How To Properly Anchor A Pontoon Boat The Right Way

What is the simple way how to anchor a pontoon boat? A lot of consumers have considered buying a pontoon boat so they can hang out with their friends on the water.

With one of these boats, you can have a great time and spend time bonding with the ones you love. However, it is important to understand that owning a pontoon boat comes with immense responsibilities. (Recommended: Best Anchor For A Pontoon Boat).

Unless you know how to use the boat safely, you shouldn’t take it out onto the water. You can read guides online, watch videos, and attend classes to learn how to safely operate your new pontoon boat.

Either way, you’ll find that learning to anchor the pontoon boat is one of the most important learning experiences. Within this guide, you’ll learn more about the steps you should follow to anchor your pontoon boat.

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What Does It Mean To Anchor A Boat?

What Does It Mean To Anchor A Boat

First and foremost, you’ll want to learn more about anchoring a boat. Although the boat anchor is a simple component, it is one of the most important components. Anchoring a boat allows you to stop the boat and keep it stationary.

If you’re going to get off of the boat and go for a swim, you’ll need to anchor it. In addition to this, you’ll need to anchor the boat when stopping to fish.

Regardless, it is vital to learn how to properly anchor your boat. Anchoring the boat is a fundamental technique that you’ll need to master. Failing to do so could lead to immense problems. The anchor prevents the boat from moving.

Once you’ve anchored the boat, you can guarantee that it isn’t going to drift away. Remember that most boats have an anchor but some do not. There is no law that requires boats to have anchors. However, certain states have laws stating that you must be able to secure your boat one way or another.

Nevertheless, the anchor is one of the most important safety components of your boat. As a result, you’ll want to learn how to use it.

Read Also: Can pontoon boats sink?

Common Anchor Types

There is a good chance that your pontoon boat already has an anchor. If it does, it is going to fit into one of two categories. For instance, it might be a fluke anchor or a plow-style anchor.

Although both serve the same purpose, they’re different in several ways. Below, you’ll learn more about these anchors and their differences.

1. Fluke Anchor

Fluke anchors are popular because they’re easy to store. In general, these anchors are used on small to medium-sized boats. It is great for these boats because the anchor will fold flat. This feature makes it easier to store. Plus, a fluke anchor will be lighter than the alternative option.

You shouldn’t have any trouble handling the anchor since it isn’t too heavy. Just remember that fluke anchors aren’t perfect. They work exceptionally well in muddy and sandy conditions. However, they’re less effective when used around the rocky ground. With that being said, some boaters will prefer using a plow-style anchor.

2. Plow-Style Anchor

Plow-style anchors are generally used on heavier vessels. They’re versatile enough to work well for many conditions including rocky surfaces. Another perk is that this anchor will adjust and reset itself when the wind shifts.

Nevertheless, plow-style anchors do not fold and they’re usually heavier than others. It is best to use this anchor when driving a boat that has a windlass and bow rollers. It is not recommended for boats with anchor lockers.

3. Claw/Bruce Anchor

You’re also going to run into claw or Bruce anchors. This anchor is a good choice for boaters who wish to move without releasing the anchor from the bottom. With this anchor, you can turn the boat 360 degrees without releasing it.

It resets well and usually will not break out due to tide or wind changes. It is dependable and can easily be aligned with the wind’s force. Just remember that modern claw anchors are best for rock and sand bottoms.

4. River Anchor

Another common boat anchor is the river anchor. It works best in fast-moving waters including rivers. This anchor tends to be best for grassy or weedy bottoms. Even when dealing with windy weather, you can guarantee that the river anchor will not let you down.

River anchors are great anchoring pontoons in areas with fast currents. If you’re going to be boating in rough waters, it is a good idea to use a river anchor.

5. Richter Anchor

Fishermen often recommend Richter anchors. Thanks to the unique fluke style, the anchor works great in many conditions. It has a weighted center to ensure it will remain in place. It also features a release bar that makes it much easier to retrieve.

This anchor is more versatile than most others so it can be used with many surfaces. Although it can be used for other boats, it is best to use it for pontoon boats that are difficult to keep steady.

See Also: What Is The Proper Technique For Anchoring?

How To Anchor A Pontoon Boat

How To Anchor A Pontoon Boat

Once you’re ready to go out on the water, you’ll need to learn how to properly anchor your pontoon boat. It might seem difficult, but it shouldn’t be. Once you’ve done it a few times, you should master it. Below, you’ll find the steps for properly anchoring your pontoon boat.

  • First

First and foremost, you’ll need to head to your anchoring location. Once you’ve found the right spot, you’ll need to learn more about the depth of the water and the surface at the bottom.

You’ll need to use this information to determine how much rode is needed. You’ll want to rely on recommendations from the United States Coast Guard.

Figure out the depth of the water and the distance of the water’s surface to the attachment point of the anchor. Add these together. Then, you’ll need 5 to 7 times as much line.

Grab your anchor and secure it to the cleat where you prefer it to stop. It is best to point the boat in the direction of the wind or current. Make sure that your engine is idling and stopped. The bow should be positioned slightly past the point where you want to drop the anchor.

  • Second

With the boat fully stopped, you’ll want to begin lowering the anchor into the water. Do not throw the anchor into the water since this could cause the line to tangle. Plus, it is safer to slowly lower it into the water.

Your boat is pointed toward the wind or current so it is going to drift back slightly. As a result, the anchor will sink down and away as it descends into the water.

You need to make sure that the boat is moving slightly when the anchor hits the bottom. Otherwise, the chain could bundle on top. You may need to put the boat in reverse and let it float back slowly.

  • Third

To guarantee satisfactory results, you need to maintain tension on the rode. Doing so will ensure that the boat remains pointed in the direction of the anchor.

This is immensely important since it is going to prevent the line and anchor from tangling. If you’re dealing with strong currents or winds, you’ll need to push the boat forward slightly.

Place it in one of the forward gears so you can take control over the speed and direction of the boat as it drifts backward.

  • Fourth

Once you’ve placed the boat in the perfect spot, you’ll want to guarantee that the anchor digs into the surface. You’ll need to secure the rope. To start, the rode should be wrapped around the cleat twice.

Then, you should feel the anchor digging into the surface below. From here, you need to let the engine idle in reverse. Next, you should let the anchor back down.

Once you’ve done this, it should secure to the surface under the water. It is a good idea to identify current terrain, landmarks, and formations. By remembering these things, you can make sure that the boat isn’t drifting.

  • Fifth

When you’re ready to leave, you’ll need to pull the anchor up. As long as you’ve done everything correctly, this shouldn’t be difficult.

It is wise to keep the anchor in a vertical position when hauling it up. If you can do this, you won’t have to worry about damaging your pontoon boat.

Before bringing the anchor on board, you’ll want to clean it. Make sure it is free of debris and mud. In some cases, you may need to use two anchors to prevent the boat from drifting.

When dealing with extreme conditions, it is wise to use up to four feet of a heavy chain. Use enough chain to cover the length of your boat. Using a rope anchor rode will be okay if you’re going to be stopped briefly.


Learning how to properly anchor your pontoon boat is vital. After all, you’ll want to stop the boat so you can enjoy a drink or sit out in the sun with your loved ones. It is pertinent to follow the steps above so you can anchor your boat safely without hurting someone or damaging your boat.

Read Also: Danger of anchoring a fishing boat from the stern

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