How to Make a Cheap, Inexpensive Anchor for a Kayak

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Kayaks lack anchor stowage space and, unless you want to get very wet, you must remain stable as you raise an anchor hooked into the bottom. Grappling-hook type anchors depend on the holding power of the hooks, rather than the weight of the anchor line. They're light, easy-to-store, provide a secure means of anchoring and you can assemble one from parts obtained at a big-box store.

Things You'll Need

  • Pipe, stainless steel or aluminum
  • Hacksaw
  • Permanent marker
  • Small towel
  • Bench vise
  • 6-inch hooks, with two anchor holes.
  • Drill press
  • Assorted drill press bits
  • 1/2-inch bit
  • Bolts and nuts to fit
  • 5/16-inch polypropylene line
  • Cut an 18-inch piece from length of 1-inch outside diameter aluminum or stainless steel pipe, using a hacksaw. This pipe forms the stock, or central core, of the anchor.

  • Draw a line around the pipe about 8 inches from the one end of the pipe -- now the bottom of the anchor -- using a permanent marker. This line ensures the anchor's hooks are mounted at the same height

  • Place a small towel in the jaws of a bench vise. The towel prevents scarring on the pipe. Clamp the pipe/anchor stock in the vise.

  • Place the back of one of the large, two-anchor-hole, 6-inch hooks against the pipe. Align one hook on the pipe so the top of the hook is even with the line you drew. Position the hook so its back extends along the pipe, toward the nearest end of the pipe.

  • Use your permanent marker to mark the location of the hook's holes onto the pipe. Loosen the vise, turn the pipe one-third turn and tighten the vise. Position the second hook in the same way as the first and mark the holes. Loosen the vise, turn the pipe one-third turn and repeat. Leave the pipe secured in the vise after you mark the last hole position.

  • Drill all marked holes through both sides of the pipe with a drill press and appropriately sized bit, rotating the pipe in the vise as necessary. After the last of these six holes is drilled, drill a 1/2-inch hole through both sides of the pipe, now the anchor stock, 1 inch from the end opposite the hooks.

  • Attach the hooks to the anchor stock, using appropriately sized bolts and nuts. Lace a 5/16-inch polypropylene rope, seven times as long as the deepest water in which you wish to anchor, through the hole at the top of the anchor stock. Secure the anchor to the anchor line with an eye splice, a bowline or an anchor knot.

Tips & Warnings

  • The part of the anchor stock below the hooks forms a tripping palm, that turns the anchor on its side and ensures the hooks get a grip on the riverbed.
  • You can hang the anchor, with the anchor line attached, over the edge of your kayak's cockpit.
  • Use care when using power tools, such as a drill press. Wear of gloves, safety glasses and safety shields.
  • Photo Credit Mike Powell/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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