Many people who fish like to anchor their boats in one place so they can hover over the fish and get a big catch.
Even if you don’t fish, you might want to anchor an inflatable boat for many reasons. Or, you may just be interested in how inflatable boats work.
No matter your reason for wanting to anchor your inflatable boat, here’s what you need to know to do it safely.
Table of Contents
- How to Install an Anchor on an Inflatable Boat
- How to Use an Anchor on an Inflatable Boat
- How Big/Heavy is an Anchor for an Inflatable Boat?
- How Do I Know What Size Anchor I Need for My Inflatable Boat?
- Does my Boat Anchor Have to Touch the Bottom?
- The Best Anchors for Inflatable Boats
How to Install an Anchor on an Inflatable Boat
The easiest way to connect your anchor to your inflatable boat is to attach the anchor rope to a ring on the boat. Most inflatable boats have rings both fore and aft.
If the anchor rope is actually made of rope, you can usually tie it on to the ring and you are good to go.
If the anchor rope is a chain or ends in a chain, loop the chain through the ring, then attach both ends together. Most chains come with a link that you can unscrew, loop through the other end of the chain, then connect it again.
If your chain doesn’t have this, you can always attach the two ends with a padlock.
When you’re attaching an anchor to a boat that does not have rings, you can attach it to a handle on the boat or anything sturdy on the inside or the outside of the craft.
How to Use an Anchor on an Inflatable Boat
When anchoring an inflatable boat, there are a few things you should think about.
First, choose your anchoring spot wisely. Unless you are in an emergency, make sure that you are out of the way of other boat traffic. You may also want to choose an area that is sheltered and protected.
If the fish you want to catch are choosing to congregate in an area where there is a lot of traffic, you may want to fish somewhere else!
Secondly, move your boat so that the bow (front) of the boat is facing the current or the wind. That way, your boat won’t swing around after you anchor it.
Once your boat is in place, put your engine in neutral or turn it off entirely.
Next, lower your anchor slowly into the water. Never throw your anchor! This increases the chances of your line getting caught or stuck somewhere. It could also tangle or damage your rope or chain, making the anchor useless until you repair it.
Once your anchor is settled at the bottom of the lake, ocean, or river, reverse your boat just slightly. This can help the anchor grab better so your boat will stay in place.
When your boat has settled, find some nearby landmarks. Keep an eye on these to make sure your boat is not drifting.
You may also want to attach a float somewhere on your anchor rope. This can help you find the anchor if it somehow detaches from your boat.
If you are anchoring your inflatable boat in high winds or bad weather, you may want to use two anchors instead of one. This can help ensure that your boat does not drift, no matter how bad the wind gets.
How Big/Heavy is an Anchor for an Inflatable Boat?
Most inflatable boats do not need large anchors. This is due to their small size and lightweight. It is also due to the fact that they are not usually out in high winds or bad weather.
Heavy anchors are generally better. However, you will also want to make sure that your anchor is compatible with the type of river- or lake bed that you will be using it on. The best way to find out more is to ask at local boat shops.
Anchors designed for inflatable boats usually weigh between 3.5 and 20 lbs. You will not want to carry much more weight than that because it will make using and driving your boat awkward.
Make sure that you have a safe place to store your anchor and that it does not weigh down the boat.
How Do I Know What Size Anchor I Need for My Inflatable Boat?
Experts recommend that you always use the largest anchor that you can safely and comfortably carry on your boat. That way, you have plenty of anchoring power no matter how bad conditions get.
If you have an inflatable boat that is less than 22’ long (and that accounts for most inflatables), you can choose any anchor that weighs 15 pounds or less. However, under most conditions, any anchor between 7 and 12 pounds should work for you.
If you will be anchoring overnight, riding out bad weather on the water, or anchoring in extremely deep water, choose an anchor between 12 and 20 pounds.
Does my Boat Anchor Have to Touch the Bottom?
You absolutely want your inflatable boat’s anchor to touch the bottom of the river, lake, or ocean that you are on.
Anchors work by settling onto the ground or by grabbing onto rocks or other debris underneath the water. If the anchor doesn’t touch the bottom, it won’t be able to effectively keep your boat in one place.
In addition to anchor size, you will need to make sure that your anchor has plenty of rope. For small boats out only in calm water, you need at least three feet of rope for every foot of depth.
Most anglers recommend a higher ratio – five feet of rope for every foot of depth or even seven. This helps ensure that you will always have enough rope to reach the bottom.
A longer rope also allows for an optimum angle between the boat and the anchor.
If you’re not sure how deep the water is where you will be anchoring, consult depth charts or ask around at local outdoor stores. Experts in the area should know how deep the water usually is.
The Best Anchors for Inflatable Boats
You have many options when it comes to anchors for inflatable boats. Here are some of our favorites!
The Extreme Max 3006.6548 BoatTector Complete Grapnel Anchor Kit
This anchor is basic but it is all that many users of inflatable boats need.
At 3.5 pounds, it is lighter than many of the other anchors recommended for inflatable boats. However, if you are only using your boat in protected areas and you make sure to come in at the first sign of any storm, there’s no reason to carry another anchor.
People love this little anchor because it comes with its own bag and it stows easily in your boat. It also has four shanks, so it can anchor easily in coral, rocks, weeds, and more.
Note that you may need to add rope to this anchor. The rope it comes with is only 25’ long, which may not be long enough for you if you are fishing in deeper water.
The Extreme Max 3006.6714 BoatTector Complete Mushroom Anchor Kit
If you want a mushroom anchor, this kit will get you started.
The 8 lb. mushroom anchor is perfect in mud and silt and it will not get stuck on weeds. While it will not grip onto rocks, the weight and shape should keep you in place unless the wind gets too high.
This anchor comes complete with a marker buoy, so you will always know where you anchored and you should be able to find your rope even if it comes off your boat. You may want to extend the rope, though, as it is only 25’ long.
People love this anchor because it works well and it does not have any hooks that can snag, either on debris in the water or on the inflatable boat itself.
The Extreme Max 3006.6719 Complete Slip Ring Anchor Kit with Rope/Anchor Chain/Shackle
Dig your boat into the ground with this anchor kit. The pointed flanges on this anchor will help it grip tightly on mud, sand, or gravel, and you can use it in weeds or rocks, as well.
Don’t worry about getting this anchor stuck, though! It has a slip shank that makes retrieving it easy, even after it seems to be lodged tightly in place. Anglers say that they have never lost one of these anchors because they couldn’t get it unstuck!
While this is a light anchor, it offers more holding power than most people think. Boating experts report using it effectively on craft up to 24’ long and they don’t report any problems using it.
This anchor also comes with 100’ of rope, making it ideal for deeper waters than either of the other two anchors mentioned here. When you want an anchor that will dig in and stay stuck until you want to leave, this is the anchor for you.
By now, you should have all the information you need to anchor an inflatable boat. Whether you’re looking to anchor your own boat or you’re just interested, now you have the information you need.
We hope you enjoy your time out on the water!