When the end of the day has come and the sun is setting on the horizon and you can't wait to relax, when the fish are biting and you can't wait to cast a line, when it is time to grab a quick bite with friends before hitting the water again, then it is time to drop anchor. Make sure when you do, you are doing it with the confidence that the anchor you chose is the right one for the job.
With that said, you might ask, exactly what kind of anchor do I need? That question is easily answered once you know the condition/type of bottom where you will drop your anchor. Designs of anchors are built for specific bottom conditions.
A Claw Anchor (commonly known as a Bruce Anchor) will allow you to make a full 360-degree turn and it will not release. That also means it will not break its hold with wind and/or tide changes and can be reset easily. It will actually align itself with the force of that wind or tide and set independently. It is also known to work well with less scope of the rode (your rope and/or chain combination.)
Perfect for lighter and smaller boats in sandy and rocky bottom conditions.
A Fluke Anchor (commonly known as Danforth Anchor) uses two long "flukes" to dig into the bottom and bury themselves. It is designed to reset, not turn and is easy to retrieve and store. It has a high holding power to weight ration.
This anchor works best for pontoon/deck boats as well as pleasure and fishing boats. It's a good all-round choice, particularly for bottom types that include sand, clay, and mud.
Another fluke style is a Folding Anchor (also, known as a grappling anchor). This fluke style folds and stores easily and is designed for short term anchoring.
The lightweight folding anchor is ideal for small craft such as dinghies, inflatable boats, inflatable canoes and kayaks, jon boats and PWCs. It works ideally in grass/week and rocky conditions and is not ideal for soft bottom conditions.
The Mushroom Anchor creates a suction action in softer bottom situations. In some cases, it may need a counterweight to hold it down until it buries itself in a soft bottom area. When set the holding power is ten times the anchor weight.
Designed for smaller boats and as a mooring anchor, Mushroom Anchors are best suited in sand, silt or soft mud. They also work great to secure small markers and buoys.
Navy Anchors (also called a Fisherman Style or Kedge Anchor) relies on its own weight to hold the vessel by burying itself.
These are best utilized by larger ships and in most cases are not used by recreational boaters. If so they are used primarily in heavy grass/weeds, rocky bottoms, and hard-packed sand.
The Plow Anchor (also called Plough, Delta with a pivoting shank or CQR with fixed shank) has two flukes, but like the Navy Anchor relies on its weight to hold. It digs in and holds well for its application by setting fast and providing good resistance to tides and movement. It is ideal to use with a remote windlass.
Recommended for large recreation boats (such as cruisers), the Plow does well in almost any bottom condition).
A Richter Anchor, although new to many has a long history with fisherman for its aggressive fluke style, weighted center and release bar for easy retrieval.
The Richter is used for fishing and pleasure boats including pontoons and even float planes in a variety of bottom conditions making it extremely versatile.
The River Anchor is characterized by three wide and thick flukes and is used in conjunction with strong currents and drifts by its strong holding power in specific bottom conditions.
River Anchors are used in muddy and rocky river conditions and are designed for Pontoon Boats and for fishing boats anchoring in a current, i.e. a river.