What is the best anchor to use in Lake Havasu? Which anchors work best in Lake Havasu, given the sometimes sandy and sometimes rocky bottom? Which anchors hold best for Lake Havasu water and weather conditions that can be pretty intense? Anchors that are standard and popular elsewhere don’t always work for Lake Havasu boaters. Here, we go through your options so you can make an informed choice when buying the best anchor for Lake Havasu.
Anchors have come a long way from the days when a rope tied to a rock (or a coffee can filled with concrete) was the anchor of choice. Today’s options are evolutions of genius that can keep your boat from drifting and dragging in strong currents or Lake Havasu’s famously strong winds. Consider three concepts when choosing an anchor for Lake Havasu:
- Weight and size. Back in the days when you just threw something heavy overboard, weight was the biggest factor in choosing an anchor. The mass of the object was what kept your vessel more or less in place. Weight today isn’t important, as new designs rely on engineering not heft to secure your boat. Size, however, does matter. You want to buy and anchor that is rated for the length and weight of your boat.
- Scope. Scope measures the amount of rope you must let out for the anchor to bite and hold in the bottom. If you crop an anchor straight down, the line that attaches to it is close to perpendicular between your anchor and your boat. Traditional anchor designs suggest putting out a scope of seven to ten times the depth of the water where you are anchoring. If you are in ten feet of water, put out at least seventy feet of rope. The closer your rope is to parallel to the lake bottom, the better the anchor will hold.
- Design. A heavy rock can’t dig into the bottom of the lake. All its holding ability comes from its weight. Modern anchors use blades called flukes or blades to dig into the sand. The effectiveness of the anchor very much depends on its design.
The two most popular Lake Havasu anchor choices are that classic Danforth and the new box anchor—invented here on Lake Havasu.
- Danforth Anchor: This classic is used around the world on all sorts of bottoms. It is light weight and gets its holding power from the ability of its two flukes to really dig into the bottom. The flukes are hinged, so when you drop it in the drink and reverse power, the hinges open and the anchor is set. When you are ready to go, maneuver over the top of the anchor and pull straight up. The flukes release their grip and you are off. You will need a scope of between seven and ten to one, which does limit the places you can safely anchor.
- Box Anchor: This light weight square metal frame has teeth all around. When you drop it in, it rolls over and the teeth immediately grip the bottom. This anchor was designed by a Lake Havasu boater who lost a boat in a wind storm when its anchor lost hold and dragged. He knew there had to be a better way. The benefit of the box anchor is that it doesn’t need much scope—two to one is just fine. That means your boat swings in a might tighter circle, allowing you to safely anchor in small coves. And it really holds in a wind storm. Like the Danforth, when you are ready to go, motor right to the top of it and pull up. It releases with ease. One other benefit: It folds flat for easy stowage.
Before leaving the subject of anchors, you’ve got one other option for securing your boat: The shore spike. You will find on Lake Havasu that you are pulling up to beaches as much, if not more, as you anchor in deep water. For these occasions, you need a shore spike that drives into the sand of the beach and keeps your boat from drifting off.
Lake Havasu has currents, sometimes very high winds, and some of the best anchorages are tight. With a mixture of sandy and rocky bottoms, Lake Havasu demands anchors that hold in a variety of conditions. The choices we present here are the tried and true ones, each the best anchor for Lake Havasu