How to Make a Drift Boat Anchor

Drift boat anchors (also known as riv­er anchors) are designed to keep your drift boat in place on a riv­er or lake. They are essen­tial for angling and oth­er activ­i­ties such as sight­see­ing. This arti­cle will dis­cuss the dif­fer­ent types of anchors and how to make one, so you can get the most out of your drift boat.

How to Make a Drift Boat Anchor

Start by gath­er­ing your mate­ri­als, which should include an anchor, a rope, and a cara­bin­er. Attach the cara­bin­er to the anchor using a shack­le. Tie the rope to the cara­bin­er. You can launch your drift boat and low­er the anchor into the water. To ensure a secure anchor, you can add addi­tion­al anchor weights to the rope. With the weights attached, the anchor will sink to the bot­tom and secure the drift boat.

  1. Safe­ty First: Before you start, ensure you have the nec­es­sary pro­tec­tive gear like gloves, a weld­ing hel­met, and fire-resis­tant cloth­ing.
  2. Pre­pare the Rod: The rod will serve as the main body of your anchor. You can use it as it is, or bend it slight­ly at the cen­ter for bet­ter grip on the riv­er bed.
  3. Attach the Rings: Weld one steel ring to each end of the rod. Ensure they are secure­ly attached.
  4. Attach the Chain: Loop one end of the chain through one of the rings on the rod and secure it with a tight knot or by weld­ing. Repeat the process on the oth­er end of the chain with the oth­er ring.
  5. Check Your Work: Make sure all welds are secure and that there are no sharp edges on the anchor that could dam­age your boat or the anchor line.
  6. Paint the Anchor: To increase the anchor’s dura­bil­i­ty and resist cor­ro­sion, you can paint it. Use a met­al-spe­cif­ic paint and allow it to dry ful­ly before using the anchor.

You can adjust the rope length to ensure a secure hold. If nec­es­sary, you can add addi­tion­al rope to increase the hold­ing pow­er. If you are using a larg­er boat, you may need to use mul­ti­ple anchors to ensure a secure hold. You may want to add floata­tion devices to the rope to pre­vent it from get­ting tan­gled in the boat’s pro­peller. Once you have adjust­ed the rope length and added any addi­tion­al anchors, your drift boat should be secure­ly anchored and ready to use.

How to Make a Drift Boat Anchor

Types of Drift Boat Anchors

There are many dif­fer­ent types of anchors avail­able for drift boats, and each one offers dif­fer­ent ben­e­fits. The most com­mon types are:

  • Mush­room Anchor: This type of anchor is shaped like an upside-down mush­room. It’s designed to cre­ate suc­tion with the seabed, mak­ing it effec­tive in soft, mud­dy, or sandy bot­toms. How­ev­er, it’s less effec­tive in rocky or heav­i­ly weed­ed areas.
  • Fluke Anchor (Dan­forth): The fluke anchor is light­weight and easy to store, mak­ing it pop­u­lar for small boats. Its design allows it to dig into sandy and mud­dy bot­toms effec­tive­ly.
  • Plow Anchor: This anchor is designed to plow into the seabed, mak­ing it effec­tive in a vari­ety of con­di­tions. It’s good for sandy, mud­dy, and rocky bot­toms.
  • Claw (Bruce) Anchor: The claw anchor is known for its abil­i­ty to set quick­ly in most seabeds and for its high resis­tance to chang­ing wind direc­tions or cur­rents.
  • Grap­nel Anchor: This type of anchor is light­weight and com­pact, mak­ing it pop­u­lar for small boats and inflat­a­bles. It’s designed to catch on rocks and oth­er under­wa­ter struc­tures.
  • Riv­er Anchor: These anchors are designed with three flukes to hold in rocky, uneven riv­er bot­toms. They’re often used for drift boat­ing and can han­dle strong cur­rents.
  • Navy Anchor: This tra­di­tion­al anchor type has flukes per­pen­dic­u­lar to the shank and works well in a vari­ety of seabeds.

Each type of anchor is designed to work best in dif­fer­ent con­di­tions and envi­ron­ments. For exam­ple, mush­room anchors work best in soft, mud­dy bot­toms, while Dan­forth anchors are best in sand and grav­el. It’s impor­tant to under­stand the dif­fer­ent types of anchors and choose the one that’s best suit­ed for your needs.

