Best Location to Install an Anchor on A Pontoon Boat

So, you’ve just bought an anchor for your pontoon boat and are unsure where to install it.

Using an anchor isn’t just as simple as throwing it overboard regardless of location.

This isn’t the movies where characters just carelessly hurl the anchor into the water and it magically holds the boat in place.

This is extremely bad practice and means you’re not anchoring nowhere near as effectively as you could be.

So instead you should have a plan in place, so you know exactly where you’re going to drop your anchor from.

There are a few strategic places where your anchor will work most effectively.

Whether or not you’re using a pontoon anchor winch or you’re dropping your anchor manually, the location you you’re installing your anchor may vary.

Despite this, there is one rule of thumb which applies to all situations and that is to anchor of the front of your boat.

Why is this, you may ask?

Doing so allows you to secure your anchor into the water bottom properly.

This is because if your boat is facing against the current or wind, your boat will slowly drift backwards. If your anchor has been lowered off the front of your boat, this will cause the anchor will dig into the sea bottom.

Best Location for a Pontoon Anchor

You’ll want to make sure you have the appropriate anchor style for your boat and the water bottom that you’ll be anchoring on. Different types of anchors will be more effective on different materials.

I’ve created a guide to help you figure out which type of anchor you need for your pontoon boat. You can find that guide by Clicking Here.

A quick summary on anchor types:

  • Box anchors work most effectively in muddy conditions.
  • Fluke anchors work most effectively in sandy or gravel conditions.
  • Grapnel anchors work best in rocky conditions.

You’ll also need to make sure you have enough anchor line to allow for a 5:1 scope. The scope being the distance from the boat to the bottom of the water.

For example: If the scope is 15 feet, you’ll need 75 feet of anchor line. (15 x 5 = 75)

Step by Step Anchoring Guide:

Travel into the wind/current just past where you want the boat to be placed. Ensure that the nose of your pontoon is facing into the wind or current.

Let the anchor off the front of your pontoon boat until you have the appropriate amount of anchor line out (5:1)

Do not throw your anchor! This is a rookie mistake. The term ‘throwing your anchor’ doesn’t literally mean hurling it as hard as you can overboard. Instead, you should gradually hand-over-hand let your anchor down. Throwing your anchor will lead to things getting tangled and the anchor not laying correctly.

Once the anchor has hit the water bottom, you should then set the anchor. Pull the anchor in the direction that your boat is laying. This means that as you give the anchor more scope, it will continue to catch on the bottom.

Continue by giving your anchor a firm tug to ensure that the boat is secure and that the anchor doesn’t drag.

Tie off your anchor to the cleat.

Now the wind or current will carry you backwards so you’ll end up exactly where you wanted to be.

Video Demonstration

What do you do if you’re still drifting?

So, despite anchoring properly you’re still drifting?

In extreme currents or winds, you may even be spinning on the spot.

In which case, you’ll need to take extra precautions to make sure your boat is secured into place.

Sometimes one anchor just isn’t enough. You may need to use a second anchor to lock down your boat.

The second anchor should be positioned at the back of your boat. But only do this once you’ve used your first anchor at the front of your pontoon.

This should be all you need; I’ve never been in a situation where more than 2 anchors were needed on a recreational pontoon boat. Though, if the direction of the wind is constantly changing, you may need to position your anchors in different locations.

Best Location to Install an Anchor Winch?

Best Location to Install an Anchor Winch

If you happen to have an electric anchor winch, then the best location may be a bit different.

You’ll want to position your anchor winch either at the front or the rear of your pontoon boat.

Some will say that you should always install your anchor winch at the rear of your boat so that its next to your battery. The closer the electric anchor winch is to your battery, the less work it will be to wire it up.

Personally, I don’t think it’s as big of a deal as some would say. I think positioning your anchor winch away from your battery is completely fine, but it will take some additional time to run wiring.

From my experience, I’ve noticed most pontoon owners position their anchor winches at the rear of their boat by the motor.

What If I Have an Under-Deck Anchor?

Well in that case, your anchor is already installed for you and you don’t really have a choice.

Though, if you’re boating in extreme current or winds then you may find that even with your anchor down that you’re still drifting or spinning on a spot.

If this occurs, then you’ll need to drop another anchor down. If your under-deck anchor is positioned at the rear of your boat, then you’ll want to drop your own anchor from the front of your pontoon and visa versa.


Where is the best location to install an anchor on a pontoon boat?

There’s no definitive answer to the question, it all really depends. Though, I believe that the anchor should always be positioned from the front of your pontoon boat, especially if you’re manually letting your anchor down. Though, if you have an electric anchor winch then I can understand why some would install it on the rear of their boat.

If you have any questions or concerns, then feel free to leave me a comment down below. I’m always happy to help, engaging with my readers is great.

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