Pontoon boat anchor?


Active Member
Chain anchors are popular on the Yakima, since people tend to get the usual anchors irretrievably lodged between large rocks. During high flows, even my chain anchor wants to slip a bit and I'm thinking of hiding a smaller block anchor within the chain network for added weight.

** I should clarify here... by slipping I mean when the boat is anchored near the shore or in shallow water, with the intent to get out and wade. My current anchor (~14lbs) is perfect at lower flows, but at summer runs it tends to pull away if I don't beach the boat/anchor. I don't want to add to Yakima summer mortality figures by suggesting you anchor in high flowing water.
For lakes, I use a 10# lead pyramid. It holds in most wind conditions and is easy enough to lift. If it drags, I probably shouldn't be out there. I have added an additional 5# ball on some occasions. I tie on a carabeaner (sp) clip to the anchor line and can quickly take weights on or off.

There have been other posts here about anchoring a pontoon boat in moving water, you should do a search. As I remember, the advice was that it was unsafe, very unsafe. I don't see people in pontoons anchored in rivers, they go to shore and just use the anchor to hold the boat to the bank.

Drift boats are different, they have a geometry designed to hold the boat in quite fast water.

Scott Salzer

previously micro brew
I use a lead pyramid anchor. I would like to caution you about anchoring in moving water, like the Yak. I would not use the anchor with a pontoon in the faster water. I only use it to keep the boat near a bar or shore or in very quiet water. The chain anchors they use on the Yak are way too much weight for a pontoon.
I have a ten pound pyramid and a 5 pound anchor. The 5 pounder is more than adequate on a lake, is lighter to carry, and doesn't drag in the water like the ten pounder does. As stated above, don't anchor in moving water, and in fact don't leave your anchor hanging in the back in moving water in case the boat hits a bump and the anchor drops. And then carry a knife in easy reach in case that does happen to free yourself by cutting the anchor line.

I use a downrigger ball on my 'toon.
I have to chime in here about not using one in moving water.
I was on the Clark Fork and for some obscure reason I thought I would just drag an anchor to slow me down so I could fish an area. The anchor grabbed a rock and I went to what I believed to be about a 45 degree angle looking up at the sky. I never grabbed my knife so fast in my life. The back of the 'toon was loaded with camping gear and luckily it was all in dry bags or we would have had some wet sleeping bags.
What type of water are we talking here? are you guys saying that you should never ancor your toon in moving water with any speed. I just got a new two person pontoon and have had drift boats in the past so please inlightin me thanks zane


Active Member
I would say that a pontoon boat should be anchored only in the slo-o-o-west water. I don't know if it's the ratio of width to length or just an inherent instability of the two-hull configuration but, when you get a pontoon boat the least bit crosswise to the current and its ability to go downstream is restricted by an anchor, it has a tendency to broach; it wants to turn sideways. In strong currents this can, in some cases, actually turn it over. While doing a product test with a pontoon boat on the Yakima, I tried turning slightly sideways in fairly strong current where the water was shallow enough to have my feet firmly planted on the bottom. I was very much surprised at the amount of effort that was required to return to the straight up-and-downstream orientation.
I've had 8', 10', and now a 9' pontoon. I'd never anchor the 8' in anything but the slowest water and don't plan to stray from that plan with my 9'. My 10' was a different animal and was better, but I'd still be careful about current speed. Stability goes up with tube size.
A 5lb anchor will probably have trouble holding in windy conditions. 10lbs, maybe 8lbs, should do the trick. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. I've used a 5lb dumbell wrapped with a few more pounds of chain before.

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