If you’re planning on spending much time on your boat, you may eventually need to anchor it. Maybe you’re thinking of anchoring your boat for an overnight stay, or maybe you’re planning to spend a few hours exploring. Either way, anchoring your boat is a basic skill every boater needs to know.


At Canvasworks in Cokato, MN, we specialize in manufacturing custom boat covers for Minnesota residents. In this post, we’ll share our top advice for anchoring your boat. Read on to learn more, then give us a call to order your custom boat covers!

Anchor Basics

The first thing to know before you set your anchor is that there are two main types of anchors used for personal boats.


●        The fluke anchor, sometimes called a Danforth, is easy to use and holds well against a muddy or sandy bottom, but does not work as well with a rocky bottom.


●        A plow-style anchor is heavier than a fluke anchor, works well against most bottoms, and resets itself when the wind shifts.


There are many factors that determine which anchor is best for your boat and situation. Typical bottom conditions and the size of your boat are the two biggest. Refer to your manufacturer’s instructions to help choose which anchor to use. However, keep in mind that it is often a good idea to have two anchors, one of each style, in your boat.

Setting Your Anchor

For starters, never throw your anchor overboard without verifying that the anchor line is securely fastened to both ends of the anchor, the outboard end and the inboard end. Use a depth finder, if possible, to determine the water depth, this will help you to determine the correct length of line or rope which will need to be played out for the anchor. Do not determine the length of line or rope needed by the depth of the water. Instead, remember that your line length should go from the sea bottom to where the anchor  line or rope comes aboard. Once your anchor reaches the lake bottom you will then play out the line by reversing your boat or letting it drift until a distance of 5 – 10 times the depth of the water is reached. Doing this will allow the line to lay on the bottom of the lake. This allows the anchor to dig into the bottom of the lake ensuring your boat does not drift out of position, dragging the anchor with it. Once you have dropped your anchor you will want to attach it to your boat using one of the bow cleats and not the stern. If you attach the anchor line to the stern and the wind comes up your boat may be turned into the wind which may result in the boat being swamped by waves and overturning.


Remember these tips when anchoring your boat:


●        Be respectful and courteous with other boaters.

●        Remember if someone has already entered the anchorage where you are planning to anchor that they have the right of swing.

●        Make sure your boat will clear other boats if the wind shifts.

●        Braided or twisted nylon rope works fine for light anchoring, but uses a chain for extended anchoring.

●        After anchoring, use your surroundings or GPS to make sure you’re not dragging your anchor.

●        To raise the anchor, slowly motor toward the anchor while pulling in the rope. When you are directly above it it should pull free. 

●        If the anchor is stuck try motoring in a circle to change the direction of the line pull and then raise it.

●        If you cannot release it is best to cut the line.

Keep in mind that this guide is just scratching the surface of what you need to know in order to properly anchor your boat. For more information visit this website for a comprehensive blog on all things anchoring. Make sure you practice anchoring in calm, uncrowded conditions, preferably with an experienced boat operator before trying it on your own or in difficult conditions.

Order Your Minnesota Custom Boat Covers

Now you know he basics of properly anchoring your boat. But what about when your boat isn’t in use? At Canvasworks, we manufacture a wide range of marine products including custom boat covers and boat upholstery. To order yours, check out our online gallery, then give us a call at 320-559-0165 contact us online.