Having the ability to anchor out inside a nice peaceful bay or right outside of a marina avoiding all the hubbub can be an amazing feeling. It’s an even better feeling knowing that your sailboat is securely fastened using the best sailboat anchor so that you don’t start floating away when the tide or wind starts to shift.
There are a lot of amazing anchors out there that are potentially a great fit for you and your sailboat. Having a clear understanding of what makes a good, high-quality anchor from a trusted brand means you’ll be able to make a more educated choice when deciding which anchor is best for you and your sailboat.
The Best Sailboat Anchors
Depending on you style of sailing and where abouts you like to explore, you may need one sailboat anchor over another. Based on my experience, there are a lot of great options out there to choose from, which is why I put together the following list of the best sailboat anchors.
1. Rocna Vulcan Galvanized Anchor
One of the best sailboat anchors out there today based on being the best-selling anchor for yachts and workboats goes to the Rocna Vulcan Galvanized Anchor (link to read reviews on Amazon). As one of the pioneering brands for sailboat anchors, the Rocna Vulcan was able to transform from the original Rocna anchor to the most dependable anchor out there today.
The Rocna Vulcan is actually a modified version of the original Rocna anchor, which was one of the most groundbreaking anchors to have been engineered and set the stage for the Rocna Vulcan. The original Rocna anchor was designed in New Zealand back in 2004 and took the anchor industry by storm. By taking the best features from more traditional anchor types, like the Bugel and Spade anchors, it was able to set itself apart.
The Rocna Vulcan has a lot of fantastic features to it apart from being a very strong and powerful anchor. For one, it has the ability to dig into almost any type of seabed, which comes in handy when sailing in diverse locations. It’s also relatively lightweight and easy to stow due to it not having a roll-bar like its older brother, the original Rocna. Another great feature is that it has no moving parts, so no one’s fingers have the chance of getting pinched.
When it comes to the construction material of the anchor, the Rocna Vulcan is made out of galvanized steel, which means it’s very strong, longlasting, and relatively inexpensive. The design of this anchor allows for it to self-right itself when landing on the seabed and when being pushed around by currents and tides. It also comes with a lifetime warranty, so it’s guaranteed to last the lifetime of your sailboat.
All in all, the Rocna Vulcan is a great choice for any sailboat looking to anchor out. Regardless of where you are, it’s highly likely you’ll be able to use your Rocna Vulcan to anchor and feel good that you have a popular, well-designed anchor manufactured by a trusted brand. If you’re serious about getting an anchor for your boat, definitely check it out.
2. Manson Galvanized Supreme Anchor
As one of the most famous anchors that were released when the original Rocna anchor came out is the Manson Galvanized Supreme Anchor (link to read reviews on Amazon). As a matter of fact, this anchor came out in 2003 and is well know to this day as being extremely effective due to having a very high holding weight and ability to settle to the seabed quickly.
You certainly cannot go wrong with a Manson Supreme anchor if you decide to get one. They have very high holding power, are able to dig into almost any seabed, have no moving parts, and are able to touch the seabed quickly. While their major advantages are definitely the holding power and fast settling, this comes at the price of being rather heavy which can make stowing this anchor difficult at times.
3. Lewmar Galvanized Delta Anchor
Even though there are a number of modern anchor types that have taken the anchor industry by storm, some of the more traditional designs still hold their weight to this day. That’s why the Lewmar Galvanized Delta Anchor (link to read reviews on Amazon) is still on the anchor scene, especially since it’s been a hallmark anchor for a very long time.
There are a number of good reasons to go with the Delta anchor by Lewmar especially the fact that it’s able to hold extremely well in softer seabeds (like mud and sand). It’s also relatively lighter than other anchors allowing for easy stowing and transportation. Another great quality is that it’s all one piece, so there’s no potential issue of pinched fingers. The only downsides include that it sometimes requires a tripping line to release it from the seabed and that it’s not ideal for hard seabeds or seabeds covered in kelp.
4. Spade Anchor S120 Galvanized Steel
Another well-known, traditional design for anchors is the Spade S120 Galvanized Steel Anchor (link to read reviews on Amazon). This type of anchor has been around for quite some time and has proven itself as a worthy contender to even the newer, more modern anchor types. It certainly set the stage for a lot of anchor designs today and it continues to shine even today.
