Top 5 Best Pontoon Anchors For All Conditions

When it comes to boating in general, an anchor is one of the most important things you should invest in right away – before the pontoon even touches the water. When you’re out on a small and calm lake for some swimming or fishing, you might not need an anchor to keep the boat in place. However, if you’re in for something more extreme, like river fishing, harsh weather conditions like winds and heavy rain, you will definitely need it.

A common misconception you’re probably familiar with is the fact that anchors have to be extremely heavy – which is almost not true. Of course, if you have some monster-size ‘toon, you might need 50 pounds of metal to hold it down. However, for the average pontoon that does not exceed 3000 pounds, even small anchors will do the trick. We have a whole article on the main types of anchors you can get so you can go check it out if you’re not familiar with those before we get into the products. If you can’t be bothered with that, you’ll find a short and comprehensive guide at the bottom of this page as well. However, let’s get into the products now:

#1. SeaSense #13 16lb, Penetrating Galvanized Fluke Style Anchor

Here’s the perfect budget alternative for those with small pontoons. This anchor is a fluke type and will accommodate boats between 20’ and 25’ in shaft length. It weighs only 16lb, being one of the lightest units we included here, but it’s nonetheless made of galvanized steel that won’t give in to rust anytime soon. SeaSense produces a wide variety of anchors, but this one is definitely the perfect budget choice for a small pontoon.
One thing you need to be aware of is that this doesn’t come with a retrieval ring, so you’ll have to purchase that separately. Find out more and shop the latest price for the SeaSense Penetrating Galvanized Fluke Style Anchor here:

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#2. Danforth AMRD-94015.1 Danforth Standard Galvanized Fluke Type Anchor

Now we’re talking serious business! If you have a regular size pontoon, something up to 40’ in length, this anchor is the perfect one for you (if you’re OK with a fluke, that is). It weighs 25lb, is made of stainless steel with a galvanized protective layer for long lasting protection. The price is much higher than that of a SeaSense, but if you look at the reviews for a second, you’ll understand why.
Our final verdict is: if a fluke anchor is what you need, the Danforth AMRD-94015.1 Danforth Standard Galvanized Fluke Type Anchor is a perfect choice. Get your own or find out more about this unit here:

 

 

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#3. Slide Anchor Large Box Anchor LBA

On to another type – the box anchors! These are generally better for muddy bottoms, as they will ensure better fixation than a penetrating fluke shape. The Slide Anchor Large Box Anchor LBA is a rather large box anchor, made of stainless steel with a galvanized hot dip. It comes in 4 different shapes and can hold up to 70’ long boats – so you can imagine that it can handle a pontoon no problem. Another advantage is that it folds flat, which is great considering that space is always an issue with boat owners. This unit weighs 25 lbs, which, again, is the perfect weight to hold down a pontoon or similar sized boat.
You and find out more and shop the latest price for this product here:

 

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#4. Slide Anchor Small Box Anchor

Here’s the previous model in a smaller size. This one accommodates boats from 18 to 30 feet long, so it may or may not work out for you depending on the, khm, size of your shaft. However, it still preserves the same Slide Anchor quality – galvanized stainless steel construction, foldable, stabilizer arm, and breathable bag to keep everything neat when you’re not using the anchor. This one will set within 1 foot of the landing spot so it might take a bit getting used to, but again – if the water has a muddy or vegetation covered bottom, a box anchor is your best choice.
Get your own Slide Anchor Small Box Anchor here:

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#5. Norestar Folding Grapnel Anchor System

The Norestar Folding Grapnel Anchor System is a grapnel-type anchor, which is one of the most common shapes you’ll come across on the market. It’s especially popular with light boat owners, as they can be as light as 3lbs, and work well for rocky water bottoms. However, if your pontoon requires a bit more fixation power (and it does), you can opt for the Norestar Folding Grapnel Anchor System in the 17lbs size. It also comes with a 130” rope, but you might need to replace that with a chain of some sort if you’re planning to use it a lot.
Would we recommend this for the average pontoon? Not really.
But would we recommend it for small pontoons? Definitely, and it’s one of the best grapnel anchors you’ll find in this size.
Find out more and shop the latest price for the Norestar Folding Grapnel Anchor System here:

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#6. Deep Water Folding Grapnel Anchors

