How to Anchor a Pontoon Boat USA UK 2023?

How to Anchor a Pontoon Boat USA UK 2023?

How to anchor a pontoon boat? Many people who buy pontoon boats often find themselves asking this question. After all, people like space as a luxury while channeling across waterways, but this same feature, i.e. extra floatability with lots of room onboard makes it hard to anchor the vessel.

In order to anchor your pontoon boat correctly, you need to know the depth of the water where you want to anchor and the position of your boat while lowering the anchor. 

However, this is just where you begin and there is much more to know on how to anchor a pontoon boat. 

Anchor your pontoon boat in few steps

The extra amount of space in a pontoon boat makes it effectively buoyant, which means that it stays afloat easier. This makes it extremely hard to anchor and you, as a pontoon boat owner, need to learn this skill in order to park your vessel. And this is true even while you are lowering your anchor. 

But then again, it is no rocket science and can be achieved with practice and a fair bit of caution. So here is a step-by-step guide to anchor your pontoon boat:

  • Position your pontoon right

Choose the area where you want to anchor your pontoon wisely. This is the first thing that you need to master about anchoring pontoon boats. Keeping your vessel away from rocks and banks is also something you need to bear in mind so that nobody on the boat gets hurt. 

Additionally, pontoons can swirl if there is a strong wind or current. While you need not worry about light breezes, you should consider your pontoon boat’s position when there is a strong air current. As such, ensure that the nose of your pontoon boat should face the direction where the wind or water current is stronger. If the current is strongly going North, then that is where the nose of your vessel should be!

Good positioning also helps in smooth sailing, apart from anchoring your vessel. 

  • Calculate rode length 

Calculate the depth of the water where you want to anchor the boat. You can accomplish this by identifying the kind of river or seabed. Use a depth finder to this measure and you can ascertain the rode’s length that is required. 

Multiply the depth of the water by 5 and you will have your rode length necessary for anchoring. 

  • Prepare the anchor

Subsequently, it is time to prepare the anchor once you know the rode length required. Ensure that the boat is as stable as possible by putting the engine in an idle state. 

You can also put the bow forward in the direction where you would be anchoring your vessel. 

  • Drop the anchor

Always remember that the length of the anchor should be five times the depth of the water at least. You can’t just drop the anchor underwater, you need to secure it first on the boat and then lower slowly. 

Securing the anchor can be done by fastening it on the cleat. You are free to choose among the different types of knots to tie the anchor. Don’t worry if the boat drifts back a few paces at this stage, it’s normal! Lastly, pay attention so that you don’t end up entangling the anchor line while lowering it. 

  • Check resistance

This one could be a little extra tricky! Firstly, make sure that the anchor reaches the bottom of the sea or riverbed so that it can dig into the surface. However, this task is not an easy one as your pontoon boat is likely to move along with the current at the same time. 

Until the boat stops moving, keep checking the resistance so that you can be assured about anchoring your boat. 

  • Use visual indicators

Observe your surroundings and memorize certain markers while anchoring. This is a necessary trait that every boater needs to develop to park their vessel in the midst of waterways. 

A tree is a very good indicator for anchoring purposes. If the tree shifts in its relative proximity, you may need to anchor your boat again as it means that it wasn’t properly done the first time around. 

  • Retrieve the anchor

Retrieving the anchor is also an important lesson every boater needs to learn. One needs to follow the safety precautions while retrieving the anchor. 

Pull the anchor gently at a vertical angle without causing any damage to your pontoon boat. Anchors are heavy and can sway while retrieval with the current! This could cause harm to your vessel if not done right. 

If you want to know more about pontoon boats then check out the below article…

How To Clean Toons On a Pontoon Boat USA UK  2022?

A few extra tips

While this should be good for anchoring your pontoon boat, you also need to know a few other things, which are as follows:

  • Choosing the right anchor

Anchors are of three types and vary as per the surface of the waterbody where it is to be used. 

Box anchors are suitable for rivers and lakes with light vegetation or muddy surface. In case you are anchoring at sea with a surface of sand and gravel, use a fluke anchor. For rocky bottoms, use grapnel anchors to effectively park your vessel. 

  • Anchor length

Check pontoon guides to know the apt anchor length for the size of your vessel. Pontoon boats with a length of 15 feet should be fastened by anchors at least 20 feet long. 

  • Double anchors

 To ensure that your vessel does not swing ceaselessly amidst strong currents, you can also use two anchors, one on the bow and the other on the stern. 

  • Anchor weight

Use heavy anchors whenever you are sailing in deep waters. This will help keep your boat steady. 

Happy sailing!!

We hope that now you are well adept with anchoring your pontoon boat, whether at sea, lakes, or rivers. Knowing the anchor type and size is the first step you need to take and you can then follow the guide to safely secure your boat on the water. 


You can easily anchor a pontoon boat on a lake by using box anchors with a suitable size relative to the length of your boat (check above). You should then lower it gently until it grips the surface.
Anchor winches electrically power the anchor to move up and down. Some winches also come with anti-reverse internal clutches to prevents free spooling.

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