As pontoon boats are becoming ever more popular, they are also getting larger. Whilst they will have a basic factory anchor, this isn’t a part of the boat whereby one size equals all situations. Much depends on where you float your toon, and the type of climate in the area you sail around.
Do pontoon boats have anchors? Yes, pontoon boats can use a variety of anchors. We’ll discuss several of these below.
If you have the incorrect anchor, it can be dangerous to drop, even to the point of risking your safety.
It doesn’t need to be a dangerous task, but anchoring isn’t for the inexperienced captain. The last thing you want is an unsuitable anchor!
For instance, if the anchor chain isn’t long enough, you could risk flipping the boat over.
Do Pontoon Boats Have Anchors?
Yes, pontoon boats can use a variety of anchors. Depending on the type of ground in your marine environment, you’ll need to pick the right anchor for the job.
Are Anchors Dangerous in a Pontoon Boat?
Anchoring can be dangerous on any boat if you don’t follow some basic rules. It’s not only the anchor itself but also the chain/rope that can be unsafe if handled incorrectly.
Make sure that you’re dressed for the job, such as wearing thick gloves for pulling at the chain/rope. It will serve you well to have a good grip on your footwear too, so there’s no danger of slipping.
A good understanding of the lakebed is also essential. Is it rocky, sandy, muddy, or even full of vegetation? This all matters when learning to handle your anchoring.
Pro Tip: Anchoring can be dangerous on any boat if you don’t follow some basic rules.
Before dropping the anchor, always make sure the boat is in the correct position.
The bow needs to be positioned ahead of the anchor dropping point. Also, the nose of your boat should face the wind. Don’t forget to turn off the engine before you drop anchor too.
What Are The Different Types Of Anchors?
There are several types of anchors commonly used in boating. Pontoon boats can use a variety of types. Here are a few rules of thumb:
- Rivers and lakes may have vegetation at the bottom. In this instance, a Plow anchor might be best. It does as its title indicates, it ‘plows’ through that vegetation and any other debris.
- If you know the bottom is more of a gravel and stone base, then a Fluke anchor is a good choice to get a good grip.
- For a muddy or sandy bottom, choose a Box anchor . This type of anchor ‘opens up,’ and covers a larger surface area once it’s settled on the bottom.
- Shallow areas only need a Grapnel anchor , which is lighter and has folding pieces.
- Finally, a good all-rounder is a Mushroom anchor . These are very effective, but they can be difficult for a novice to retrieve.
What’s The Best Anchor For A Pontoon Boat?
We’ve now determined that the type of waterway you’re cruising on has a major influence on your choice of anchor. But there are other factors to consider.
The size of your boat will also influence the anchorage. Your anchor needs to be heavy enough to hold the boat in position. If your boat size is under 20ft, your anchor needs to weigh around 15lbs. Bigger boats need an anchor weighing above that of around 30lbs.
See our article on the Best Boat Anchors for further information.
The next consideration is choosing a chain or rope for your anchor. Nylon ropes are a popular choice for pontoon boats. The bigger the boat the thicker your rope needs to be.
Make sure that the chain/rope is both long, and thick, enough for the anchoring or your toon. To make anchoring easier, you could consider setting up an electric winch .
Finally, you’ll need to think about where you want to position your anchor. Many fit an extra anchor ledge to the side of the boat useful. It will keep the anchor out of the way.
How Do I Anchor Safely?
It’s not easy to provide full instructions on this task in a small article, but we can give you some basic tips.
You need to know the depth of the water beneath you, which you can calculate with a Depth Finder . That’s because the chain/rope needs to reach down to the bottom and more.
You’ll need to allow an extra 5-6 times that depth, so the spare chain/rope can sit on the waterbed along with the anchor.
Make sure the 'cleat' attached to your boat is strong enough to hold the anchorage rope too. With the engine off and the boat correctly positioned (as discussed earlier), slowly let the chain/rope down into the water.
DON’T throw it overboard or you may end up going with it!
Your boat should drift a little, but it’s meant to. This drifting allows that extra chain/rope to stretch out, rather than sitting in a coiled pile.
If you don’t drift, then you’ll need to put the engine on and slowly reverse a little.
This will create a little pull to the chain.
When lifting the anchor though, you’ll want the boat to be positioned directly above it. This way you won’t catch it on the side of the boat during the lifting process.
Know your landmarks well. This will help you to make sure your boat doesn’t drift. Use more than one anchor if necessary, such as in bad weather.
Practice anchoring in shallow waters when the weather’s good, so you get a feel for it.
Anchor Safety and Storage
SAFETY should always be your top priority when it comes to anchoring. There are far too many tragic stories of fatalities that are all down to poor anchoring.
If you’re not sure the anchor has taken, put your boat in reverse to make sure the chain/rope is taught.
The last thing you want is to be drifting and not knowing it. That’s why setting landmarks are useful. It wouldn’t be an easy thing to do in the middle of the ocean.
Then again, you shouldn’t be going into deep waters with a pontoon boat!
On a lake, look out for where a particular item stands on the horizon.
This could be a tree.
Use it as a marker and keep checking the boat hasn’t moved from its original position when you first anchored.
When storing your anchor on the boat, it’s important to keep it out of the way. Some keep them in a large bucket, others in a storage bag under a seat or in a cupboard.
A foldable anchor, like the Box Anchor, will be easier when it comes to storage. Or you could install a remote control that comes in a storage box.
With this setup, you can operate the anchor by remote. It will fold away into a fixed box when not in use. Beware that you may need a conduit for the wiring on a ‘Toon boat.
Ideally, you don’t want to leave it lying around for someone to fall over it. Plus, if you take care of it, then it will last you for many years to come.