Now, this might seem like a joke to you, considering that this grapnel anchor only weighs 1.5lbs. However, we’re not here to recommend it as the main anchor for your pontoon, but rather as a second anchor for super harsh weather conditions. If a storm has caught you quite far from the dock, you might need to throw in a second anchor to make sure the ‘toon doesn’t flip over. Here’s where the Deep Water Folding Grapnel Anchors takes the spotlight. Or, if you tend to be careful and dock the pontoon as soon as you see heavy clouds, you can use this anchor to keep your towables in place – if you can’t be bothered to deflate them at the slightest wind.
Find the latest price for the Deep Water Folding Grapnel Anchors here:

 

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These were our main recommendations in terms of anchors that you can purchase right now, without leaving your couch. You might be able to find a wider selection at a specialized store, but don’t take our for that – it all depends on the retailer. If you have never purchased an anchor before (or never had a reason why in the first place), but your $30k pontoon is on the way and you want to fix it nice and secure, you’ll have to familiarize yourself with the basics. Although we have a different article about the types of anchors you can get, here’s a short version with all the essential information you need to know:

For one, there are three types of anchors on the market. You have fluke anchors, which are basically two sharp wedges connected to a metal arm. They are the best choice for sand and gravel bottoms. Second, you have the box anchors, which are pretty self-explanatory – square in shape, with big metal teeth than help fix it to the bottom of the river/lake. Generally, these are best suited for muddy bottoms and those with light vegetation. And third, there are grapnel anchors. These have four arms and are perfect for rocky river bottoms, as their shape allows them to attach and stay fixed to any rock.

Now you might be asking yourself: what is the best anchor type for pontoon boats? We might not be able to give you one answer that works for every boat and every water, but the general preference leans towards box anchors. They simply work better for pontoons and ensure sturdier fixation.

However, you might want to think about the type of water you’re sailing into – as the same box anchor won’t do much with a rock river bottom. Grapnel anchors might seem like the second best choice, but it’s rather hard to find big ones, especially online (and mind you, you’ll need at least 17lbs of steel to keep a regularly sized pontoon in place. However, what you can do is purchase two grapnel anchors and drop them from both sides of the pontoon in order to fix it to the bottom. Fluke anchors are OK as well, but you might not come across as many lakes and river with sand bottoms, am I right?
In any case, here are a couple of aspects you should be paying attention to when choosing the perfect anchor for your pontoon:

#1. Weight. As we mentioned before, you would need at least 15 – 20 lbs to hold down a regular sized pontoon. Among the three types, box anchors are usually the heaviest (meaning they come in bigger sizes), and heavy grapnel ones tend to be the hardest to find. Usually, the rule of thumb is the heavier, the better – but don’t go over 30lbs for a pontoon anchor – it’s not worth it.

#2 Material. Stainless steel is a staple, but for anchors, you want to make sure they have a galvanized coat – just to prevent humidity damage.

#3 Foldable. When it comes to pontoons and other relatively small-size boats, saving space is crucial. And nothing is worse than having the anchor take up more space than needed – that’s why it’s essential to look for one that is a foldable model, and, ideally, comes with its own storage bag.

#4 Accessories. You might want to check if the anchor you plan on buying comes with all the necessary accessories – including a length of rope or chain, a retrieval ring, and whatever else it takes for your pontoon. If it doesn’t come with those, make sure you purchase them separately – the last thing you want is to be ready to throw the anchor and realize you have no retrieval ring.

This would be everything you need to know in terms of choosing the perfect anchor for your pontoon. If you’re wondering about the general price range, we’d say expect to pay around $25 to $120 on it, depending on the size. Grapnels are the lightest and the cheapest, while box anchors can go up to said $120, and sometimes even more. In any case, it’s not something you should spare money on – if you already invested in a $30k pontoon boat, you might as well secure it with a good quality anchor.

Jerry Brookes
 

Hi I'm Jerry, founder of PontoonHelper.com. I've been pontooning for over 30 years believe it or not and have learned a thing or two about pontoons. As my passion project Pontoon Helper is aimed at educating any reader on all the different things you need to know before pontooning. I consider myself somewhat of an expert in this industry as it has become my life since retirement. Feel free to submit a comment or question on the website and I'll try to get back to you.

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