Galvanized folding anchor comes with 40-foot line, marker buoy, and nylon storage bag. Prong locking mechanism works to keep it open when in use and closed when stored. Lightweight, yet holds well.
Some buyers had issues with the quality of the casting (nicks, imperfections). The marker buoy is small and white, which means it may be difficult to find if you have to come back for it.
Comes in a wide variety of weights, from 1.5 to 17.5 pounds. Constructed of corrosive-resistant galvanized steel. Durability at a good price. Works best with coral, stone, heavy weeds, and surfaces where it can get a bite.
This is just the anchor itself; you'll have to add your own line and marker buoy. Some buyers say the locking slide comes unlocked too easily.
Folding 3.5-pound anchor is lightweight yet effective and easy to transport. Includes marker buoy and durable storage bag. Great for small kayaks and use in slow-moving water. Decent price point.
The 25-foot line may not be sufficient for some consumers' needs. Longevity is somewhat questionable, as the anchor is prone to developing rust.
Complete kit includes a folding anchor, padded storage bag, and 25-foot marine-grade rope.
Lacks holding power for anything larger than a canoe. If you upgrade your boating vessel, you will have to upgrade your anchor, too.
Your choice of red painted galvanized steel or stainless steel (although the latter will cost more). Good quality and price. Comes with 25 feet of rope with a snap hook, marker buoy, and padded nylon storage bag. Easy to transport.
The line isn't long enough, and some question its durability. Some reports of this option arriving with defects or missing rivets.
Kayaks are a great way to exercise and enjoy the outdoors while doing so. They also offer opportunities for accessing stellar fishing spots, and any good fisherman knows that when she finds a good spot, it’s best to put down anchor. If you’re not into fishing, but you love reading a good book in the depths of nature, kayaking out to a secluded spot to crack open your book can be extremely enjoyable – as long as your kayak isn’t bobbing and floating along.
Kayak boat anchors allow you to remain in one spot on the water, whether it’s to tangle with the monsters of the deep or to fall into the tantalizing plot of a novel. Because a kayak is so lightweight and also shaped differently than a traditional boat or canoe, it requires a specialized anchor.
You’ll need to consider details like the anchor’s material, how heavy it is, and other features before you take the leap and make a purchase. Our buying guide has everything you need to know to make the best decision for your kayaking excursions. For our five favorite kayak boat anchors on the market, see the matrix above.
Anchors are shaped with protruding arms for a reason. Those arms are designed to dig into the bottom of the riverbed, whether it’s clay, sand, or mud. The arms are often curved or angled so they can grab onto any debris that may be lying on the river’s floor to aid in keeping the kayak in one spot. The main shaft of the anchor is usually denser to provide stability for the arms.
When you toss an anchor overboard, there are techniques to follow to ensure it grabs the bottom and holds you in the spot you desire. First, you need to know the depth of the water you are in. You will need rope that’s about seven times as long as the water is deep. For example, if the water is 10 feet deep, you’ll need about 70 feet of rope. When dropping an anchor overboard, you should be downwind of your desired location. Allow several yards of space for the anchor to grip the bottom, and your kayak will drift to the right spot.
Kayak boat anchors come in several different styles.
A wing anchor is a common choice. It’s shaped like the digging apparatus of a bulldozer. A wing curves underneath the main shaft of the anchor, and that’s what digs into the bottom. It holds well in most bottoms, but it doesn’t perform well with rock bottoms.
The fluke anchor is a movable anchor, meaning it’s made from several parts that swing on a hinge. The fluke is what weighs the anchor down. The shaft of the anchor is then hinged in the middle of the fluke. This style of anchor only works for sand or mud bottoms.
Also called a Bruce anchor, a claw anchor works well in most lake bottoms. Use it in mud, sand, grass, rock, or even coral. It features a three-claw design with a long shaft that extends over the claws. It sets in the bottom easily, but it has low holding power per pound, which means you will need a larger anchor if you choose this style.