Materials Needed

Before you can make a drift boat anchor, you’ll need to gath­er the nec­es­sary mate­ri­als. The most impor­tant mate­ri­als you’ll need are:

  • Steel chain (about 15–20 feet long and about 1/2 inch in diam­e­ter)
  • Steel rod (about 2–3 feet long and 1 inch in diam­e­ter)
  • Weld­ing machine
  • Pro­tec­tive weld­ing gear
  • Two steel rings with a diam­e­ter large enough to fit the rod
  • Paint (option­al)

You’ll also need some tools, such as a drill and a weld­ing torch. It’s impor­tant to have the right tools for the job, so make sure you have every­thing you need before you begin.

Designing the Anchor

Designing the Anchor

This is the most impor­tant part of the process, as it will deter­mine how well the anchor per­forms. Start by sketch­ing out a basic design on a piece of paper. You can find many dif­fer­ent designs online, or you can cre­ate your own.

Setting the Dimensions

This is a cru­cial step, as it will deter­mine how well the anchor holds in dif­fer­ent con­di­tions. Start by mea­sur­ing the length and width of the anchor. Make sure the anchor is wide enough to pro­vide enough resis­tance when it’s in the water.

Cutting the Pieces

A met­al cut­ting saw or a band saw will work best. Make sure you mea­sure twice and cut once, as any mis­takes here can be dif­fi­cult to fix.

Welding the Pieces Together

This is a del­i­cate process and should be done with great care. Make sure all of the pieces are secure­ly weld­ed togeth­er and that there are no gaps or weak spots.

Finishing Touches

This includes paint­ing the anchor and adding a rope or chain for attach­ing it to the boat. Make sure the rope or chain is secure­ly attached, so it won’t come loose in the water.

How do drift anchors work

How do drift anchors work

Drift anchors are designed to slow down a boat or ves­sel while drift­ing. They work by being attached to the boat with a heavy line that is then con­nect­ed to the anchor. The anchor is then dropped in the water and the line is allowed to drift with the cur­rent. As the line drifts, the anchor catch­es on the sea floor, slow­ing the boat and allow­ing it to drift more slow­ly and safe­ly.

Drift boat anchor system

They typ­i­cal­ly con­sists of an anchor, anchor line, and a cleat. The anchor is typ­i­cal­ly a fold­ing or fluke type, which is attached to the anchor line. The anchor line is then tied to the cleat, which is usu­al­ly locat­ed at the stern of the drift boat. The anchor line is usu­al­ly long enough to reach the desired depth and can be adjust­ed to hold the drift boat in place.

Drift boat anchor pulley system

The best drift boat anchor pulley sys­tem is one that is easy to use, reli­able, and robust enough to with­stand the ele­ments. Look for a sys­tem with a rope that is long enough to reach the bot­tom of the riv­er, a pulley that is designed to work smooth­ly, and a lock­ing sys­tem that will keep the anchor in place. Make sure there are enough attach­ment points to secure the anchor secure­ly to the boat so it won’t drift away.

How do you tie a drift boat anchor knot

To tie an anchor knot, you first need to thread the rope through the anchor’s eyelet, then form a loop and pass it back over the eyelet. Create a sec­ond loop in the rope and pass it through the first loop. Pull the sec­ond loop tight and then thread the free end of the rope through the eyelet again. Take the free end and pass it through the sec­ond loop and pull it tight to secure the knot.

How many feet of anchor rope for drift boat

The amount of anchor rope you will need for a drift boat will depend on the size and weight of the boat, the size of the anchor, and the depth of the water. Gen­er­al­ly, you should have 25-30 feet of rope for every 10 feet of boat, plus an extra 10-20 feet for the anchor.


What materials can I use to make a drift boat anchor?

Com­mon mate­ri­als used to make a drift boat anchor include steel rods and chains due to their dura­bil­i­ty and weight. These mate­ri­als also resist cor­ro­sion, which is essen­tial in a marine envi­ron­ment. How­ev­er, the mate­ri­als you choose will depend on the type of anchor you want to make and the resources avail­able to you.

Can I make a drift boat anchor without welding?

Yes, you can cre­ate a sim­ple anchor with­out weld­ing. One option is to use a heavy, dense object like a rock or a brick, and attach it to a durable rope or chain. This won’t be as effec­tive as a pro­fes­sion­al­ly made anchor, and it’s not rec­om­mend­ed for rough waters or strong cur­rents, but it can work as a tem­po­rary solu­tion in calm waters.

How heavy should my homemade drift boat anchor be?

The weight of your anchor depends on the size of your boat and the con­di­tions in which you’ll be boat­ing. As a gen­er­al rule, you should have at least 1 pound of anchor weight for every foot of boat length.


Mak­ing a drift boat anchor is a reward­ing process that can help ensure the safe­ty of your boat and its pas­sen­gers. With the right mate­ri­als and tools, you can make a stur­dy anchor that will hold in even the tough­est con­di­tions.