How to Anchor a Pontoon Boat

by Will Charpentier
Anchoring a pontoon boat requires a good anchor and a bit of skill.

Anchoring a pontoon boat requires a good anchor and a bit of skill.

A pontoon boat doesn't present some of the challenges that large-displacement area hulls do when anchoring because of their minimal contact with the water. This means greater maneuverability during the anchoring process and less susceptibility to the effects of currents while anchoring. This small hull planing area also means that, while winds may affect your pontoon boat somewhat, your boat is less likely to be pulled free from its anchorage.

Pull your pontoon boat up to the position where you wish to anchor. Approach this point at slow speed, moving into the current or wind, whichever is stronger, so that you can maintain optimum control.

Go to the bow of the pontoon boat and lower the anchor until it touches bottom. Continue to pay out anchor line until you have released a length of anchor line equal in length to 5 to 7 times the depth of water at your position. Tie the anchor off to a deck cleat or bitts, never to the handrail.

Allow your pontoon boat to slip backward in the flow of the water until it stops. Move your engine to reverse and pull on the anchor to ensure that it has hooked, or set, into the bottom.


  • Avoid the temptation to anchor from the rear of your pontoon boat. If the front of the pontoon is shaped differently than the rear, the back of your boat may be pulled under in rough waters.


  • BoatUS: "Anchoring"; Don Casey

About the Author

Will Charpentier is a writer who specializes in boating and maritime subjects. A retired ship captain, Charpentier holds a doctorate in applied ocean science and engineering. He is also a certified marine technician and the author of a popular text on writing local history.

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