River and Lake Anchors
If you use a kayak, inflatable boat or other small craft on a lake or river, one of the most important pieces of safety gear to have onboard is an anchor. Why? Because in addition to the convenience of securing your boat in a location where you can fish, eat lunch or just plain relax, your anchor is your first line of defense if you find yourself drifting toward a lee shore with a dead outboard motor; or for example, if you are on a kayak and too pooped to paddle.
The term “River and Lake Anchors” as used here refers to light- to medium-weight anchors that are mainly used in relatively calm lakes and slow moving rivers. These anchors correspond to various styles such as mushroom anchors, river anchors, slip-ring, fluke-style anchors, folding box anchors, folding grapnel anchors, and other anchors such as folding anchors and collapsible anchors. Another type of anchor to consider is one you can use when you go ashore. These include sand spikes and sand anchors.
Folding grapnel anchors are designed to snag bottom structure, which makes them good for anchoring in rocky areas. They are often chosen for use on inflatable boats and kayaks because they store compactly and won’t puncture an inflatable.
River anchors are a good choice for pontoon boats and bass boats. The flukes provide better anchoring in rivers and mud bottom lakes. These anchors are often rubber coated, so they will not scratch a boat’s finish.
Mushroom anchors are like river anchors but without the flukes. Also like river anchors, their PVC-coated surface is easy to clean and won’t scratch a boat’s finish. Mushroom anchors, like river anchors, are best used by small boats in non-safety-critical situations.
Pivoting-fluke-style, slip-ring anchors weighing five to eight pounds are a good choice for a variety of bottom types. They hold well in mud.