Boat Anchor Material Types


Boat anchors come in a variety of types, the most popular being mild steel, high-tensile steel, stainless steel, and aluminum.

Most of the traditional steel anchors we are accustomed to seeing are likely either mild or high tensile steel. Mild steel and high-tensile steel are nearly indistinguishable from one another appearance wise. However, high tensile steel is 2-3 times stronger than mild steel. This isn't to say that a high-tensile steel boat anchor has 2-3 times the holding power of its mild steel counterpart, but it will nonetheless be stronger.

Both mild steel and high-tensile steel anchors are not corrosion resistant, and therefore need to be galvanized to prevent rust and other corrosion. All steel anchors (except stainless) should be galvanized. Galvanization has a tendency to wear down over time, but an anchor (as well as nearly any other steel product) can be re-galvanized.

Galvanized Steel

galvanized anchor

Stainless Steel



  • Inexpensive

  • Strong

  • Corrosion resistant while galvanized


  • Galvanization can wear down over time

  • Not as attractive as stainless steel

  • Looks very attractive

  • Strong

  • Corrosion resistant


  • Very expensive

  • Scratches and other damage from use can affect appearance

  • Lightweight


  • More expensive than steel

  • Not as strong as steel

Stainless steel is identical to galvanized steel in terms of holding power but differs significantly in appearance. The shiny gloss is essentially the only difference between stainless steel and galvanized steel. Stainless steel is also very corrosion resistant and will resist most rusting over time. You will often see manufacturers describing stainless steel as either 316 Stainless or 304 Stainless. 316 is a different chemical composition than 304 and is more corrosion resistant. It also more expensive.

There are some anchors constructed from high strength aluminum, such as the Fortress. These anchors are extremely lightweight while still offering high holding power. These anchors rely on bottom penetration for most of the holding power, and therefore, if they are not set, they provide little to no holding power