boat anchors

The types of boat anchors and what to do if they get stuck

Several types of anchors are available for boats. With this range of options, you can address the needs of different bottom materials, boat sizes, weather conditions, and holding power. The best choice for your boat can be made based on these factors. The first step to selecting a suitable boat anchor is understanding how each anchor differs from the others. Our emergency boat towing tampa bay can help you if your boat anchor is stuck.


There are numerous types of boat anchors, making choosing the right one for your needs challenging. If you don't want to choose one, you don't have to. For different bottoms or weather conditions, you should have at least two different styles. These two anchor types should also provide the secure hold you need to keep your boat from drifting. Each anchor shape has advantages and disadvantages, making it suitable for specific conditions. Make sure you choose the right anchor type for your boat by comparing the following.


Since Bruce Anchor Company originated claw anchors, you may see them as Bruce anchors instead of claw anchors. Other companies manufacture claw anchors similar in design and performance to the original Bruce anchors.

A claw anchor has three claws on the bottom. In coral, rock, and sand bottom conditions, these claws grab the bottom material to hold the anchor well. The versatility of claw anchors makes them a popular choice among recreational boaters. There are, however, some uses for these anchors that aren't ideal.

Generally, hard bottom materials, such as clay, shale, and grass, do not hold claw anchors well. The holding power per pound of wing-type anchors is lower than that of other anchor styles. You would need a larger size when switching from wing-type anchors to claw anchors. The claw anchor is also difficult to store due to its awkward, single-piece shape.

Most people who take short trips and need temporary anchorage for a few hours can use a claw anchor. The next time you travel in an area with grassy or hard bottoms, you should consider another option.


Plow anchors may be referred to by their brand names. CQR is one brand that makes plow-type anchors, but other companies also make them. A CQR anchor is an older plow anchor with a pivoting head. Often, delta anchors are used interchangeably with wing anchors, another type of one-piece plow anchor.

In lowering the plow, one side digs into the bottom to ensure a firm grip, except in soft sand and rocks. When the current or wind shifts, the anchor lifts quickly from the bottom and repositions itself without letting the boat drift. A plow-style anchor's secure hold makes it a popular choice for boaters today, with wing-type anchors surpassing hinged anchors in popularity. In addition, these anchors have a better weight-to-hold ratio than claw anchors.

On the bow roller, wing-type plow anchors store easily. As a result of the hinged plow's movement, hinged models are larger and more difficult to stow. A better way of doing things


A multipurpose anchor, the Rocna anchor, sets well and holds well on any bottom type. No matter what size the boat is, it can be secured.

An innovative roll bar on the Rocna anchor is sometimes called a scoop anchor or spade anchor. Using this bar, the anchor can be set in the ideal position. A concave fluke digs into the ground and secures the anchor. When skids are set on the anchor, the anchor's position is maintained, providing high holding power for various boats over various bottom conditions.

There are a few downsides to Rocna anchors. Compared to other anchors, these newest models are costly. Due to their unusual shape, they are also challenging to stow on a bow roller. A Rocna anchor, however, is unmatched in terms of versatility.


An anchor that folds flat for storage sets quickly in the bottom, and adapts to changing conditions is a box anchor. Anchors of this type do not require any power from the boat to set. In addition, it allows you to use a shorter line than other anchors. Box anchors can be a good choice if your boat requires precise positioning and versatility. Box anchors are heavier than other anchors, however. Despite its weight, it sets quickly and holds securely in various bottom materials.


When pulling out an anchor and nothing happens, try the following methods to get the anchor unstuck.


It may be possible to get an anchor out by using the boat's natural movement in the waves. Make sure you are directly above the anchor when you manoeuvre your boat. Be sure not to cleat the line, but hold onto it and remove any slack. By not cleating the line, you can release it if your boat suddenly moves.

Watch for the boat's next dip into a trough. Make sure the line is taut and pulled tight when this occurs. As the boat rises naturally on the crest of the next wave, the motion should help to free the anchor. It won't work if you don't try another method.


To loosen an anchor, anchor retrieval rings and buoys act as pulleys to apply another force to its line and anchor. To loosen the anchor, the buoy's upward movement and the boat's forward motion pull it in different directions.

To use this system:

  1. The anchor retrieval ring should be wrapped around the line.

  2. The buoy will pull the anchor line upward as the ring moves down the line toward the anchor.

  3. Your boat should be positioned, so the anchor line creates a 45-degree angle.

  4. You should keep going until you see the buoy float to the top.

  5. Upon reaching the surface, the retrieval ring has freed the anchor.


It is common for an anchor to become stuck when strong winds or waves move the boat away from it, locking it in place. Correct this issue by moving the boat into the wind or current. Ensure your boat is idle in this direction after clearing the anchor. Moving in the opposite direction can loosen the anchor if you create a counterforce against it.


Cut your losses and sever the line if none of the above methods works. To prevent other boaters from getting caught in the line underwater, set a buoy on the end of the line or cut it closer to the anchor.