Have you just bought your first boat? Well, you need to purchase a few accessories for it too. And one item you simply cannot forget to buy is your boat’s anchor. It’s what you will need to stop your boat and keep it at a particular spot.
But it’s difficult to find the right anchor for your watercraft if you have no idea about how to make the choice. And the variety available at the boat accessories’ store is sure to add to the confusion. Don’t fret; you just need to consider the right factors.
What do you consider to make the decision? Let’s try to find an answer.
Consider the size. Is the heaviest anchor available the best choice? Not always. Instead, focus on the actual size of it. The bigger it is, the better it will be at resisting breaking. It will also be better at penetrating deeper and occupying more surface area.
Which size fits your boat? The simple rule of thumb is to opt for the biggest one available for your boat size. Yes, even if it isn’t the heaviest. Its holding capability is largely dependent on its size, not its weight.
Consider the style. You need to think of a few things before you decide on the right style boat anchor. Will you be out on enclosed lakes or open seas? Will the bed be mud, rock, sand or something else? Will the wind be high where you plan to take your boat?
Different anchor designs work well in different conditions. However, the basic designs are:
Danforth–With its two flukes, this anchor holds well in sand bottom. It’s good if you are fishing and have to drop and haul it frequently. But it’s not quite ideal if you need an anchor for an overnight stay, as it cannot adapt well to change in wind and weather conditions.
Bruce/claw–Originally designed for big rigs, this anchor design is good to hold fast in mud bottoms. The best part is its ease of use; it lodges well and stays put even when the pull changes direction but comes loose when you give it a vertical pull.
Plough–A single plough-shaped fluke makes this anchor a good choice, whatever the bed. It lodges into the bed like a plough and holds well even among weeds. And it remains buried even if the wind or current changes direction.
Mushroom–The wide area cap on this anchor makes it hold well to mud bottoms, and weeds too. But it doesn’t offer much holding power. Therefore, it’s best to use it only for temporary anchoring and with smaller boats and dinghies.
Consider the construction. The common choice, when it comes to material for anchors, is galvanised steel. Its coat prevents rust. Or, you can also opt for stainless steel anchors. They are sturdier than the galvanised steel variants.
When you go out to buy an anchor for your first boat, look for tell-tale signs of poor construction. If the joints are properly welded or the galvanisation isn’t done correctly, it won’t last for long.
Consider the cost. It’s quite simple; you get what you pay for. It’s a good idea to compare prices from different stores before you buy the boat anchor. But it’s a bad idea to opt for the cheapest one available.
Visit a local marine store and talk to someone who knows about these. Remember, your safety, as well as the safety of anyone you take on your boat, depends on the anchor you choose. Don’t scrimp on this purchase.
Consider the storage. It’s true that the bigger anchor you can get for your boat, the better. But you have to keep it on your boat too. If yours is a small dinghy, a foldable one may be a better choice.
But it won’t be of use if yours is a large watercraft that you use for overnight cruises. Fortunately, such a boat will have enough space for a big anchor. Again, talk to an expert before you make a decision.
As for how to use your anchor, it will be an easy thing to learn once you enrol in the boat licence course. With theoretical learning and practical experience, you don’t just get your boat licence; you learn the boating basics too, which includes anchoring safely.
Photo via Getty Images [Photographer:Bounce]