Choosing the right anchor is a decision that depends on different criteria. A J24 sailing on a lake with mud bottom certainly will not use the same anchor as an Odyssey 49 sailing in Miami. Choosing the right anchor depends on having a good balance between the time you will be anchored, the size of your boat, the climate conditions and the type of bottom of where you will sail at. Anchors come in different sizes and shapes. In the following article we will explain the different types and their pros and cons to help you decide which anchor you will need depending on every situation.
How long will you be anchoring?
To decide based on how long you will be anchored the most important criteria to look at is holding power
|Avarage Holding Power (Times its weight)||Very Short Period (5-hours top)||Short Period (less than one day)||Long Period (more than one day)|
|Plow Anchor with Roll Bar||150||x||x|
What size is your boat?
Weight and resistance of the anchor will help determine which anchor is best for your boat depending on its LOA.
|Boats Up to 15 ft||Boats Up to 16 ft - 20 ft||Boats Up to 21 ft - 50 ft||
Bigger Boats and Mooring Buoys
|Plow Anchor with Roll Bar||x|
What bottom type are you sailing at?
The shape and sharpness of the anchor will determine how good some type of anchors develop on the different types of bottoms.
|Clay||Rock - Coral||Mud||Sand|
|Claw Anchor||Struggles the most||Does not work||Works good||Works good|
|Wing Anchor||Does not work good||struggles the most||Works good||Works good|
|Plow Anchor||Does not work good||struggles the most||Works good||Works good|
|Fluke Anchor||Does not work good||Does not work good||Works good||Works good|
|Plow Anchor with Roll Bar||Works good||Works good||Works good||Works good|
|Grapnel Anchor||Does not work good||Works good||Does not work good||Does not work good|
|Mushroom Anchor||Works good||Works good||Works good||Works good|
Deciding the material of the anchor is also important. While most sailors use galvanized anchors due to is better price - benefit factor, if you really want quality, stainless steel anchors are the one with better appearence. Aluminum anchors are preferred by racing sailboats and dinghies because of it very light weight.
|Galvanized Steel||Inexpensive||Strong||Resistant while Galvanized|
|Stainless Steel||Very expensive||Strong||Resistant|
|Aluminum||More expensive than Galvanized Steel||Not as strong as Steel||Resistant|