1. Homepage
  2. »
  3. Blog
  4. »
  5. Product Guide
  6. »
  7. Fishing
  8. »
  9. What Is A Grapnel? Everything You Need To Know

What Is A Grapnel? Everything You Need To Know

What Is A Grapnel? Everything You Need To Know

A grapnel is a kind of tool used by smaller vessels as an anchor with light weight features. It is constructed with a number of “tines” or “flukes” usually made with four or six, but traditional versions often have 2 or 3 hooks. These flukes are mounted in a shank that serves as the foundation of the anchor. Although it is light weight, it is still effective in small boats usually for fishing and diving. The term “grapnel” can be traced from its French counterpart which is “grapin” that is why it has a different name which is the “grappling hook” or “grappling anchor”.

Advantages Of A Grapnel

There are many advantages of a grapnel anchor depending on how it is being used. One of its best features is it allows it to grip easily without throwing it on a specific area or location. Because of its flukes it can easily be hooked in rocks or reefs. Therefore, allowing your vessel to go anywhere without having difficulty anchoring. Speaking of the weight of the anchor, it is light in feature that you can simply throw it in the water. And for that small weight it gives you the advantage of storing it without taking much space. Grapnel anchor is definitely perfect for small boats and great to use in rocks and reefs.


Despite the advantages of the grapnel anchor, it also has many disadvantages. The size and weight of the grapnel anchor makes it difficult for bigger vessels for anchoring. It is only effective for smaller size boats due to its durability and strength. Furthermore, it is also hard to remove when it is attached to rocks or reefs, especially when the water current is quite strong. This signifies the need to work well on finding the right spot to unhook the anchor by aligning your boat straight from where the grapnel is hooked. Another disadvantage is it cannot be firmly used in muddy locations and not also great in sand. Also means that using this kind of anchor can only be temporary.

What are the other types of Grapnel Anchor?

Some modern versions of this anchor have the type of features where the flukes can be folded. This means that when retrieving it back from being hooked down in certain areas, it can easily be retrieved because the flukes itself folded. Resulting in the grapnel losing its grip from a certain object. Moreover, this gives the idea of convenient use of anchoring. Since it is very easy for the grapnel to use due its advantage that it does not require precision when using and can simply be retrieved.

What are the other uses of the Grapnel Anchor?

Many divers are using the grapnel hook as part of their diving tools especially in deeper diving locations. The rope attached to it is used as a guide for better diving. To which by hooking it into some solid structures or objects underwater allowing the divers to swim and dive easily with the rope. Some fishermen are using the grapnel anchor as a hook to move their boat. I personally did this when I was living on a beautiful island and it’s really effective. Other versions of the grapnel anchor have pointy flukes or hooks to sink in the sand making anchoring a lot more effective. Additionally, the modern versions can be used as a slug in a specific gun, made for this tool used as a hook together with a rope.

What Are The Other Alternatives Of The Grapnel Hook?

There many types of anchors you can use as an alternative tool aside from grapnel. If you have bigger boats or vessels, you definitely need the type of anchors that can hold firmly even on mud or sand with a strong grip. However, these are the types of anchors that you can also use with higher effectivity and durability for smaller boats.

  • Herreshoff anchor
  • Northill anchor
  • Delta anchor
  • Danforth anchor
  • Bruce or claw anchor
  • Scoop type anchors


Using the grapnel hook is both has advantages and disadvantages and it only depends on the locations and purpose. But if you are only using small boats for fishing or diving, these are definitely a good use for you since it is lightweight and easy to store giving you the convenient advantage. You can also try the modern version of the grapnel tool if you want more advantage.


Related articles