The plow anchor is a close relative of the wing anchor. The difference is that plow anchors have sharper edges to better puncture the bottom. The shaft is called the “roll bar,” and it helps pull the anchor into an upright position on the bottom. Plow anchors have more holding power than most others.
This type of anchor is used mostly for anchoring for long periods of time. The mushroom shape, which gives the anchor a bowl-like bottom that faces upward to catch debris, accumulates silt and dirt from the bottom. As the debris accumulates, the anchor’s holding power increases. Because of this feature, a mushroom anchor is great for holding boats over time but not ideal for temporary anchoring.
Grapnel anchors are the most conventional-looking anchors. They have three or four arms that jut out from the base shaft in order to grip the bottom. This style can easily fold up for compact storage, which makes it an excellent choice on small vessels. The one downfall with a grapnel anchor is that it only has holding power when it can latch onto something with one of its arms.
The required weight for an anchor depends on the vessel’s weight, shape, and size. The larger and heavier the boat, the larger and heavier an anchor needs to be. Because kayaks are lightweight vessels that can’t carry much gear, a one- to four-pound anchor will be heavy enough.
Another factor to consider when choosing a weight is where you will be using the anchor. In calm inland waters you won’t need as heavy an anchor as you would out in choppy water with a current.
Galvanized steel and stainless steel are similar. The only difference is that the galvanization process is not permanent, while the stainless steel process is. Both are corrosion-resistant, but as galvanization wears off, that feature is lost. Both are stronger options than an aluminum anchor as well as less expensive.
Aluminum is the most lightweight material available for anchors. It works great when you don’t need a lot of holding power and you don’t have a lot of weight capacity in your vessel. However, aluminum anchors can be expensive, and they aren’t as strong as steel.
Some kayak boat anchors feature a small buoy attached to the top of the rope. This is so you can easily spot your anchor rope and grab it when it’s time to haul the anchor up.
While most anchors can’t fold up, a grapnel anchor can. This type of anchor often comes with a carrying case. This makes it easy to transport and store the anchor.
The most affordable kayak boat anchors cost between $20 and $25. These anchors are usually aluminum and weigh two to three pounds. The rope may eventually need to be replaced, and the anchor itself will last for a few years of regular use.
Mid-range kayak boat anchors cost $30 to $35. You’ll mostly find sturdier aluminum anchors, though you’ll also find a few made from more durable galvanized steel. These anchors weigh between three and four pounds.
For a high-end kayak boat anchor, expect to spend more than $40. You’ll receive a quality stainless steel anchor. The rope will be durable and able to hold up in choppy waters and adverse weather. These anchors will last for as long as the kayak does.
Because there are so many different styles of anchors, we naturally have a few honorable mentions. We like the Camco 12 lb. River Anchor for a number of reasons. It anchors easily to sandy or muddy lake bottoms, and the PVC coating makes it rust-resistant. While it is a heavy anchor, it’s worth its weight in gold when you want to anchor in windy, choppy waters. The SEACHOICE Utility Anchor is also a great option. It’s a fluke-style anchor, which works well with sandy and muddy bottoms. It’s a good performer for longer kayaks or two-person kayaks. It comes at an affordable price, too, and weighs four pounds.
Q. If I have a two-person kayak, do I need two anchors?
A. Not necessarily. Two anchors are only required when you know you will be in fast-moving waters or if the weather is extremely windy. Using an anchor at each end of the kayak ensures the kayak won’t swing around in the wind.
Q. Is there a difference between an anchor for a boat and an anchor specifically for a kayak?
A. The difference is the anchor weight that’s required. The same style of anchor can be used for each, but the weight of the anchor must increase as the size of the vessel increases. While it may be tempting, it’s not recommended to use a kayak anchor on a boat as it won’t weigh enough to securely anchor the boat.
Q. By law, do I have to have an anchor aboard my vessel?
A. While it’s recommended to always have some sort of anchor on your vessel, in most places it’s not required by law. If you are unsure, contact your local environmental department.
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