What size anchor do you need for your boat?
The answer is, “It depends”.
What size anchor you need for your boat depends on lots of factors, but let’s see if we can trim it down a bit to help.
If you are looking for an anchor for a typical fresh water or close to shore ocean vessel that is between 15 and 24 feet, we can start narrowing it down to the 12 to 45 pound range.
Before we can further narrow down what size anchor you need for your boat, we need to understand what the bottom of the body of water consists of.
If the bottom is very soft or sandy, you would want to go with a Danforth or Bruce style anchor that has deep digging abilities. In this case, you don’t need to have such a heavy anchor, the tines or scoop will do most of the work, acting like a shovel.
If the bottom is harder or mixed with rocks, boulders, etc., you may want to go with an anchor that has more narrow tines that will act more like a pick, than a shovel. In this case, the size anchor you need for your boat, should be heavier to allow the weight to assist in keeping you on anchor.
A good example of this anchor, would be a Columbia River anchor, also known as a Rocking Chair or Rocker style anchor as shown in the picture below.
Columbia River Anchor Kedge Anchor
Next to that anchor is a Kedge style anchor, which is also suitable for those conditions.
So, to fine tune what size anchor you need for your boat. Let’s say you have the middle of our example boat size and have a 19 foot boat and are in a river with a mixed bottom, you may go with a 25 pound Columbia River anchor. This anchor is suitable for most conditions if have come across and has a breakaway feature that comes in handy if your anchor gets stuck on the bottom.
If you have the same size boat and are in the softer bottoms, you could probably get away with a 12 – 16 pound Danforth or Bruce style anchor and be just fine.
One trick you can always use, if you don’t have enough anchor to hold, you can add more chain to the end of your line to give you more weight. Carrying some extra chain is easier than carrying an extra anchor.