Make Your Own Kayak Anchor

OK, I searched the archives but still need some help.

Looking for instructions to make a cheap, light weight, AND relaively small kayak anchor suitable to hold a boat in 3’ of water, sandy bottom, and about 15 mph wind.

I know there are inventive people out there that have the perfect plan, please share.

Try a Cajun Anchor…
It’s simply a scrap piece of 1/2" or 3/4" PVC pipe anywhere from 5’ to 10’ long. (mine is 10’) Glue a ‘T’ connection on the top and tie a loop through it. Stick the pipe in the bottom and tie off to it. You can angle it a little for some extra holding power. Another bonus = you’ll never need more than 10’ of line for it. By dragging it behind you for a few minutes as you depart you’ll wash most of the mud off of it. I let the mud on the inside harden and it eventually becomes almost permenant and acts as a plug. You can sharpen one end if you want to. I never found it necessary.

The real deal is found here:

Dad uses PVC on his 24’ bay boat in similar conditions. If it will hold his boat in a 10-15 mph wind then it should hold a kayak in a hurricane.

If your kayak is set up to store a paddle or either side then you’ll have a ready-made place to put your “Cajun Anchor”.

basketball net
take a basketball net and close one end with rope. Throw some rocks in it and then close the top end with the rope you connect it to your boat with.

If it’s not too heavy
try taking a soup can, or similar tube, and run a couple of metal rods through the sides, close to the bottom, so they make a sort of cross. Now comes the heavy part. Put a small piece of light chain , about 5 inches, into the can so that a couple of links extend over the top of the can and melt a small amount of lead into the bottom of the can. When it hardens cut the can off the lead and cut the chain to the length you need it for a rope. The metal rods don’t have to stick out very far, just enough to dig in as the contraption is dragged on the bottom. Maybe bend them toward the top so they dig in better and don’t pull out. (Smooth off the ends so they don’t stick through someones boat if you don’t like it and throw it into the middle of the river…)

Like I said, it may be heavy but maybe an idea for variations of materials.

good luck


Homemade anchor
I got a scrap piece of brass bar approx. 2" dia. X 3" long drilled and taped four holes near one end to insert 4 stainless steel bolts 90 deg. apart . Bolts stick out approx. 2" to catch bottom. Drilled hole thru opposite end to tie rope thru. I have about 20 ft. of 1/8 nylon line. Anchor weighs a little over 3 lbs and holds my kayak in place with no problem. Since it’s brass and stainless no rust. Works great.

buy a anchor
Found a folding design for only $15 . even coffee has 1 at that price!

Window Weights
Remember those old window weights that were tied off in the inside of the molding? I have a ton of them and when I’m paddling the better half around for fishing I tie one of those off on a line. Works great! If there are the two of us I bring two. Most hazardous part is watching the hook on the fishin’ line go whizzing past my ear!


Anchors away
The simplest I know of is to take a small plastic bottle with a handle, like a half-gallon milk jug and tie a rope to the handle. When you get to your destination fill the bottle with water and toss it in. It’s light until you’re ready to use it, it’s cheap, and it works. You do have to ‘FILL’ the jug with water as too much air left inside will have it bobbing on the surface.

Thanks for some great ideas!

grip vs weight
The problem with anchors is how they hold.

If by weight, you need enough weight to prevent drag wehn the wind and current is moving your boat. The more wind or current, the heavier an anchor you need.

The idea of a milk bottle filled with water doesn’t work. Water inside equals water outside so the entire bottle once submerged is equal to the weight of the empty bottle on your sink which is about a couple ounces. Fill a coke bottle with sand and you get a better anchor. But a 1# weight in a calm lake is ok, that same boat in a river that is running 3 knots is useless and you need a heavire, in pounds, weightt o drag.

The formula is simple, the application is not.

How much water does your boat displace added to the current you have to fight added to the wind you have to fight.

Inflatables have almost no displacement but a LOT of wind resistance. SOTs tend to be the opposite.

So if you have a decent kayak that weighs 50# and it’s loaded with another 50# of gear (fishing, camping, safety, lunch, etc) plus 170# of paddler plus clothes, you need something that will prevent almost 300# from moving and that means heavy. Big luxery liners or battle ships can afford an anchor that holds by weight alone. Smaller boats cannot.

So smaller boats use something that grabs and that grabbing will allow a lighter anchor.

Problen is that different bottoms require differnt anchors.

A simple grapnel anchor like the traditional fisherman’s stock or a ‘ninja’ grapple works well on rocks and coral but is useless in mud and muck.

A pluw works in sand and mud but not in rocks.

If the bottom is rocky, then a very light $19 ninja grapple you buy at the martial arts store works well. It folds and weighs nothing and grabs rocks to hold you well.

But if the bottom is much or sand, the grappel simple puls through and away you go. For that you need something with a broad blade that digs in like a plow.

Fortunatly, kayaks are so light that a canvas bag filled with rocks that weighs 10-20# will hold a kayak against almost anything save a strong current or waves.

Otherwise the boating stores sell a 15# folding anchor that has paddle blades that work well in almost any bottom for a light kayak or canoe.

And if you buy it at a boating store, it costs $10 less than the same thing at a kayak store.