easy handling. The M1 anchor is designed to dig into grassy water bottoms, It also has the power to withstand sudden wind or current shifts.
The anchor is also easy to store when not in use. Just break it down and store the anchor in one of the boat bins. It also comes with a lifetime warranty from Mantus Marine.
- Lightweight, sturdy, and easy to store.
- The anchor comes with a lifetime warranty.
- It is designed to anchor boats on grassy, sandy or muddy bottoms.
- Even though this is considered a lightweight anchor, it still weighs 52 lbs.
9. Best Marine and Outdoors Kayak Anchor B01KE1K9XW
This anchor kit has everything you need. Along with the galvanized iron alloy anchor, it also comes with a 40-foot marine-grade nylon rope, buoy, stainless steel carabiner clip, and a water-resistant storage bag.
Weighing only 3.5 lbs., this anchor is ideal for kayaks, small boats, and another personal watercraft.
Storage even on kayaks won’t be a problem. The four flukes fold down for convenient storage. If you are ever not satisfied with the anchor’s performance, it comes with a satisfaction guarantee
- Lightweight and compact for easy use and storage.
- The anchor comes with durable, stainless steel construction.
- Designed for personal watercraft and small boats.
- Its small size makes it ineffective for use on sail and larger boats.
10. Greenfield 618-B Richter Anchor B0000E6E5G
This 18-pound anchor can hold boats up to 24-feet securely in place. It can dig into almost any bottom, including sand, mud, rocks, and weeds.
Since it requires less line than other anchor models, it’s easier to keep the boat closer to the originally intended setting point. This is good news for fishermen that need to stay close to their ideal spots.
The Greenfield 618-B anchor comes with sturdy, rust-resistant construction. It is heavy enough to hold a boat steady in fast-moving currents, while still being lightweight.
- The anchor is designed to hold small watercraft securely in all types of seabeds.
- It sets closer to the intended point it was tossed at.
- Its durable construction is designed to last for years.
- The 618-B anchor from Greenfield is only designed for small and personal watercraft.
How To Choose The Best Boat Anchor for Lakes?
Before you choose one of the top-rated boat anchors, you need to know what to look for. You don’t want to choose an anchor that is too light or heavy. The anchor should also fit your budget. These are only a few aspects you need to consider before buying the best boat anchor for lakes.
There are different anchor styles, but the most common for inland water use is the fluke and plow designs, however, these are not the only ones.
Each anchor design has its own advantages and downsides, all you need to do is determine which design is best suited for you.
Fluke style anchors are popular on small boats. They are designed to be lightweight and easy to use. The anchor comes with four flukes that can usually be folded down for easy storage.
The flukes are also more than capable of digging into sandy and muddy bottoms. The main downside to fluke-style anchors is their inability to securely grab onto grassy or rocky surfaces due to their lightweight construction.
Plow or scoop anchors have a single point and a flat bottom that makes them ideal for digging into grassy and rocky bottoms.
These styles of anchors are often the first choice for anyone that fishes or wants to set their boat in windy or conditions with strong water currents. Most plow anchors are also “self-rightening”, which means they will settle in the correct position
Similar to plow anchors, a claw anchor also has a flat bottom. The main difference is there are usually three “claws” instead of the single one found on plow anchors.
If you boat on lakes with different types of bottoms, a claw anchor can keep your boat securely in place. Another advantage to claw anchors is how easy they are to set and retrieve.
These anchors are designed to resemble mushroom caps. They are great for small boats and personal watercraft.
A mushroom anchor is typically lightweight, and vinyl coated to prevent it from dinging the boat’s hull. This padded coating also makes a mushroom anchor ideal for first-time boaters. It is lightweight, easy to use, and won’t damage the boat if it accidentally hits it.
A Delta anchor is similar to a plow, except the shank is fixed and closer to the flukes. It’s self-propelling and is designed to set faster than other types of lake anchors.
Delta style anchors are generally lightweight but still have plenty of resistance. They are also lower-priced than plow anchors.
Fishermen that need to set up quickly in weeds, grass or muddy bottoms ofter use a Delta anchor.
Since the anchor will be in the water it needs to be rust-resistant. Most top-rated anchors are constructed from steel or stainless steel that is galvanized.
The metal construction ensures that the anchor is strong enough to hold a small boat in place. The galvanization process helps to prevent corrosion from rust that can weaken the anchor.
If weight is an issue, there are also aluminum magnesium anchors that are ideal for ultralight watercraft
Deciding on the right anchor size isn’t easy. It usually depends on the water conditions. Adding to the confusion is the fact that the weight of the anchor doesn’t always mean that it is better suited for holding your boat in place. Instead of weight, look at the anchor’s size.
This is the true determining factor. Some 5-pound galvanized steel anchors can hold a boat up to 1,000 pounds in place.
However, a heavier anchor will be able to hold the same boat in place during rough water conditions.
The best boat anchor for lakes does depend on water and bottom conditions. However, it also depends on your boat. Due to the lightweight materials used to construct modern anchors, it can be difficult to determine the weight you need.
Your best course of action is to check your owner’s manual. If the recommended anchor size isn’t listed, contact the boat manufacturer.
If this is your first anchor, you might want to look at purchasing a kit. It can save you time and money since everything you need is included.
Along with the boat anchor, the kit generally comes with a carabiner and marine-grade rope. You’ll need both of these if you want the anchor to settle and be able to bring it back on the boat.
There are only a few aspects to consider when you’re purchasing a boat anchor, but each one is important for your safety out on the water.
