This week’s question comes from a Bob in Louisiana who owns 22-foot pontoon boat and wants to know what a good anchor is to use on a sandy beach.
For a true anchor situation, and from my own experience, it really does all depends on the bottom of the water you are anchoring in. There are some great pontoon boat anchors for sand beaches and gravel, ones that work better for larger rocks, ones that are best suited to seaweed, grass, and milfoil. Then you have some that are just weights essentially.
It also depends on wind and current conditions and also how long you expect to anchor for.
But no matter what the bottom or situation is, I prefer to anchor the front and rear to give me just that little bit more stability. The beaches that I anchor up to tend to have lots of other boats by them, plus the waves do get a little choppy – I want to be a static as I possibly can be.
For smaller boats like pontoons, the best way I have found to anchor at a beach is to use a bungee dock line (you need a long one, see on Amazon) with a box anchor attached (or sand screw / sand spike) and throw that out towards the shoreline.
The best large box anchors are available on Amazon. I use this one, which has served me well for over 2 years now.
I can either use the sand screw to screw into the sand or tether the anchor somewhere on the beach. You can see how this bungee dock line and anchor combination works in this video below.
I love bungee dock lines, as they absorb the shock and keep your boat locked in even on sandy bottoms or to the actual beach.
I don’t stop there though.
I also drop a simple (but large) box anchor off the back. This helps to keep the pontoon boat in place and means it won’t move around too much, barring any strong winds and currents.
I have tried using just a single anchor, but in the wind and current is a true art form. You have to know the “sway” of where the current and wind will take you. You also need to be careful where you drop anchor so that you don’t cross the lines with another boat.
One thing I don’t tend to do is beach my pontoon boat. Personally, I do not beach as I don’t want to scuff my toons. I typically anchor and swim to the beach. I cringe when I hear about new pontoon owners running theirs onto the shoreline onto the hidden rocks, so I don’t chance it and use this beach anchoring method every time.
After a few weeks, I followed up with Bob in Louisiana to see how this beach anchoring solution worked for his pontoon boat. This is what he had to say:
“Before your advice I had tried every anchor, every combination but today for the first time I felt comfortable leaving my 22-foot pontoon to walk up to the beach. I used the bungee dock line and large box anchor and our boat didn’t move an inch. Thank you!”
Another great thing about box anchors is that all you do is get the rope past vertical and pull. It releases every time and away you go again.
If you want more anchoring advice, then click here for additional recommendations. I have also put together a guide on how you can beach your pontoon boat with zero problems. Go read that for advice on how to make the best approach so you don’t damage your boat or prop.