Pontoon boats are among the most popular recreational boats on the market today. They are great for a crowd, casual fishing, or just relaxing with the family on the lake. Because they are heavier and a bit more buoyant than other boats because of their unique design, anchoring pontoon boats can be an issue for even the most experienced boaters.
Many pontoon owners don’t realize that different types of anchors are necessary for different types of conditions. Some anchors work better in muddy conditions; some work better in gravelly conditions. Still, others work best in sand.
A sandy lake floor is by far the most common condition most pontoon boaters will encounter when anchoring a pontoon boat in either a natural or man-made lake most places in North America. Sandy conditions for anchoring present unique challenges for the pontoon boater.
Most traditional anchors not constructed for sandy conditions do not have the weight or design necessary to anchor pontoon boats properly.
A quality pontoon boat anchor for sandy conditions can make the difference between a relaxing day on the water and resetting your anchor dozens of times during your outing when you’d rather be relaxing on the water.
We will discuss a few of the types and brands of the best pontoon boat anchors for sand conditions. Using this guide will help you as a pontoon boat owner figure out which features are most important for the specific conditions you usually encounter when boating to help guide you to make the correct purchase.
Top 5 Model Comparison Table
Sand, Rock, Gravel, Mud
Best Pontoon Boat Anchors for Sand Reviewed
The Box Anchor by Slide Anchor offers many advantages for the pontoon boater who faces sandy conditions.
This anchor offers better specific placement control no matter what the water conditions are when you anchor. In fact, it will set within one foot of its landing.
The Box Anchor by Slide Anchor is also easy to retrieve--simply pull in the line or chain to which it is attached, and go.
Made of galvanized material, so it is more rust and corrosion-resistant, this anchor is compact and may be stored easily on your boat in one piece without worrying about multiple parts or attachments.
This anchor requires no electric power or hoist.
With multiple sizes available, this anchor works for sporting and fishing boats up to 40 feet long, and cabin cruisers that are up to 32 feet long. With multiple sizes and weights available, you will be able to select the anchor that works best for the weight and length of your pontoon boat.
Although this anchor works best in sandy conditions, it also works well for gravely bottoms and beach areas.
- Multiple sizes to fit many boats
- Galvanized construction
- Warranty not specified
- Won’t work in mud or rock
For using your pontoon boat in sandy conditions, including beaches and sandbars, SandShark makes a specific and highly specialized product.
SandShark's sand anchor is specifically designed for use in sand. In fact, it features an auger mechanism that cores down into the sand for a solid hold.
In addition to working for pontoon boats, it will also work with jet skis, kayaks, and other watercraft.
It folds for compact storage and comes with its own case. It will take up less space on your pontoon boat than any other anchor on this list.
It requires no power from your boat, but isn't just a toss-it-in and relax anchor; it requires some work from the user to actually screw the auger down in the sand. As such, it won't work in deep water conditions.
This anchor also features a 100 percent lifetime warranty.
However, because this anchor works only in sand, pontoon boaters will need a different anchor for muddy, gravel, or rock conditions.
- Lifetime warranty
- Multiple sizes available
- Requires manual labor to activate auger
- Works only in sandy conditions
The Mantus Boat anchor sets quicker than most other boat anchors. It also breaks down for easy storage.
It works well in grassy bottoms and sand, but doesn't work well in rock or gravely bottoms.
It features a lifetime warranty and galvanized construction. It breaks down easily and can be stored in limited space on your boat.
Steel-plated and galvanized, it is designed not to rust or corrode. The sharp nose point is reinforced for extra strength.
However, if taken apart, you will have to bolt this anchor back together. However, the ASTM certified steel bolts used in the anchor's construction will ensure longtime use.
With a wide variety of sizes and weights available, this anchor can work for many different sizes of boats.
While this anchor will work in muddy conditions, it may require significant force to remove from the mud.
- Works well in sand and mud
- Comes apart for storage
- Galvanized construction
- Reinforced tip
- Can take force to remove from mud
- Must be put back together with bolts
At 25 pounds, the Extreme Max BoatTech anchor works well in any conditions--sand, gravel, and mud.
However, this anchor works best with an anchor winch like a Power Winch, meaning it isn't one recommended for simply throwing overboard.
It offers serious hold due to its flukes designed for deep digging, thus why it is recommended for use with an anchor winch.
This anchor is constructed for precise positioning.
This anchor comes in only one size, so it may not be the best fit for all boats.
- Designed for precise anchoring
- No warranty
- One size only, may not work for all boats
#5. Lewmar Claw
This anchor comes in multiple sizes. It is designed specifically for use in sandy bottoms.
What size you will need depends on the size of your boat. It does work in multiple water conditions. Multiple sizes are available.
For more turbulent water conditions, however, you may have to modify the anchor itself to hold a chain. It is designed to be used with a rope or line in less turbulent waters.
If you are familiar with the Belgian-made Bruce claw anchors, this is designed in a very similar fashion, but for a reduced price.
- Single unit
- Works well in sand
- Needs modification for chains
- Unspecified warranty
Sand Anchors For Pontoon Boats Buying Considerations
When you are looking to purchase a sand anchor for your pontoon boat, you should consider multiple factors, including whether or not you want an anchor that works well only for sand. Also, consider whether you will be retrieving the anchor automatically or manually, this may or may not include the use of a winch.
If you frequently boat in only sandy conditions, some anchors will work better than others. If, however, you frequently take your pontoon boat in rocky, muddy, or gravely conditions, you may want a single anchor that will work in all conditions, rather than an anchor that works in the sand only.
You will also want to consider your own physical limitations. If you have arthritis or other conditions that may make turning a mechanism difficult, an auger anchor may not be your best option.
Some anchors are designed to sink deep into sand and mud, and require a wench to properly raise the anchor. You will want to consider whether or not your boat has a wench before purchasing such an anchor, or whether or not you want to purchase one. You don’t want to be stuck anchored in the middle of a lake without the physical strength to lift your anchor from very sandy or muddy conditions, and some anchors are designed to dig deep into these conditions.
Collapsible or Take-Apart Anchors
Collapsible and take-apart anchors are great options for limited storage conditions, but consider durability when purchasing these types of anchors.
Remember that the more you take apart an anchor, or the more you screw in and screw out a set of bolts, the more wear-and-tear this will place on the moving parts of your anchor.
Some sand anchors for pontoon boats don’t offer information on their warranties—even on the manufacturer’s websites. If a warranty isn’t in writing, it may not be enforceable in your jurisdiction.
An anchor is a major investment, even for smaller boats. Consider that you may want an anchor with a lifetime warranty, rather than an unspecified or limited warranty.
An anchor is a major investment and safety feature for your boat.
When considering which sand anchor to purchase for your pontoon boat, make sure you have the size of your boat (both length and total weight) handy.
Be sure to consider the types of conditions you use your boat in (ocean, river, lakes), and the water conditions you typically experience before making your final selection.
Make sure to carefully read the specifications for the size of anchors that offer multiple sizes to determine exactly which size anchor will work best for your boat. Purchasing an anchor that is too small will result in your boat drifting—no matter how strong the anchor is, if it isn’t designed to handle the size of your boat, it is unlikely to work.
Above all, do your research, examine each product and its pros, cons, and features, to make the best possible purchasing decision.