How To Anchor An Inflatable Boat

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As with any watercraft, there may be times that your inflatable boat will need an anchor. For example, an anchor can keep an inflatable boat from getting tossed around as much in unexpected inclement weather.

In the case of technical issues, if the boat should stall, it will keep the drifting in check. An inflatable boat anchor is both a convenience and a potential life-saver!

vintage anchor on the beach

How to Attach an Anchor to an Inflatable Boat

When it comes to how to attach an anchor to an inflatable boat, all that you need is the proper anchor and a bit of know-how!

  1. Pick your anchor. First off, you’ll need to pick your anchor. This should be based on what boating activity you’ll be doing, and where (as in, ocean, lake, or river; sandy, rocky, etc.). The best anchors for inflatable boats are the squid anchor, the mushroom anchor, the fluke anchor, and the grapnel anchor. Along with the proper rope, any of these can do the trick.
  2. Choose your rope. Next, you’ll need a quality rope for your anchor. This is better than a chain, as it’s both more flexible, and lighter. A marine quality rope is ideal, as these are specially made to resist damage from water, such as mildew. Make sure that the rope is soft to the touch, so splinters and burns won’t be a risk. It must also be long enough to reach the water’s floor (in the ocean, in particular, this may call for a lot of rope) or it simply won’t work!
  3. Attach the anchor. The majority of inflatable boats will have rings in both the fore and the aft. This is the simplest place to attach your rope and anchor. Simply tying your anchor to the ring with a quality and durable rope will do the job.
  4. When Does an Inflatable Boat Need an Anchor?
  1. Fishing. The last thing you need is your boat drifting away from the ideal fishing spot. Once you’ve decided where you’d like to fish, you can stay in place simply by dropping anchor. This will also allow you to focus on fishing, as you will not need to direct the boat yourself. 
  2. Inclement weather. Unexpected weather is not only inconvenient, but it can also even prove a real danger. Storms can stir up the waves to the point where your boat will seriously begin to tip and rock. By dropping an anchor, you can help lock the boat in place and maintain a bit of control. This can potentially be a life-saver!
  3. Technical issues with the boat. A stalling, drifting boat can also be a risk. By anchoring your inflatable boat, you can keep this in check. This will secure you, giving you the freedom to call for help or fix the technical issue yourself.

What to Look For in an Anchor

  • Durable marine quality rope. To drop some weight, instead of a chain, use a rope for your anchor. This will also be easier to coil and store. Just make sure that the rope is nice and durable. Marine quality is the best option, as it’s ultra-hardy and resistant to water-related damage, such as rot or mildew.
  • Soft rope. Next up, the rope should be comfortably soft. There’s no need for splinters, rope burns, etc. A quality anchor rope ought to be sufficiently soft, as well as resistant to wear and tear! A soft, flexible rope also tends to be easier to coil and store (and is generally easier to work with).
  • Lightweight. Obviously, the more lightweight the rope is for a boat anchor, the better! This will make storing and using it much simpler. In place of a bulky chain, it will free up space and help decrease injury risk.
  • The correct kind of anchor.  Of course, no matter what, you’ll need the correct kind of anchor. This will depend on what water activity you’re doing, and where. For example, somewhere with sand and silt is perfect for a suctioning mushroom anchor. It would not work nearly so well in open water and rocks, however! In these cases, something with a hook, like a classic admiralty anchor or a grapnel anchor, is called for!

A Classic Heavy Admiralty Anchor Can Be Inconvenient and a Risk

So, a classic, heavy admiralty anchor for an inflatable boat will still work. It will just be a bit riskier and more inconvenient with an inflatable boat. This is because you’ll have less room to work with, and fewer places to stow. You may end up tripping over the anchor, or it may fall out from where you’ve stowed it.

This can be a bit of a hazard. What’s more, the anchor will weigh down the boat and it’s a hassle to lug in and out. Other types of anchors will simply work better!

NRS Squid Lightweight Boat Anchor

Alternative (Lightweight) Types of Anchor

The Squid Anchor

Perhaps the most popular choice for an inflatable boat is the squid anchor. This is an ingenious little creation that utilizes an empty bag, which can be filled with sand, rocks, tools, tackle, or debris once you need to anchor. 

They also have two metal prongs that face outwards on the sides, with which to hook. You can empty squid anchor when you’re done, freeing you from the need to store a big, heavy anchor in your boat or pack! 

The Mushroom Anchor

The mushroom anchor is a fairly lightweight anchor. It is used primarily in water with a sandy or muddy floor. It gets its name from its round, bowl-like bottom and inner bar (resembling a wide-capped mushroom). 

This is considered a more ‘permanent’ sort of anchor, as it is often used for mooring, or to keep buoys in place better. It can also be used for fishing and other boating activities, however! 

The Fluke Anchor

As its name implies, the fluke anchor possesses both a fluke and a shank. Its unique design allows it to fold for easy storage, and it’s an especially lightweight anchor. The fluke anchor works best in sand or mud, but can also feasibly anchor onto a rock. It is ideal for most pleasure craft, including inflatable boats, but over deep water, it may not work. Among inflatable boats, the fluke anchor is undoubtedly one of the most popular!

The Grapnel Anchor

If you own an inflatable boat, the grapnel anchor could also be what you’re looking for. This is another anchor that’s lightweight, compact, and easy to stow! It’s designed to hook onto rocks, much like a grappling hook. If you’re planning to boat over rocky waters, this anchor just might work.

Where to Stow Your Inflatable Boat Anchor

When it comes to stowing an inflatable boat anchor, there really aren’t that many choices available. Most oft to store the anchor in the fore or aft, under the spray guard. This is nicely out of the way, yet quickly accessible in a fix!

Using rope rather than a chain, as it can coil up more tightly, will also make it easier to stow your boat anchor. Along with this, choosing a compact and lightweight anchor. If you only have an admiralty anchor, there may be a bit of inconvenience and risk (but it’s still doable).

So, there you have it: how to attach an anchor to an inflatable boat – and more. Choose your anchor type based on your boating area and location, stow it, and it will be ready to go for fishing or if you find yourself in a fix!

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