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How to Anchor Your Inflatable Boat

How to Anchor Your Inflatable Boat

While you are out on the water on your inflatable boat, you may need to anchor it for various reasons. For example, the weather may get rough and you may have to sit that one out. You may also experience engine or boat failure. In this case, an anchor will keep you from moving around until you get the issue sorted. Another reason that may require you to anchor your boat is if you are stopping for fishing or you have had enough for the day.

Anchoring your inflatable boat is important and doesn’t have to be an exhausting task. It is, however, important to understand how the entire system works. You need to ensure that you are using a good anchor system. Situations such as rough water conditions will require a strong and sturdy anchor system.

The first thing you need to understand is that there are several anchor systems for the inflatable boats. Which one you choose will depend on a number of factors. For example, what type of inflatable boat do you have? Where do you plan to use it? What water conditions will you encounter? These questions among others will help you choose the right anchor system. A good anchor system should have the anchor, anchor rope, steel chain, and shackles. This is my favorite inflatable boat anchor, which fits all of my needs.

Types of Anchors

While there are many types of anchors, let’s take a look at the most common ones out there.

  • Fisherman anchor

This is by far the most common anchor. Its versatility makes it great to work in various conditions, whether water vegetation or sands and rocks. You will need to take into consideration the size of the flukes if you decide to settle for this.

  • The plow-style anchor

This particular anchor works great with most boats. It plows into the bottom sediment and is great for sand and rocky bottoms.

  • The squid anchor

The quid is well crafted for use especially by small crafts (that includes inflatables). It is very lightweight and easy to use as you fill the bag with materials of your choice. When the bag is full, flukes spread out and increase grip on the waterbed.

  • The mushroom- style anchor

The holding power of this anchor is weak and it should therefore not be used for bigger boats. It is a great choice for silt and fine sand beads. When lowered into the water, the head sinks into the silt creating a suction effect that holds the boat in place.

  • The fluke- style anchor / Danforth

This anchor is in most ways similar to the plow-style anchor. It is, however, more lightweight. It is a great anchor for soft mud or sandy bottoms where the flukes can easily dig into the mud.

  • The grapnel anchor

This anchor is a traditional design and looks like a grappling hook.  It is a great anchor for rocky beds. The prongs get attached to underwater rocks easily. With this anchor, you only need one or two prongs to set to provide firm resistance.

  • The claw anchor

With this anchor, you get an inexpensive option thanks to its simple design. It can be set in most types of sea and water beds. It is quite reliable and moves slowly to align with changes in the current or tide. It also works well with shorter ropes.

 

While choosing the most suitable anchor system, take into consideration the weights of the anchors depending on the size of your inflatable boat. It goes without saying that anchor should be heavier than the boat so as to securely keep it in place. If you are in doubt about which anchor to choose, always go for the heavier one.

How to Anchor Your inflatable Boat

Choose the best anchor

As you have seen, there are different anchors best suited for various water conditions as well as the waterbed. As a precautionary measure, it is good to have at least two types of anchors on the inflatable boat with you. Be sure you are conversant with the anchors and know which one is best for what condition. Depending on the current condition, choose the best anchor.

Ensure you have attached the chain

When it comes to a small inflatable boat, the use of a chain is not required but is highly recommended. Using a proper chain can increase the effectiveness of the anchor.  A stainless or galvanized chain is the best to ensure you do not get rust on your boat. The chain should also be strong enough to withstand any abrasion.

The chain works to provide a weighted section that provides a low pull angle for the anchor. For this reason, make sure the chain is long enough to cope with the heavy strain and cushions the wind and water waves.

Choose your anchor area

The area you choose to drop your anchor must be carefully chosen. Be sure that you are away from boat traffic and that the area provides the most protection from wind and water waves. If you are not in an emergency situation (engine failure) you can also take some time to observe the bottom and depth of the water before setting the anchor.

Choose the length of anchor line that you need

The length of anchor line needed will depend on the bottom you are over and the depth of the water. Once you have determined the length, secure the anchor line at the point you want it to stop to the bow cleat. Your anchor rope should be strong and at least 10 times longer than the water depth below your boat.

Move the bow

When the anchor line is securely in place, you will need to move the bow so that it faces the current or the wind. Do so until you find a suitable spot after which you can put the engine in neutral.

Lower the anchor

When you have stopped the inflatable boat, it is now time to lower the anchor. Lower it slowly into the water. Do not throw the anchor as this could tangle the rope, chain, and anchor and end up being useless.  To set the anchor firmly, reverse your inflatable boat just slightly.

Choose some landmarks

You want to be sure that the boat is not slowly drifting. Look around for some landmarks and occasionally be on the lookout for them to ensure that you are still in the same spot.

A few extra tips:

  • Attach a float to one end of the anchoring rope. This way, you can easily retrieve it if it accidentally falls into the water.
  • You can also add a connected clip to the rope. It will help you not lose your anchor as it ensures the anchor is connected to the boat before you use it.
  • Always make sure you have several anchors of different types on your inflatable boat. Be sure to know which one is best suited for what conditions.
  • In the case of anchoring for bad weather, it is best to use two anchors. It may take a longer time to set up, but the good anchoring will be totally worth it.
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