Pontoon boat anchors: Your experience with.

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by scottr, May 27, 2007.

  1. scottr Active Member

    Posts: 446
    Chasing trout and birds
    Ratings: +104 / 0
    I have a new 9 ft outcast pontoon and floated the Yak lower canyon yesterday. I have floated the river a lot in a drift boat but this was my first time doing it on a 1 person pontoon. I was not sure about my ability to anchor and fish to rising fish. I gave it a shot in some flat but semi-fast water that I have anchored in a drift boat before and I ended up losing my anchor. It was a 15lb pryamid and it must of got hung on a rock. I also found out the hard way that the pully system on the boat sucks and makes it very hard to pull the anchor up in even in slow water. When I figured out it was stuck I started pulling in rope to try and get above the anchor point amnd get it unstuck. I almost had gained the distance to the point where the boat was above the anchor when some drunk rafters ran into me forcing me to lose all the rope I had gained back. A drift boat stopped to help but it was too stuck and I cut it loose. :mad:

    So my questions: Was I crazy to anchor in this type of boat? Would a different weight like a chain anchor have been better? What have your experiences been in anchoring in personal pontoon boats.

    I am going to make a chain anchor to replace the lead one I lost. Any one have a good recipe for fabrication? I have the chain and just need to figure out what to loop it all through (some sort of U-clamp I supose).

    Also, it seems like if you can't anchor this type of boat in a river then they are not great for the lower canyon water where you either run and gun (can be done in a pontoon on some of the mellow bank on the highway side) or stop and feed to risers.


  2. jeff bandy Make my day

    Posts: 2,194
    Edmonds, Wa.
    Ratings: +250 / 1
    Do NOT anchor a pontoon in moving water!!!
    very bad idea.
  3. scottflycst Active Member

    Posts: 1,711
    Ozark Mtn springwater
    Ratings: +24 / 0
    Glad to see you're still with us! There aren't enough great Scotts left!:)
  4. scottr Active Member

    Posts: 446
    Chasing trout and birds
    Ratings: +104 / 0
    Thanks guys. It never got scary as I knew it things went a really afoul I would just let the rope slip.

    So never anchor in any current? What about those slow moving eddies behind the rip-rap jetties?

    it sounds o aside from stopping it from floating away when on shore or lakes an anchor on a pontoon is about as useful as tits on a boar.
  5. speyforsteel Degenerate Caster

    Posts: 316
    Eastern Washington
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    My rule is if I think I can go against current with kick fins it's fine to anchor,though even that could get you in a pickle.
  6. jeff bandy Make my day

    Posts: 2,194
    Edmonds, Wa.
    Ratings: +250 / 1
    I float a few of the rivers in my odc1018. For the most part, it's pull over and fish.
    No you can't stand there as the guide rows and shoot the banks of the fast water. And, no, you can't anchor outside the seam. But ,you can get to water that no one walking the banks can even see.
    You can trying wearing fins to help control the toon wile drifting the slower water. But don't think it will work in the canyon with summer flows, even if you hook-up by the time you land a fish , you could drift right into trouble.

    I've wondered if two toons hooked together would work? Taking turns rowing/fishing.

  7. Jerry Daschofsky Moderator

    Posts: 7,685
    Graham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +651 / 5
    With full rocker tube pontoons, never anchor. They'll surf and possibly swamp. Flatter/wider hulled pontoons (more the whitewater grade) handle being on anchor quite well. Have anchored my Steelheader in chutes before, and in heavier current fine. If you use an anchor on a pontoon, a pyramid is the only way to go. You want heavy/dense weight. A balled up chain anchor (they do have the drag chain anchors) aren't bad. Still have had the best of luck with pyramids.
  8. scottr Active Member

    Posts: 446
    Chasing trout and birds
    Ratings: +104 / 0
    Thanks for the advice.

    The more I think about the design and the forces put on a pontoon that was anchored I can see where it would swamp the boat. I don't think I was in any danger as I always knew I could just drop the rope but I can see how it could get bad with the forces that get put on the boat. It is definately something I wont do again.:eek:

    I know where the anchor I lost is and in the fall when the water gets really low I 'll try and go back and get it.

    What really pisses me off is the f@#ing rafters. They were out in full affect yesterday. The group that ran into me was on 2 fun islands and they made zero attemp to change their course. Out of the 15 or so people on the boat you'd think one said "hey there is a boat up there we should move". Instead they ran right into me as I am yelling my anchor is stuck and I can't move. The two fun islands straddled my stearn and was starting to swamp me me when I let the anchor rope slip and they had the bright idea to let go of each other (thank god they were only holding on to each other) and float around me.:mad:
  9. ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

    Posts: 3,207
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Ratings: +112 / 0
    how on earth are you suppose to fish out of pontoon boats if you can't anchor?
  10. riseform Active Member

    Posts: 1,074
    Tacoma, WA
    Ratings: +269 / 0
    I have a 2 man pontoon and use a chain anchor. They're strung on a D-ring with plastic cable ties keeping the various links tidy.

