When it comes to anchoring a boat, boaters have a multitude of options when selecting anchors. Anchors are essential and required by law on watercraft. They are a safety measure in the event the boat encounters mechanical trouble. The style of anchor and size of the anchor is highly dependent on the vessel in which it is holding in position. Mushroom anchors are generally small compared to other anchors forms and are used in freshwater and saltwater. Here are 5 things to know about a mushroom anchor. 

What Is A Mushroom Anchor

When describing the anchor, as the name indicates, the anchor is mushroom-shaped. The base of the anchor is nearly identical to the cap of a mushroom, except for holes that extend from the top side of the base to the bottom side of the base. 

Above the mushroom base is a cylindrical center that extends from the bottom upwards. The highest point of the anchor is fitted with an eye. 

The purpose of the eye is a connection point for the anchor line. Boaters have the option to choose from either chain or nylon rope. 

In most situations, a mushroom anchor is coated in vinyl to prevent it from scratching the boat as it lies in an anchor well or while retrieving. The vinyl provides a soft barrier compared to the cast iron in which it is made. 

How Does A Mushroom Anchor Hold A Boat In Position

When holding the vessel in place with a mushroom anchor, it is designed for muck and soft sand bottoms. The anchor creates suction for increased holding power. 

The base of the anchor becomes buried in the sand or muck to avoid the watercraft from drifting away unexpectedly. 

When setting a mushroom anchor, ensure that the bottom is composed of soft materials instead of rock or hard floors. These types of bottoms are found in lakes, rivers, oceans, and other bodies of water. 

Ensure that the anchor has firmly dug into the seafloor before engaging in activities that draw your attention away from the boat’s position. 

On What Type Of Boats Is A Mushroom Anchor Used

Mushroom anchors are highly versatile when it comes to the type of boat but cannot hold vessels of substantial size. 

The mushroom anchor is most widely used on kayaks, personal watercraft, small sailing vessels, rowboats, jon boats, aluminum fishing boats, dinghies, etc. 

Never attempt to hold vessels above 21 feet with a mushroom anchor depending on the anchor’s weight because it is highly likely to drag or become pulled free, which results in a dangerous situation. 

What Are The Size Ranges Of A Mushroom Anchor

When it comes to sizes, mushroom anchors come in varying weights, ranging between eight and twenty pounds. However, avoid using a 20-pound mushroom anchor on a kayak is it will add unnecessary weight, which causes excessive strain to the person paddling the watercraft. Match the size of the anchor to the size of the vessel. Check out the mushroom anchor selection at Walmart.

Remember, when stowing an anchor when not in use, ensure that it is stored in a confined space. Never allow the anchor to bounce freely as it can damage the boat or, even worse, cause injury to passengers. 

How To Match The Size Of The Anchor To The Size Of The Boat

When determining the size of the anchor to match the vessel, it is highly subject to the conditions in which you are anchoring. 

In stormy conditions, when the wind is stiff a mushroom anchor that would normally hold during calm weather is likely to drag. 

Similar to stormy weather are strong currents, whether in a river or coastal waters, influenced by tidal changes. It is essential when anchoring with a mushroom anchor in coastal waters and swift-moving rivers to up the size of the anchor to avoid dragging. When anchoring at the beach, use this helpful guide.

Under normal conditions, we recommend multiplying the vessel’s length by two to determine the weight of the mushroom anchor. 

An anchor that is too small will likely drag, while an anchor too large becomes cumbersome to manage. However, it is safer to oversize than undersize.

How Long Do Mushroom Anchors Last

Mushroom anchors are highly durable and last for over twenty years when properly cared for. 

Boaters are more likely to see the anchor line or chain deterioration before the anchor shows signs of wear. 

To maximize the lifespan of an anchor, rinse the anchor, chain, and line after each use and mainly when used in salt environments. 

Should the vinyl coating begin to peel free from the anchor, we recommend replacing the anchor. It does not inhibit the ability to function but rather the risk of causing damage to the boat. 

Use These 5 Things To Know About Mushroom Anchors 

Use these five things to know when using use a mushroom anchor or trying to determine if one is right for you. We have used mushroom anchors aboard aluminum vessels and can attest to the holding power. Lastly, always ensure that the anchor is set correctly to avoid the boat from drifting unexpectedly.