Gear Review: Anchor Buddy
Most frequent lake-goers either own a boat or know someone that has a boat, which reminds me of a saying, “The only thing better than owning a boat is having a friend who owns a boat”. And, if you're like me, you cherish the ability to boat to a secluded beach and hang out for the day or camp overnight. When I first got my boat, I was a bit unprepared for beaching my boat and just ran it up on the beach. I only did that one time as a few waves started to wreak havoc on the hull. Lesson learned! When I got home I did some online research to find ways to tie a boat off shore to prevent hull damage. What I found were a lot of complicated mooring line configurations that did a great job of securing the boat off the beach but made it impossible to get in and out of the boat without swimming.
After several hours of Internet research I stumbled across a product call the Anchor Buddy (http://www.tuggyproducts.com/anchorbuddy.html) which is basically a heavy duty nylon mooring line with a giant bungee cord in the middle. This allows you to drop anchor offshore giving you the ability to pull the boat in and out. I watched the video on the company’s website and read a couple of reviews and, since it was only $30, decided to give it a shot.
How it Works
The Anchor Buddy website shows several different types of setups for using the Anchor Buddy system but I have found that just replacing your anchor line with the Anchor Buddy works great. In most cases I simply anchor the stern and tie the shore line to the bow. If you are tying up in wind or overnight I recommend tying the anchor to the bow and the shore line to the stern (I have discovered the bow out configuration takes incoming waves a lot better and prevents the anchor from shifting).
When you find your perfect beach, drop off a passenger with your shore line connected to the boat. Have them push the boat back out to open water. How far out you go depends upon the depth but I wouldn’t go more than 20-30 feet. Drop anchor and have the person on shore pull the boat back in to unload you and the rest of the gear. Then simply let the shore line out far enough so the boat won’t run aground.
Anytime you need something from the boat simply pull the boat in with the shore line and when you are done all you have to do is let go of the line.
Honestly, this is a great product that I have used a lot over the past three years and you can tell because the hull of my boat looks like new. I am using this product with an 18-foot Sea Ray open bow boat and can say this system works very well for my needs. I cannot say if this system will work for bigger boats but for $30, it's worth a try.
You can purchase an Anchor Buddy at your local boat shop/marina or online at from Amazon.com, if you can’t find one locally.