There are always questions before you buy a product, especially when it’s as important as a boat anchor. Choosing the wrong one could leave your boat drifting unattended across the lake.
Getting it back with or without damage can be expensive if rescue personnel is brought in. This can be easily avoided simply by knowing how to use the right boat anchor. Here are a few common questions about boat anchors.
1. How much chain/rope is needed for an anchor?
Generally, when you are anchoring a boat on the lake or river your need to use about 6-feet of rope for every 25-feet. If you’re on coastal waters the length increases to at least 10-feet.
This is a general approximation; you may need to adjust the length of rope depending on the water conditions. For example, if there is a strong current the rope might need to be shortened to prevent any drifting due to slack
2. What is the least expensive anchor material?
You already know that you don’t want to scrimp when it comes to your boat anchor, but there are some constructed from less expensive materials.
Galvanized steel anchors are the least expensive, and they also have the strength to keep your boating from drifting far from the set point.
Aluminum anchors are priced slightly higher but they are also lightweight. Stainless steel models are priced the highest and are often preferred by boaters that like to display their anchors.
3. What are the common parts of a boat anchor?
No matter the type, all boat anchors share a common basic design. It consists of three main parts, and some anchors allow you to disassemble these parts for easier storage.
- The shank is a stem at the top of the anchor and has a ring attached that the rope/cable is threaded through.
- Anchors come with a crosspiece across the shank that is either removable or fixed. This is referred to as the stock.
- Arms are the parts that are attached to the base of the shank and can be flutes or a single pointed piece.
- Flukes are ideal for muddy and sandy bottoms, while the single piece can dig into rock and grassy underwater weeds.
4. Are two anchors onboard necessary?
Sometimes the water conditions can be less than ideal. This applies to river and lake boating. Strong winds and currents can be a problem for a single anchor. Using two anchors will give you additional security. There are a few methods for using two anchors that will keep the boat secure and the retrieval lines from getting tangled.
- Bohemian Moor places the anchors 180 degrees apart. One anchor is set ahead of the vessel, while the other is placed underneath.
- Line Ashore is perfect for overnight camping on your boat. The line attached to the shore, along with the anchor off bow will give you the security you need to enjoy your night on the lake.
- Bow and Stern are exactly as the name implies. One anchor is off the stern, while the other is set off the bow. This setup is ideal when there’s a strong wind or current.
- Two Anchors Off Bow is the easiest and most common way to use two anchors. It’s great for busy ports, along with coves crowded with other boaters. The anchors should be set up in a “V” shape, about 50 degrees apart. You’ll get the security you need to keep your boat in place, without getting tangled in other vessel’s anchor lines.
5. How do I use the anchor rope and shackle?
Many first-time boaters don’t realize that an anchor won’t automatically come to a stop where it was thrown. It doesn’t “sink” to the bottom like the ones on cruise ships and other large sea vessels.
Even those drag along the bottom before digging in. To prevent the boat anchor from endlessly dragging there are a few steps you need to follow. These include how to properly use the anchor rope and shackle.
Attaching a line to the anchor might seem sufficient but your boat will only drag along the lake bed. You also need a tackle chain and shackle.
You want the chain to measure at least 4-feet in length. The anchor rope attaches to the shackle and chain so it has the resistance it needs to dig into the lake bottom
6. How do I set my anchor in strong winds and currents?
River currents and lake waves will affect the placement of your anchor if you’re not paying attention. Your anchor will still be set, just not where you intended.
You want to position the boat upwind, if possible, or into the current. Once you are a little past your intended resting spot, drop the anchor and chain. Let the anchor line out slowly as you are drifting back to the intended spot.
7. How do I get my anchor unstuck?
The common problem boaters have on lakes is getting their anchors stuck. Tree limbs, rocks, and other debris can pin your anchor firmly in place.
This is when the break-line comes in handy. If your anchor is so firmly stuck that you can’t get it back, you need to set up a “tripping’ anchor.
This isn’t hard to do. The eyelet hole on the anchor is attached to the chain. The chain and anchor line is connected for this reason. The anchor line is also referred to as a “breakaway string’.
The nylon line can be broken, freeing the boat from the anchor and chain. While no boater wants to lose their anchor, it’s better than being trapped on the lake.
8. Do I need different anchors for various lake bottoms?
There are several different types of anchors for lake and river bottoms. Each has advantages when it comes to various types of lake beds.
Fluke and scoop anchors are capable of digging into most bottoms, though these are often recommended for use in sandy or muddy bottoms.
Plow shaped anchors have the strength to grab onto rocks and other hard underwater surfaces. If you need to set anchor on a clay, shale, or grassy bottom you’ll want to use a heavier anchor. Weight matters more than design in these scenarios.
Choosing the best boat anchor for lakes doesn’t have to be difficult. Consider the type of environment you are going to anchor your boat in, along with the size of the watercraft. If you only need an anchor for a kayak, you probably don’t want to get a heavy stainless steel one.
However, if you’re piloting a larger vessel and dropping anchor on a grassy bottom you will want a heavier boat anchor. With the tips and product descriptions included in our buying guide, you shouldn’t have any problem finding the best anchor for your next boating trip.
I love finding and reviewing the latest in outdoor gear and apparel. I’m a writer and adventure seeker who is obsessed with the outdoors. I love to hike, ski, mountain bike and spend time exploring our beautiful province. This blog will be packed with tips on how to make the most of your time outside whether you are out for a weekend or an extended family vacation. I’ll also share my adventures in hopes of getting you off the couch and into the wild!
Check my blog…it’s updated every day with new posts about the best of what’s out there in the world of outdoor gear.