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Anchoring Your Jet Ski

Spending as much time on the water as possible is the goal of nearly every Jet Ski owner but eventually, even the most passionate enthusiasts have to stop. The problem is there’s a big difference between where you want to stop and where you have to stop. And the reality is where you have to stop isn’t always equipped with convenient docks or launch ramps. In some cases, you may want to stop and hang out for a while at a scenic beach or have lunch on a riverbank.

PWC-Jet-Ski-Sand-Bar-AnchorThe solution of course is an anchor but due to the size of Jet Skis and their storage compartments, anything with real holding power has to be left behind. If only anchoring were as easy as tossing out a weight and your Jet Ski would stay put. To anchor effectively, you need to use the right tools the right way to ensure your Jet Ski won’t float away.

Anchoring a Jet Ski is a challenge since bottom conditions vary so widely. While a Danforth-style anchor, also known as a fluke, is ideal for biting into a mud or sand bottom, a Danforth-style anchor won’t grip in rocky conditions. If you own a lightweight Jet Ski and you’re out in flat conditions, a mushroom-style anchor will suffice. But if conditions turn windy or rough, a mushroom anchor is easily dragged across the bottom. So before you hit the water, consider the riding environment, where you plan to explore and bottom conditions when choosing the anchor to bring.

While the choices in anchors for mainstream boats seem to be endless, Jet Ski anchors come in only a few varieties. As long as you’re riding above mud or sand, fluke anchors aren’t your only option. Another effective anchor in these conditions is a Grapnel-style anchor. But unlike most flukes, Grapnel-style anchors bite well in mud, sand and gravel or rock. Have you ever been out on the water and realized you left your anchor back at the dock? This is why it’s always good to have a Plan B. Another Jet Ski friendly anchor option is anchor “bags.” These are simply bags with drawstrings or screw-in posts that you fill with sand or rocks from the surrounding riding environment and then drive in the ground for a secure anchoring point. Jet Ski anchor bags are small and most come with a padded storage bag to protect your PWC’s storage compartment.

When it comes to anchoring your Jet Ski, having enough weight or getting enough “bite” on the bottom is essential and so is the anchor’s length of rope (the anchor’s “rode”) secured to your PWC. If you anchor your Jet Ski directly above your anchor on a taut line, even in the most serene conditions, your anchor is certain to fail. Your best bet is to secure your anchor and then play out the correct length of anchor rode. You should plan to have a five-to-one ratio between the depth of the water and the amount of anchor rode you play out. So if you’re anchoring in four feet of water, you’ll need twenty feet of “rode” for the best results.

That said, no matter what anchor you choose and how carefully you employ the five-to-one ratio, you’ll still want to keep an eye on your Jet Ski. Anchors are big enough and Jet Skis don’t weigh enough to trust for very long. But the good news is, Jet Skiers would rather be out riding out on the water anyway.