It’s been a while since we have seen much innovation or thought go into new anchoring systems for small freshwater craft. We are talking primarily about jet boats under 20’, drift boats, rafts and catarafts. Well, now there is the Tornado Anchor and it’s a pretty interesting take on an anchor.
First off, this anchor is made of powder coated galvanized steel plates rather than lead so no loss of lead into the river environment. Your Tornado Anchor always stays the same shape and weight unlike lead anchors which will deform and lose material over time. And it’s the “losing material” part that is an issue environmentally for lead anchors.
The Tornado Anchor’s most unique feature is the stacked metal plate system. All the plates spin independently so as it hits bottom it naturally tweaks itself to fit whatever type of river bottom it contacts. Also, we found it quite nice to not have to deal with a big mess of chain or some other sort of unwieldy anchor, and for storage within the boat it is very tidy. You could easily have a small storage box for it and you would hardly notice it was in the boat while not in use. These anchors are offered in three sizes; 25lb, 34lb and 45lb. We used the 45lb anchor on an 18’ jet boat with a 90hp outboard.
To be honest we only received our Tornado Anchors in early September so we were not able to throw them around as much as we would like. However, in the week or so of use we tried to use and abuse it as much as possible. The river we were on was large with above average flows, bottom structure was a mix, but primarily large round algae covered boulders. It’s a tough river to anchor in, with most people using very large chain anchor systems. While trying to anchor in big water It did have some issues with the initial bite, but if you had the scope correct on the rope then it stuck fine. Anchoring along the edge of a river in mud or fine sand this thing stuck solid every time. The only thing I would make sure to do with this anchor is clean it before traveling to new waterways. Due to invasive species trying to hitch a ride between the plates of the anchor it is probably a great idea to hose it down after use. The Tornado Anchor website does talk about the issue of invasive species being transported within the anchor plates and recommends, at minimum, that you hose it off after use. Also, before long term storage, hosing it down would be a good idea as well.
A link to the Tornado Anchor website is listed below for anyone interested in checking them out- tornado anchor website.
Overall the anchor performed really well, and as advertised, now we just need an extended fall in Alaska so we can get out and test the 34lb’er. If we are lucky enough to have a reprieve from winter we will do a write up on the smaller version for drift boats and smaller watercraft. Tightlines until then!