At A Glance: Grapnels like Mighty Mite (mightymiteanchors.com) or MarPro (pbsboatstore.com) rely on grabbing action — rather than bottom penetration or sheer weight — to develop holding power. Easy-to-stow folding models are available, but you can also buy or make grapnels with bendable prongs fashioned from rebar, aluminum or stainless rod.
Weight and Cost
20-Foot Boat: Grapnels generally weigh 9 to 13 pounds and are priced from $28 to $80. Models with bendable prongs can be nearly any size.
35-Foot Boat: Though grapnels are not always the best choice here, a 33-pound anchor costs about $92.
Best For: Coral, rock or timber-infested bottoms are where bendable grapnels work best — the prongs will straighten as you retrieve a fouled anchor. Simply bend them back into shape and you’re good to go.
Watch Out: If there’s no structure for the grapnel to catch, you’re better off deploying a more traditional hook, such as a fluke or claw-style.
Bottom Line: Always use chain with grapnels — not only for chafe protection but also because the longer and heavier the chain, the less scope you’ll have to pay out.