I get asked often, what size or strength of zip tie do I need for my boat anchor?
Just to start at the beginning, a zip tie is used on an anchor with a breakaway feature, which is an anchor designed to pull up backwards or upside down if it gets stuck on the bottom of a river, lake or other body of water.
On a breakaway anchor, there is a link, typically welded to the base of the anchor with a chain connected to it that runs up the shaft of the anchor. Then a zip tie is used to attach the top of the shaft to the length of the chain.
If the anchor gets stuck on the bottom, pulling the anchor under the power of your boat ahead of where the anchor is, will break the zip tie and the anchor will be pulled up from the base and will free the anchor, allowing you to pull it up.
For a better understanding of how basic anchor retrieval works, you can watch the video below.
OK, now down to, what size zip tie do you need for your boat anchor?
There is NO single answer for this, because the size of your boat, the power you can exert when pulling, the conditions on the water bed, current, wind and any other variable that you can imagine while anchoring.
Our anchors come with about a 50lb zip tie that comes in at 11” long. This zip tie may be too light weight and may break under a light load, but the last thing you want is a zip tie that doesn't break when you need it to.
What I recommend is to initially go down to your local hardware store and pick up a few different sizes and strengths, but definitely error on the side of caution, and work your way up until you find the right zip tie you need for your anchor.
As I mentioned earlier, it will depend on a lot of factors, but if you often anchor in the same area or areas, in the same boat, you will quickly get it dialed in. At that point you can keep a handful of that size in your boat at all times.
I now only carry one size in my boat, 15"/250lb, and I run a 19' fiberglass boat with a 350 inboard/outboard and have enough power to break a lot of zip tie. If I find that my zip ties on my anchor are breaking too often on a certain day, in a certain area, I will use 2 zip ties together on my anchor and I know that my boat can break 2 of them off if necessary.
Another method that I have heard people use is, wrapping the zip tie 2 or 3 times before securing it. I have not tried this, but this may help as well.
If you find yourself out on the water and have broken your last zip tie and have some Dacron or other braided line, you could put a couple of wraps tied off in place of a zip tie.
I hope this information on what zip tie you need for your boat anchor helps.
If you have any other methods you use and would like to share, just reply to this post.