Most small watercraft need anchors just like bigger boats, but many down-sized anchors struggle to hold these vessels in place, even breaking apart. If you ride a personal watercraft (PWC), like a Jet Ski, stowing a metal or aluminum anchor in the craft’s onboard storage containers can wreak havoc, sometimes almost punching through in rough conditions. That’s no good aboard an inflatable, either. Australian-based Cooper Anchors has designed a world-first lightweight, plastic anchor with a weighted tip, straight streamline shank and small blade that work harmoniously to drive deep into the sea bed and hold your craft in place. What’s more, it’s flexible, tough, won’t scratch or puncture your PWC or inflatable and weighs less than 1kg.

The nylon-made Plastic Cooper Anchor is easily transported and stored on just about every watercraft. Its makers say it outperforms other small steel and aluminum anchors currently available. It also has a design function that lets it release easily if caught on a reef, protecting the marine environment from damage.

The inventors say the holding power of any anchor is directly related to how deeply it sets and holds the seabed. That’s why they’ve designed their plastic anchor to burrow deeply and quickly. And the small area between the shank and the tip allow Cooper anchors to change direction with less effort, especially during anchor retrieval.

A specially-designed small blade on the shank of the anchor removes any chance of it rolling on to its back and sliding aimlessly along the sea floor. This new balance point causes the anchor to roll onto its tip and set immediately. The small blade also increases holding power and stabilizes the angle of attack as the anchor buries because the small blade and the main blade are at the same angle and support each other.

Less damage to the environment

When fishing over reefs, the shackle attaching the anchor to the chain can be moved to an additional hole in the base of the shank, and a cable tie inserted through the top hole and chain to hold the anchor at the correct angle. If the anchor does become stuck, the cable tie breaks and the anchor releases backwards without damaging the reef.

Designed and manufactured by father and sons team, Larry, Jon and Grant Cooper, the anchor has been field tested for more than 12 months and has appeared on Australia’s New Inventors TV show.

Larry Cooper says that although PWCs may seem small, they still weigh between 300-500kg, so they need a properly functioning anchor to keep them in place. He says most one-piece anchors use either a long curved shank or a roll bar to assist in rolling the anchor off its back, which only adds more weight and resistance to an anchor’s movement. The Plastic Cooper Anchor overcomes rolling with the addition of a small blade at the bottom of the anchor that removes the possibility of it staying on its back by creating a new balance point. It is also said to increase the anchor’s holding power by more than 15 percent.

The Plastic Cooper Anchor sells online for AUD34.95 (US$32 approx) and is suitable for most watercraft up to 3.5m (12ft).

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