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Choosing the Right Anchor for Your Jet Ski

Anchoring a personal watercraft (PWC) might seem like a straightforward task, but its significance cannot be overstated. Whether you’re docking for a leisurely day on the water or securing your PWC during turbulent conditions, proper anchoring is essential for safety, convenience, and preserving the integrity of your craft. In this post, we’ll delve into the importance of anchoring correctly and explore the techniques and considerations necessary to ensure your PWC stays secure in any situation.

The Types

Every kind of anchor has its purpose, and ones made for jet-skis can hold their weight. Here is each type and how they work: 

Sandbag 

Sandbag Anchor

Sandbag anchors are the most popular and an option, but they do have their limitations. The reason why the bag style works well is that it doesn’t take up much space and won’t bounce around and damage things. You fill it up with sand, or if you have rocks near you then put those in the bag, you’re going for as much weight as possible. When done, all you do is dump the contents of the bag and throw the bag back in the front storage. The downside is that it doesn’t work well in rough areas. If you pull in a cove, and it’s calm with no crashing waves, then the sandbag anchor will work well. If you do have crashing waves or just a busy area, then the sandbag won’t work well at all. 

I’m a fan of the Sea-Doo New OEM Sand Bag Anchor here.

Fluke

A fluke anchor might be the one you think of in general. A fluke can come in many styles, with each having its own purpose. Use a Fluke-style when you want to hang out in the middle of the water. A mushroom anchor will work well with the design we talk about below, but a fluke will work better for staying in the middle. 

The Fluke works good in Sand and Muddy areas, with sand being the ideal place to use it. If you don’t plan to stay in the middle of the water, then this one might be overkill for you. The people who anchor in the middle are divers or fisherman. Some fancy preparation will be needed if you want to anchor in the middle of the water, here is a great video covering it here:

If you do go with the Fluke style, you’ll need some chain with shackles like this here (Amazon Link Ad) and, of course, the line.

Mushroom

Mushroom style

The mushroom anchor is one of my favorites, as it’s like the sandbag one in that it uses mostly weight to hold you. The heavier the weight, the more it will stay, but the more you have to carry. You also have to worry about it bouncing around, so make sure to secure it down. I even go as far as wrapping mine in a towel to keep it from scraping anything in the storage. 

When looking for any anchor, try to get the ones with a plastic or vinyl coating, as that will help to cut down the scratching of your hull when you pull it out of the water. The vinyl coating also helps to keep corrosion away, too. You can get away with an 8-pound weight, but I like to use a 10-pound mushroom anchor like this one (Amazon Link Ad)for my Sea-Doo. If you want to stay in the river or places with rocks, brush, or even mud, then get something like the MarineNow Black PVC Vinyl Coated River Anchor (Amazon Link Ad).

Screw

Jet Ski Screw Anchor

The screw anchor works well if you need to have the ski not go anywhere. You screw it in, and a clip or hook allows you to tie the line to your ski. I would use the screw style when I’m going to eat or spend a good amount of time away from my Sea-Doo. I like how you have to physically screw it into the sand for it to work, and this helps me know it’s not going anywhere quickly. Click here to learn about Kwik Tek A-3 Screw Anchor System. (Amazon Link Ad)

The Winner!

The best jet ski anchors will be getting the 3 types. Purchase the screw, mushroom, and sandbag anchor. I know it sounds a bit overkill, but every situation can be a different location with different needs. Sometimes the water is super calm, and you just need to run to the restroom that is right off the shore, so you’ll throw the mushroom anchor out. 

Or if you intend to stay out a while, then use the screw anchor. Or if you ride in a group and someone needs to borrow an anchor for their PWC, you’ll have spares. The best part is that the sandbag anchor can be used as the bag to hold the other two and can be the spare one if something happens to the others or if someone needs to borrow one for their jet ski. 

If you can have only one anchor, then getting a screw anchor is the best option, as you can often find soft ground to put it in and hold your jet ski.

How To Anchor Your Jet Ski

Here is an excellent video showing you how to use an anchor. 

How Much Rope Do You Need?

If you’re just hanging around in a calm cove, then you can follow the 5:1 ratio. With 5:1 this means that if you’re in 5 feet of water, then use 25 feet of rope. Make sure to tie to the front hook, also known as the bow hook when anchoring. 

Tip: Use 3/8’’ anchoring rope. I know this may sound thick to some, but this rope can also be used as a tow-rope if you or someone breaks down. 

Things To Avoid When Anchoring

To put it simply, an anchor is often just dead weight. I know some people that will use old kettlebells or old weights to keep their craft in place. While these dead weights will work, they won’t last long. Kettlebells and workout weights will rust when exposed to that much water and quickly break apart. Plus, workout weights are usually oddly shaped and don’t fit well in PWCs. So don’t use them. The best anchor are not weights but an actual purpose-made one.

Maintenance

To prolong the life of an anchor, it’s crucial to perform regular maintenance. This includes rinsing the anchor with fresh water after each use to remove salt, sand, and other debris, which can corrode metal parts over time. Regularly inspect the anchor for signs of wear and tear, such as rust or damage, and repair or replace parts as necessary. Applying a protective coating to the metal anchor can also help prevent rust and corrosion. Additionally, ensure proper storage to avoid unnecessary stress or damage when not in use.

Storage and Protection

You can’t simply put the anchor in the front storage and expect things to be fine. Rough water can have it bouncing around and doing damage to sensitive parts of the engine. You need to secure the anchor, try putting it in a bag with towels to deaden the weight if it does bounce around. Use straps or wedge it in a place in the watercraft. Put other objects over it, like fenders, which keep it from knocking things loose. Make sure to keep brittle items like a phone out of the storage where you keep the anchor.

Beaching The Watercraft

If an anchor is not ideal, you can beach the watercraft. Beaching is not always suggested because it can scratch and damage the hull, especially in rocky beaches. Though, beaching doesn’t require you to carry anything extra, which can be hard for Spark and EX models with limited space. If you go this route, I suggest looking into keel protectors. They do rob you of some top-end power, but worth it if you’re always beaching the craft. Most watercraft are 11 to 13 feet long, so a 3 to 4 foot keel protector will be ideal.

Author

Steven

I started working at a power sports dealership in 2007, I worked in parts, service counter, and as a technician before moving to sales in 2013. I created StevenInSales.com in 2014 to answer common watercraft questions I would get from people. Now managing the site full-time, I continue to provide advice and web tools for my readers about watercraft. I've owned several watercraft, with a Sea-Doo Spark as my current main PWC.

Comments

  1. Cooper anchor is light weight and works great. A vinyl coated grapnel anchor is space efficient and perfect for anchoring in 3-6 feet of water.

    Reply

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