    I'm not a huge fan of the lower canyon during really high flows for the exact reasons you mentioned. As long as you know how to row, the upper river and farmlands are more pontoon friendly with lots of braided areas to get out and wade.
  11. Preston Active Member

    Posts: 2,453
    Ratings: +422 / 0
    I've found a chain anchor to work better than a lead pyramid in the Yakima canyon because so much of the bottom consists of large, angular blocks of basalt. A lead anchor is easier to wedge tightly into the crannies and crevices between these rocks than is a wad of chain. It is possible to jam a chain anchor but it's less likely. I started using a chain anchor quite a while back after losing two lead anchors in consecutive years and have not had to cut one loose since.

    While I do most of my floating in a 12 1/2-foot raft, I have had some experience with pontoon boats up to nine feet in length. I've always been leery of anchoring one in any but the slowest of currents. All of the pontoon boats that I've tried have had a tendency to broach when anchored in moving water; a tendency which increases with the speed of the current. Potentially, a pontoon boat, turned sideways in a strong current, could go right on over.
  12. BDD Active Member

    Posts: 2,219
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +197 / 2
    I have heard pontoon boats have a tendency to swing. Anyone ever try deploying a smaller anchor towards the bow to help reduce this swing?
  13. Todd Ripley New Member

    Posts: 107
    Seattle, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I'll echo Jerry's response...for small 'toons, especially the ones that are almost all rocker, use your anchor just to keep the boat on the beach...get out and fish.

    At the other end of the spectrum, I have a 12 foot Steelheader II Guide Model, two seater, and I have a full drift boat anchor system on it, including a 30# pyramid anchor...I almost never get out of it to fish, and fish on anchor all the time...

    Fish on...

  14. Josh Brower AKA Salmon, Trout, Steelheader

    Posts: 205
    snohomish, washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    by rocker do you mean the ones that have the very high angled bow and stern? i ave the ODc Super sport 9 and was wondering about the anchor thing too.
  15. DeanHosh New Member

    Posts: 129
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    A bridle may help alot also. Then the point at which the drag is pulling will not swing the boat as much. I am rigging one for a drift anchor on mine.
  16. Dale Dennis Formally Double-D

    Posts: 527
    Arlington, WA
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    I will second that,
    if you don't want to swamp your pontoon and lose your gear and possibly your life you should never anchor it, even moderately fast moving water and dragging a chain will certainly get you into trouble. Use it to anchor on the beach.
  17. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Posts: 7,135
    Not sure
    Ratings: +1,224 / 0
    In a lake.

  18. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    chain anchor construction: go to west marine or similar place; purchase 12' of the biggest diameter chain they offer; purchase about 12" of stainless cable and some swagging connectors; put the stainless cable through the chain, i used about 10 link loops; swag the loop of stainless closed; done.

    i never anchor in moving water. pull over drop the chain so the boat does not leave the scene and fish on foot. water too deep? move along to someplace you can do the above. lakes, drop the chain and fish away. that chain anchor is good up until the wind tops 30mph, then its going to start dragging!
  19. Preston Active Member

    Posts: 2,453
    Ratings: +422 / 0
    My chain anchor is made from the longest eyebolt I could find. A pair of old tire chains (purchased at a second-hand store) and one side of a pair of truck chains found along the roadside were looped onto the eyebolt and secured with a large washer and a locknut. My anchor rope has a steel thimble spliced into the end of it and I attach the anchor with a screw-lock link. It's quite compact and weighs 35-45 pounds depending on how much of the chain I choose to use. With a 12 1/2-foot raft, 35 pounds is adequate at under 2000cfs in the canyon, anything over that requires somewhat more; it all depends on how much you enjoy hoisting it off the bottom. As I grow older and less fit, I sometimes think about using a doubled-rope-and-pulley system.
  20. scottr Active Member

    Posts: 446
    Chasing trout and birds
    Ratings: +104 / 0
    So I made my chain anchor last night. I used 14' of 5/8" galvanized chain (= 1lb per foot) strung though a 5/8" u-bolt (for a 2 1/2" dia. pipe). This gives me roughly a 15lb anchor.

    I used a continuous length of chain and folded it over into 12" sections. I threaded the u-bolt through the top of all the links and then placed the bracket and nuts on. I added extra nuts just to add insurance in-case they back off and will attach to the rope with a anchor bracket through the u of the u-bolt

    BTW this is a lake,shore, and frog water anchor as it cost me about 35 bucks to make and I don't want to donate it to the bottom like my last one