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Most people don’t take pedal boats seriously. They think that it’s just a cute (but expensive) thing to do at a park in the city: rent a pedal boat shaped like a swan for an hour and then go home.
For those of us “in the know” however we appreciate that pedal boats can be great for fishing, exercise, getting around, relaxing on the lake, and so much more.
If you are interested in doing more with your pedal boat than simply pedaling around a little pond then you’re probably going to run into a time when you’ll want to drop an anchor.
For me, it’s when I’m fishing from my pedal boat and don’t want to keep drifting away from my honey-hole. However, there are tons of other situations you’ll want an anchor on your pedal boat. After all, nothing ruins your glass of wine like drifting into a boat lane or a giant rock.
The question is, which type and weight of anchor is the best?
The best pedal boat anchor is a 3.5-pound folding grapnel anchor. This type of anchor will work on most bottom terrains but will fold up and easily fit into your storage compartment to avoid damage to your boat while moving.
Now you’ll be able to anchor down and take your sunbathing to the next level! Assuming you can figure out how to use your pedal boat anchor.
Why Is It The Best Pedal Boat Anchor?
Grapnel anchors are the most oft-recommended anchor type for small vessels and personal watercraft. They are the most versatile option and you can usually get away with a smaller/lighter anchor than with other types.
This is a high-quality but affordable option that comes ready to use. It has rope (and chain if you get the 5.5lb version), a float, and (obviously) an anchor.
Opt for the painted or stainless version over the galvanized for a bit of extra corrosion protection.
I don’t think you can do any better for the price and this anchor is a great option for most pedal boats (as well as kayaks, mini bass boats, canoes, and even SUPs).
4 Tips For Choosing The Best Pedal Boat Anchor
Weight: Deciding on the weight of a boat anchor is a complex issue with many interdependent variables.
The weight of an anchor is dependent on the type/design of the anchor, weight/length of the boat, the terrain of the lake bottom, conditions you’ll be floating in, etc.
Unfortunately for us, a pedal boat does not follow the normal convention for anchor size. Because of its high weight capacity, a pedal boat needs a heavier anchor than would be suggested by its length.
For most pedal boats a 3.5 or 5.5lb grapnel anchor will be sufficient to anchor. In a pond or calm waters, a 3.5lb anchor will likely be sufficient.
Type: The type of anchor you want for your pedal boat is highly dependant on what type of terrain is at the bottom of the lake that you’re dropping your anchor into.
Different types of anchors hold in rocks, weeds, mud, sand, loose soil, etc.
Grapnel anchors are the best overall option for small vessels as they can anchor in almost every type of bottom.
If for some reason, you don’t want a grapnel anchor, a mushroom anchor will also work for a pedal boat. It won’t hold as well and you’ll need to step up to about an 8lb anchor to avoid drifting around.
Material: If you are using your pedal boat in the ocean you’ll want to spend a bit more to get an anchor that is stainless steel so that it will resist the corrosion a bit better. If you are just dropping an anchor in freshwater a galvanized or painted steel anchor is usually fine.
High-quality materials will be more durable but most anchors will last for many years if you don’t put them away covered in muck and let them dry before sticking them back into the bag.
Kit: You should get an anchor kit. This lets you avoid finding a chain (if needed), choosing a rope length/weight, threading a float onto it, etc.
Most kits also come with a bag to make make sure you’re 100% ready to just throw the anchor into your pedal boat and hit the lake. (Just don’t actually throw it…)
How To Use An Anchor On A Pedal Boat:
Figuring out how to attach an anchor to your pedal boat really depends on what model of pedal boat you have. If you don’t have a mounting point (and don’t feel comfortable adding one) then your options are more limited.
However, I have seen people hack their anchor system like this: you can get a larger mushroom anchor and set it in the bottom of your boat at the attachment point for your anchor. While I would only suggest this in calm waters it can be enough to get you going!
If you are going to be fishing in your pedal boat then you’ll probably need to get comfortable modifying it so you can also add a trolling motor, fishfinder, etc.
How To Make A DIY Pedal Boat Anchor
If you want to save some money, you can make your own anchor for your pedal boat (and many people do).
There are typically two routes people take when making their own anchor:
Scrap Anchors: Just about any hunk of heavy stuff can function as an anchor. Many people use a 5-10lb weight lifting plate, a chunk of steel, etc.
Bag of Shot: You can also use a bag of steel shot, a net full of small scrap, etc.
Just about anything that has some heft and settles on the bottom will hold you there. Homemade anchors are typically more difficult to store, can have sharp edges, and dredge up all sorts of muck if you’re not careful.
Most people should just buy an anchor kit but if you’re feeling innovative there are other options!
At the end of the day, anchors aren’t rocking sciencing. Adding an anchor to your pedal boat can definitely make it more versatile and I would recommend it for most people!
Just be wise in the one that you choose!