Most Popular Sailboat Anchor Types


Anchors are one of the most important pieces of gear for any vessel, but it’s not always clear which type you should choose. This post will help you choose the right anchor for your vessel and let you know how to install it properly.

Sailboat Anchors - Virgin Island Sailing School

Fluke Anchors

Flukes are what you’ll find most often on the bow of a sailboat. The flukes of an anchor can be either curved or straight, and they’re designed to dig into the bottom and grip well. They’re good for a wide range of bottom types, wind conditions, and vessel types—making them popular among sailors in all sorts of situations.

Danforth Anchors

Danforth anchors are the most popular anchor type. They are easy to use, and they are strong. They can be used in rocky or sandy bottoms and will hold in moderate to heavy winds up to 50 feet.

Plow Anchors

Plow anchors are heavy, but they’re also easy to deploy and retrieve. These anchors are good for rocky bottoms and hard bottoms. However, you should avoid using them in mud or sand bottomed waters. This type of anchor is adaptable to a variety of sea conditions.

In summary:

Claw Anchors

You may have heard of the claw anchor. They are a popular choice among sailors around the world, but they’re not as popular in America. You might think that because they aren’t used here very often, they are not a good choice for your boat. But in fact, claw anchors work great on rocky bottoms and can be deployed quickly by simply dropping them overboard and pulling them back up again once they set into place.

Another reason why many people choose claw anchors over other types is because they are expensive compared to other types like plow or fluke anchors. A plow anchor is one that has been designed with two flat sides (like an upside down V). These types of anchors can dig into sand or mud but will not penetrate hard surfaces such as rock or coral very well at all!

Grappling Hook Anchors

  • A grappling hook anchor is a type of anchor that uses a rope and a grapnel to grip the seabed.
  • The grapnel is a large, curved metal hook with a sharp point. The rope is attached to the grapnel and then the anchor. Once it’s thrown overboard, it penetrates through soft ground or sand until it hits hard rock beneath your boat and embeds itself there. It works similarly to an ice pick—except on land instead of in space.*

Mushroom Anchors

Mushroom anchors are used in a variety of conditions and can be used for mooring, anchoring and emergency purposes. They are made from high-strength steel or stainless steel. Their mushroom head digs into the seabed with its pointed end facing up, which makes them ideal for rocky bottoms or sandy seabeds.

Bruce Anchors

The Bruce anchor is named after its inventor, Robert Bruce. It’s a heavy-duty anchor used for large vessels and boats that need to stay in place. A Bruce weighs in at around 200 pounds and can be made of cast steel or forged steel; they come in many different sizes as well. The head of a Bruce anchor is shaped like a mushroom and has a rounded fluke so it can easily embed itself into soft ground.

Kedge Anchors

Kedge anchors are a type of anchor that is used to hold a boat in place when it is not sailing. They are typically used when there is strong current or wind blowing from one side, as they can be deployed by swinging them with little effort. Kedge anchors are also commonly used in shallow waters where other types of anchors would not work well due to their size and weight.

CQR/Delta/Plow anchor

If you want a good all-around anchor that costs less than $100, go with a CQR or Delta. These anchors are fairly similar, but they do have some differences:

  • The CQR has its shank at an angle relative to the flukes (the two sides of the anchor). This makes it easy to tell which way is up when you’re setting your anchor down on the ground. It also allows for more surface area on top of the bottom of your boat due to this design feature.
  • The Delta has its shank parallel with its flukes so that there isn’t any directionality in where it sits in relation to current flow and wind direction. This means that if you need to move your boat during low tide because of some sort of obstacle or weather change, then this type will allow for easier maneuverability.

Rocna anchor

Rocna anchors are one of the newest on the market, but they have already gained quite a following. With their wide fluke angle and large surface area, Rocna anchors are well-suited for use in a variety of conditions. Their popularity is due in large part to their durability and design—they’re made of high-quality steel that’s resistant to corrosion, so they should last you a long time with proper care.

Bulwagga anchor

Bulwagga anchors are a variation of the plow anchor. The main difference between the two is that while both have a fluke and shank, the bulwagga anchor uses a barbed shank that penetrates the ground. This is due to its use in rocky or hard soil conditions, where it might not be able to find enough purchase on its own.

The Spade anchor

The spade anchor is a type of anchor that has a narrow, spade-shaped fluke. Since it’s more compact than other anchors, it won’t take up too much room on your boat. It also has high holding power and is easy to deploy and retrieve.

The spade anchor can be used in shallow water (3-30 ft.) and will provide enough grip to keep your boat from drifting or moving when winds are strong or currents are strong.

Bruce anchor

The Bruce Anchor is a modern anchor that’s designed for easy use and security. It’s a good all-round anchor for most vessels, and it’s particularly suited to smaller boats. The Bruce has good holding power in all sea conditions.

Fortress anchor FG

For the casual boater, this anchor is a good choice. It has a reputation for holding well in most bottom conditions and has high holding power. The Fortress anchor FG is popular among fisherman, who use it to hold boats up to 40 feet (12 meters) in length on their fishing trips. While it’s not designed for rocky bottoms, the Fortress works well on soft mud or sand bottoms.

The FG comes with a galvanized steel shank (the part of an anchor that goes into your boat), so you don’t need to worry about rusting over time. You can also adjust its set by lengthening or shortening its flukes (prongs).

This post will help you choose the right anchor for your vessel.

This post will help you choose the right Anchor for Your Vessel.

The following is a list of the most common types of anchors, along with their features and benefits:


We hope this post was helpful in choosing the right anchor for your vessel. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out.


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