The Spade anchor is a very popular style of anchor that was designed in France back in 1996. It was based on the delta style anchor design in a way to achieve a similar grip power to the seabed but by providing an even large surface area contact to the seabed. This anchor is lightweight and can dig into soft seabeds quite well. One of the downsides is that it sometimes needs the assistance of a tripping line to remove it from the seabed.
5. Lewmar CQR Anchor
Of all the more traditional anchors out there today, one of the most famous that really shook the anchor industry is the Lewmar CQR Anchor (link to read reviews on Amazon). Before the more modern sailboat anchors, the CQR (or plow) anchor was the go-to anchor for many yachts and workboats. If you’re looking for a classic, time-tested anchor, the CQR anchor might be the anchor for you.
The CQR anchor was designed in the UK way back in 1933 and has been one of the most well-known anchors out there. It was known to be so secure (and it still is), it was named CQR because it sounded like “secure”. This anchor’s relatively lightweight, digs into the seabed quite well, and is rather versatile in terms of the texture of the seabed it can grip. However, it does have some downside including it being oddly shaped so stowing is more difficult, it has moving parts, and it sometimes requires a tripping line to remove it from the seabed.
6. Lewmar Claw Anchor
Another great anchor that’s been around for a while is the Lewmar Claw Anchor (link to read reviews on Amazon), which has been known as either the Bruce or Claw anchor in the past. The strong reputation of Claw anchors has been well-known in the anchor industry for a long time and is further proven due to being manufactured by the trusted brand Lewmar.
The Claw anchor is a fantastic anchor to own due to it being relatively lightweight, strong, and inexpensive. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the best anchors anyone can buy since it has a lot of positive advantages like it have no moving parts and it’s easy to remove from the seabed. The only downsides include it has an odd shape, making it a bit more difficult to stow, and not being the best when penetrating seaweed or grass-like seabeds.
7. Danforth S-600 Standard Anchor
There’s no doubt that even some of the traditional anchors still have a place in the anchor industry and that goes double for the Danforth S-600 Standard Anchor (link to read reviews on Amazon). Similar to the CQR anchor, the Danforth anchor has been around for quite some time and was developed in the US back in the 1940s. As a matter of fact, they were originally manufactured to be equipped to certain landing aircraft during WW2.
The Danforth anchor is an industry standard and has been a hallmark for many decades. They’ve been used as anchors for many types of vessels and are especially good for anchoring out in loose seabeds like sand or mud. It’s also relatively lightweight and can be stowed easily since it’s pretty flat. Unfortunately, it has some moving parts to it, sometimes requires a tripping line to get it out of the seabed, and is certainly not ideal for more rocky seabeds.
8. Norestar Stainless Steel Danforth-Style Anchor
While the original Danforth anchor is a great choice for your next anchor, a step up in terms of quality is the Norestar Stainless Steel Danforth-Style Anchor (link to read reviews on Amazon). While you’ll certainly spend a bit more money for this Danforth-style anchor, the design improvements ensure a safer anchoring and a longer lasting product.
This Danforth-style anchor by Norestar provides all of the advantages of owning a traditional Danforth anchor with some extras. First, it has no movable parts so there’s no chance of pinching fingers while operating the anchor. Second, it allows for anchoring off in seabeds that are rockier than the original Danforth can handle. It even comes in stainless steel, which means this anchor will last a very long time. It does, however, still have the downside of at times needing a tripping line to release it from the seabed.
9. Norestar Stainless Steel Bruce Anchor
The Bruce anchor (also known as the Claw anchor) is a popular style of anchor that’s been used for a very long time. There’s no question the Norestar Stainless Steel Bruce Anchor (link to read reviews on Amazon) is a step up in the design of this anchor style, similar to how they improved the Danforth anchor.
This Bruce/Claw anchor is a great choice for your sailboat’s next anchor since it’s able to take a strong hold to almost any seabed texture. It’s also quite lightweight, has no moving parts, and it’s very easy to break it from the seabed. Even better, it’s made out of stainless steel, so it’s built to last. Honestly, there aren’t too many downsides to this anchor apart from it being relatively expensive.
