What Size Anchor Does My Boat Need?

Are you planning a boating trip and wondering what size anchor your boat needs? Choosing the right size anchor is crucial for the safety of your vessel, as well as the people onboard.

A too-small anchor can result in your boat drifting away, while a too-large anchor can be difficult to handle and may damage the seabed. In this article, we will guide you through the process of selecting the correct anchor size for your boat.

Factors to Consider

Before choosing an anchor, you need to consider several factors that will determine the appropriate size for your vessel. These factors include:

Boat Size – The length and weight of your boat significantly influence the size of the anchor required. A bigger vessel requires a larger and heavier anchor than a smaller one.

Windage – The height of your boat’s superstructure above the waterline affects its windage or wind resistance. Boats with higher windage require larger anchors to hold them in place.

Water Conditions – The type of water conditions you will be anchoring in is also crucial to consider. An area with strong currents or rough seas requires a more substantial anchor than calm waters.

Anchors by Boat Size

Now that you know what factors determine the appropriate anchor size, let’s look at some general recommendations based on boat size:

  • Boats up to 20ft: For smaller boats, such as dinghies or kayaks, a 4-6 lb mushroom or fluke anchor should suffice.
  • Boats up to 30ft: For boats between 20 and 30 feet long, a 10-15 lb plow or claw-style anchor is recommended.
  • Boats up to 40ft: For boats between 30 and 40 feet long, a 20-30 lb plow or claw-style anchor is appropriate.
  • Boats up to 50ft: For boats between 40 and 50 feet long, a 35-45 lb plow or claw-style anchor should suffice.
  • Boats over 50ft: For larger vessels over 50 feet long, it’s recommended to consult with an expert to determine the appropriate anchor size for your specific boat.


Selecting the right size anchor for your boat is crucial for your safety and that of your passengers. By considering factors such as boat size, windage, and water conditions, you can determine the appropriate size anchor for your vessel.

Remember that it’s always better to choose a slightly larger anchor if you are unsure rather than risking using a too-small one. With these tips in mind, you’re now ready to select the perfect anchor for your next boating adventure!

Photo of author

Lindsay Collins