Boat Anchor Types:
Your choices

As we will see in this article, there are several boat anchor types around. They all have their specific properties and uses.

If you're looking for the best boat anchor type for your yacht, you need to know what you are going to do with it.

In which cruising are you going to spend the most time and how's the seabed there?

If you're cruising extensively, you probably want to have 2 anchors on board, 2 different ones most likely.

Also, how's your anchor arrangement on board?

As you will see, all these boat anchor types have pros and contras, so your choice will be a personal one!

Here we go!



The C.Q.R. anchor is a plough-shaped anchor. The name derives from the company who originally brought it on the market in 1933. It's a protected trademark name.

What is so specific about this design is that there is a hinged shank and that the anchor is forged, instead of cast. (Forging means that the steel is super-heat and is then hammered or pressed in the desired shape. Casting means that liquid metal is poured into a certain shape. A forged object is stronger than a cast one)

Because the plough-shaped part can swivel on the shank, the C.Q.R. copes much better with situations where the tide or the wind changes direction, so it resists breaking out.

Now, over the years, a lot of anchor manufacturers were trying to copy this model, but the end product wasn't nearly as good and strong as the original. So, if you buy this one, make sure you buy the real stuff!

This anchor is a very popular one, as a primary or secondary anchor. It's got good holding properties in all kinds of seabed.

It stores well in a bow roller, not in a hawsepipe.

To have an effective C.Q.R. anchor, you need some weight. Don't go below 12 kg (25 lbs).

Did you know that it is approved by the Lloyds Register of Shipping?


The Delta is another plough-shaped anchor among the boat anchor types.

Because of the shape and the fact that it consists out of 1 piece, it sets fast and digs deep. But, it also breaks out more easily when tide or wind turns direction, because of that.

Generally, we can say that the Delta has a good power to weight ratio.

It stows well in a bow roller, not in a hawsepipe.

This anchor is also approved by the Lloyds Register of Shipping and lots of lifeboat organisations use it as their primary anchor.


Bruce anchor

This anchor was the answer from the Bruce Anchor Group to the all-round C.Q.R. in the seventies. It was originally designed for oil rigs.

It's made out of 1 piece, no moving parts.

The Bruce anchor holds well in sand, mud and rock, not so well in hard ground.

It has a good power to weight ratio.

It stows well in a bow roller, not in a hawsepipe.


The Spade is a fairly new design. It comes from France and appeared in 1996.

It consists of 2 non-moving parts. You can dismount the shank from the rest of the anchor for stowage.

It stows well on a bow roller, not in a hawsepipe.

It sets quickly and it got huge holding power.

I used this when I was sailing the CNB Lagoon 570 and I was very pleased with it!


The fisherman anchor is for most yachts a no-go. It's a hell of a job to store it.

It also needs to be pretty heavy and lots of chain before you get proper holding power, but from then on the holding power is good and it's the only anchor that holds on rock.

Because one fluke sticks up on the bottom, the risk is real that the chain turns around it and breaks out the anchor...


As the name says, this anchor has the shape of an inverted mushroom.

I have only seen it a very few times on yachts and only as a secondary anchor...

It needs a silt or mud bottom in order to sink away and burry itself. Once that happened, the holding power is great.


Danforth anchor

The Danforth anchor is another popular model among boat anchor types. It consists of 1 piece and the fluke part swivels on the crown, so you can store it flat.

It digs in well in mud and sand and has good holding power.

The moving parts can get fouled and breaking out the anchor might be difficult...

You can store it in a hawsepipe or a bow roller.

Look out for your fingers!


folded grapnel
grapnel anchor

The grapnel is to be used with your inflatable dinghy.

It's very handy, because the the flukes can be folded together and it will hold on rock.

It stores easily and you have no risk of damaging your inflatable.

Do you want to read some good tips about how to anchor a boat and other must-knows, click here!

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