10. Norestar Stainless Steel Delta Anchor
The Norestar brand is amazing at taking the more traditional style of anchors and improving their designs to make them more attractive. Well, they’ve done that once again with the Norestar Stainless Steel Delta Anchor (link to read reviews on Amazon). The Delta anchor was already an improvement to the CQR anchor, but Norestar decided to take it to the next level.
The Delta anchor by Norestar is one of the highest quality anchors you could put on your sailboat. Apart from it being stainless steel like the rest of Norestar’s anchors, it’s also lightweight, has no moving parts, and holds well in softer seabeds. However, it might not be the best in seabeds with hard sand and it might require a tripping line to set it free from the seabed.
11. Mantus Galvanized Anchor
Some of the best sailboat anchors are originally derived from the more traditional sailboat anchors, which is definitely the case for the Mantus Galvanized Anchor (link to read reviews on Amazon). As one of the most well-known anchor types out there, this anchor manufactured by Mantus Marine stands out as a top contender of the best sailboat anchor.
This anchor by Mantus is produced with galvanized steel which makes it quite strong, inexpensive, and dependable. With it’s uniquely designed roll-bar, it’s able to properly land on the seabed when making its descent resulting in getting a better grip of wherever it ends up. This anchor is specifically designed to break through dense grassy bottoms, so definitely a consideration when buying your next sailboat anchor.
12. Fortress Anchor
Sometimes it’s important to break free from the most well-known anchor brands and see what else is out there. After stepping outside and digging into other anchor styles, I fell upon the Fortress Anchor (link to read reviews on Amazon), which has a lot of common characteristics found in the traditional Danforth-style anchor.
The Fortress anchor has a very similar design to the Danforth anchor but differs in the sense that it’s even more lightweight since it’s made out of aluminum magnesium alloy. Some of the clear advantages to this anchor is that it settles quickly to the bottom of the seabed, it can be disassembled for easy storage, and it’s been tested to have double the holding power compared to its competition. Downsides include movable parts, sometimes requiring a tripping line to remove it from the seabed, and not being ideal for rocky seabeds.
Considerations Before Buying an Anchor
We went over a good amount of high-quality sailboat anchors just now, so you should have a good idea of what anchor you might consider purchasing for your sailboat. However, there are a few considerations to take into account before making that purchase, which is what we’ll cover now.
You’ll find a number of different construction materials for anchors, like aluminum and steel, but by far the most common materials you’ll find when shopping for anchors are steel and aluminum alloy.
Anchors made out of galvanized steel are often found to be less expensive and shiny compared to other types of anchor materials. The great part is that they’re very strong and can last a very long time. Unfortunately, they’re prone to corrosion so it’s not uncommon to have to get them re-galvanized.
Anchors made out of stainless steel are very strong and aesthetically pleasing in terms of its appearance since it’s rather shiny. You can’t go wrong with getting a stainless steel anchor, but you’ll definitely be forking over more money to get one.
Anchors made out of aluminum alloy are very lightweight compared to steel but often come at a much higher cost when going through the checkout line. However, when set correctly on the seabed, they’re known to have very high holding power.
Lakes vs. Coastal Waterways
Depending on where you’re sailing, you’ll need a certain level of strength to keep your sailboat from moving around while anchored. Sailing in in coastal waterways definitely requires a strong anchor than when sailing around lakes, so it’s generally advised to stick with the stronger anchors just in case. If you know your sailboat will never leave the lake scene, go with a weaker (and thus cheaper) anchor.
Anchor Weight to Boat Length
You might’ve been wondering how strong your anchor should be based on the size of your sailboat. Well, there’s no hard and fast rule to the exact strength (or weight) your anchor should have, but it’s definitely possible to determine a minimum weight to cover some worst-case scenarios when using your anchor.
A simple way to determine the minimum anchor weight of your sailboat is to subtract 5-10 lbs to every foot of your sailboat’s length overall (LOA). For example, if your sailboat is 25 feet long, then a good anchor weight could be around 15-20 lbs. This is a good rule-of-thumb when choosing an anchor weight for your sailboat, but should only be considered as an estimate and for a minimum anchor weight. If the anchor you plan to purchase has a chart helping you decide on the proper anchor weight to get, you should definitely follow that.