Where to Tie an Anchor on a Pontoon Boat (And How To Anchor the Boat)

A pontoon boat has more room than other types of boats. However, this extra floatation that keeps the boat stable in strong currents is why it’s sometimes difficult to anchor the boat when you want it to stop.

In order to anchor the boat properly, you need to select the right point to tie your anchor, and you need to pick the right location to set the anchor. Otherwise, your boat will keep moving. Keep on reading to learn where to tie an anchor on a pontoon boat.

Where to Tie an Anchor on a Pontoon Boat

How to Install an Anchor Successfully to Your Pontoon Boat

Before thinking about where to tie your anchor, you need to think about the type of anchor you’re using on your boat. You can either use a manual anchor or an electric pontoon anchor winch to keep your boat stable.

By the way, as an Amazon Associate, I earn when buying qualified products through links on my site.

There are different types of anchors that work for various locations. Choosing the right anchor will make your job easier and more efficient.

  • Box anchors work better in muddy ground or light vegetation. If you’re using your pontoon boat in a lake or a river, a box anchor will work best to keep your boat stable. This anchor works better because it maximizes the surface that gets in contact with the ground. However, you need to make sure that there’s enough line to provide a good grip; otherwise, your boat will keep on drifting. The recommended length is to allow for a 5:1 scope, which is the distance between the bottom of the boat to the water.
  • Fluke anchors are more suitable for gravel and sand. You can use a fluke anchor if you’re taking your boat on the sea or ocean. In this case, the anchor’s weight isn’t the most important factor, as the anchor features arms that dig into the ground to keep your boat in place.
  • Grapnel anchors work if you’re trying to stabilize your pontoon boat in rocky conditions. Luckily, you can find several models of this anchor on the market. Rocky bottoms are more challenging than sand and mud, and this is why you need to make sure that you’ve picked the right grapnel anchor.

How to Anchor a Pontoon Boat

A pontoon boat moves a lot, and you need be able to secure it correctly. This will keep the boat from drifting.

1. Position the Boat

A good day to practice anchoring is a day without much wind. Ideally, you should try to anchor your boat away from rocks or the banks of the river; however, this might not always be the case. Keep the nose of the boat in the face of the strongest current or wind before trying to anchor it.

2. Calculate the Depth of the Water

The depth of the water can be calculated using a depth finder (Amazon). You will use this number as a guide to calculate the amount of line needed.

3. Anchor Your Boat

Turn off the engine and make sure that the pontoon boat is as still as possible.

4. Drop the Anchor

Dropping the anchor in the water is the most crucial step because you need to be careful. Otherwise, the line can get tangled; a tangled line can cause many safety problems.

You should also avoid throwing or hurling it overboard, like the movies. This will affect the way the anchor lays on the ground, and it won’t be secure. The line should be at least 5 or 7 times the depth of the water, and you need to lower the anchor slowly.

5. Pull the Anchor

Wait for a little while after the anchor hits the ground. The power of the wind or current will try to move the boat, and you will be able to see if the anchor is actually keeping the boat in place.

After the anchor hits the ground, pull it in towards the boat. This will cause the anchor to grab into the ground and secure your pontoon boat in place. Tug on the rope several times to make sure that the anchor has been adequately secured.

6. Tie the Anchor

Now it’s time to attach your anchor to the pontoon boat’s body to keep it in the same place, whether you’re planning to go swimming, fishing, or wish to spend the night on the pontoon boat. Make sure that the anchor is secured tightly to the cleat. There are lots of nautical knots that you can practice to make sure that the line is properly secured before dropping the anchor.

If you have an underdeck anchor, you won’t worry about picking the right spot to tie your anchor. However, you might still need to install an additional anchor if you feel that your pontoon boat won’t be that stable.

If you’re using an electric winch, you might consider keeping it as close to the battery as possible, as this minimizes the wiring you have to do. However, you should examine the direction of the wind and install the anchor where it should be able to secure your boat perfectly, even if it’s not close to the battery.

7. Check the Stability

If you’re not sure that the anchor has actually secured the boat in place, you can try to turn your engine in reverse and see if your boat is going to move. Release more of the rope until you feel that it is taut, to show that the anchor has been stabilized.

It’s quite common not to secure the anchor correctly, especially if you’re doing this for the first time. However, practice makes perfect.

You can also use a landmark as a visual indicator to see if the boat is moving or not. If there are trees around, you can take a look at them and check them in a few hours to see if the boat has moved.

In strong currents, your boat might keep on drifting. In this case, you might need to install an additional anchor to the rear or the side of the pontoon boat. You can do that after you’ve secured the front one. This should also be done if the wind or current is always changing direction.

8. Take the Anchor Up Again

Learning how to take the anchor up is as important as securing it when you’re laying it down. You need to be able to pull the anchor in a slightly vertical angle to make sure that you don’t damage the side of the boat. Take it out as slowly as possible because the anchor can be strong enough to puncture your aluminum boat.

After you’ve removed the anchor from the water, you need to clean it thoroughly. There might be some plants or algae clinging to the body of the anchor. Getting rid of them will guarantee that the deck of your pontoon boat will stay clean. Use water to wash off any mud or debris before putting the anchor away.


Choosing the right anchor and securing it to your boat takes a little time. In some cases, the job might be a little challenging, but you can still secure your pontoon boat if you follow the steps mentioned in our guide. Remember that it takes some practice to master the art of anchoring a pontoon boat, but it’s totally worth it.


Peter is a software developer who loves to take every opportunity to go outside that he can get. Peter grew up going on long backpacking excursions with his family every Summer and now enjoys staying at the beautiful Texas State Parks and swimming in the amazing Texas Rivers.

Recent Posts