The thrill of exploring new waters on a jet ski is unmatched, but every adventurous spirit faces the same quandary: how do you securely anchor your jet ski when you’ve found the perfect spot? With options ranging from screw, sandbag, to mushroom types, choosing the right anchor can be as crucial as selecting the jet ski itself.
From my own mishaps and successes in various anchoring scenarios, I’ve learned that the right anchor not only protects your jet ski from damage but also ensures peace of mind as you relax on the shore or dive into the water. Whether you’re dealing with rocky seabeds, sandy shores, or crowded docks, there’s an anchor designed to meet your needs.
Why is choosing the right anchor so critical, and which ones stand out as the best in their class? In this guide, we’ll dive into the essential features of screw, sandbag, and mushroom anchors, exploring how each one safeguards your watercraft against the elements and potential hazards. Let’s anchor down into the details below!
What Types Of Anchors For Watercraft Are There?
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 anchors are the most popular and the best 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 (Amazon Link Ad).
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.
A Fluke-style is what you’ll use 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 best in Sand and Muddy areas, with sand being the best place to use it.
If you don’t plan on staying 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 on that 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.
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 on them as that will help to cut down on scratching 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).
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)
What Is the Best Anchor?
If you are wondering what the best PWC anchor to buy, then do what I do; purchase the screw, mushroom, and sandbag anchors. 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 out.
Or if you intend to stay out a while, then use the screw.
Or if you ride in a group and someone needs to borrow one, 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.
How To Anchor Your PWC
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’’ rope for your anchoring. I know this may sound thick to some, but this rope can also be used as your tow rope if you or someone in your riding group breaks down.
What To Avoid When Anchor Your PWC
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 jet skis. So it’s best not to use them. The best jet ski anchor is not weights but an actual purpose-made one.