How to Attach an Anchor to a Kayak

How to Attach an Anchor to a Kayak
When you want to stop your kayak in current, wind or any situation in which you don't want the boat to drift, a kayak anchor provides the solution. Just tossing the anchor into the water and tying its rope to your deck line puts you at risk of capsizing, because the anchor will pull the kayak's upstream edge into the water. In an emergency, having an anchor that can be released quickly can prevent a bad situation from getting worse. Attaching an anchor to your kayak's bow or stern and incorporating a quick release makes the anchor safer.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Nylon pad eye
  • Drill
  • 3/16-inch bit
  • 1/2-inch x 1/4 stainless screws
  • Marine silicone sealant
  • Clamcleat
  • Kayak anchor
  • Rope (floating)
Step 1
Decide where you want to mount the anchor to your kayak---at the front or back. Mounting it aft allows you to keep the nose of the kayak pointing downstream. Mounting it in the front allows you to see the anchor rope at all times and keeps the bow pointed upstream.
Step 2
Drill two holes matching the holes in a nylon pad eye into the bow or stern of the kayak. Use a 3/16-inch bit, so the hole is slightly smaller than the 1/4-inch screw you'll use to attach the pad eye to the kayak.
Step 3
Fill the holes with marine silicone sealant. Cover the bottom of the pad eye with sealant.
Step 4
Screw the nylon pad eye to the kayak. Make sure not to over-tighten the screws and crack the pad eye's base.
Step 5
Somewhere near the center of the kayak, drill two holes to match the holes in a clamcleat. Make sure the clamcleat is out of the way of your paddle stroke, or you might scuff your hand on the cleat while paddling.
Step 6
Tie your rope to the kayak anchor. Use a secure knot such as a figure-eight follow-through or a bowline.
Step 7
Run the rope through the pad eye back to the clamcleat. When you're on the water, adjust the depth of the anchor and jam the rope into the cleat.

Tips & Warnings

The rear deck provides a good place to mount your clamcleat. It keeps the clamcleat out of the way of paddle strokes, but makes it slightly harder to release or tension the rope.
Using rope on a kayak increases the risk of entanglement. Carry an accessible knife and practice cutting ropes before heading out onto the water.
Don't tie knots into the anchor rope. In an emergency, a knot-free rope slides through the pad eye and allows you to get away without having to worry about retrieving the anchor.
Never mount an anchor to the side of the kayak. It could cause the boat to flip in current.

Article Written By Bryan Hansel

Bryan Hansel is a freelance photographer and kayaking guide who began writing in 1993. His outdoors articles appear on various websites. Hansel holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and religion from the University of Iowa.

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