Using the Right Anchor: A Guide to Different Types of Anchors and Where to Use Them in New Zealand

20 April 2023

As a boater, you know the importance of having a reliable anchor that can hold your vessel in place while you enjoy the sights or take a break from cruising. However, choosing the right anchor and knowing where to use it can be confusing. In New Zealand, the type of anchor you need depends on the seabed conditions in the area you're boating. In this guide, we'll go over the different types of anchors and where to use them in New Zealand.

Plow Anchor: Plow anchors are the most common type of anchor and are great for most seabed conditions. They work best in mud, sand, and gravel. Plow anchors have a sharp point that digs into the seabed, providing a strong hold. The Rocna and Manson Supreme are two of the most popular plow anchors on the market.
Where to use: Plow anchors are great for boating in the Hauraki Gulf, Bay of Islands, and Coromandel.

Danforth Anchor: The Danforth anchor, also known as a fluke anchor, is designed to hold in soft and sandy seabeds. This anchor has two long and pointed flukes that dig into the seabed to provide a secure hold. The Danforth anchor is lightweight, which makes it easy to handle and stow.
Where to use: Danforth anchors are ideal for boating in the Marlborough Sounds and Golden Bay.

Claw Anchor: Claw anchors are similar to plow anchors but have a different shape. They have a claw-like design with two sharp points that dig into the seabed. Claw anchors are excellent for holding in rocky and coral seabeds. The Bruce and Delta anchors are two popular claw anchors.
Where to use: Claw anchors are great for boating in the Bay of Islands, Whangaroa Harbour, and Hauraki Gulf.

Mushroom Anchor: The Mushroom anchor is designed for use in mud and silt seabeds. This anchor has a round, mushroom-like shape that allows it to bury itself in the seabed. Mushroom anchors are often used as permanent mooring anchors.
Where to use: Mushroom anchors are ideal for use in sheltered bays, rivers, and lakes.

Grapnel Anchor: Grapnel anchors are small and easy to handle. They are designed for use in rocky seabeds, where it can be challenging to get a good hold. Grapnel anchors have multiple hooks that can grab onto rocks and other debris on the seabed.
Where to use: Grapnel anchors are ideal for boating in the Wellington Harbour and the Marlborough Sounds.

For more tips on anchoring, check out this article on on how to anchor a boat and avoid common anchoring mistakes.

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