5 Best Anchor Bow Rollers for Boats

Posted by Author David Lee

Last Updated March 1, 2023
Anchor Bow Rollers for Boats
Anchor rollers are an important piece of equipment on a boat. They are used to ensure the anchor is secured, and they can help in many other ways as well! The bow roller provides unimpeded access to the anchor and allows for its seamless retrieval. And if you use a windlass, the bow rollers for boats would become its perfect partner.

TOP Anchor Bow Rollers Comparison Table

NameWarrantyMax. anchor weight Material
❑1. Bow Roller for Boats [Anchor Caddie]+45 lbs stainless steel
❑2. Stainless Steel Anchor Bow Roller [Lewmar]+35 lbs stainless steel
❑3. Stainless Steel, Heavy Duty Anchor Bow Roller (Fixed Marine Yacht Docking) [XinKunmarine]+45 lbs stainless steel
❑4. Anchor Roller [Norestar]+66 lbs stainless steel
❑5. Long Platform Anchor Roller [White Water]+45 lbs stainless steel

1. The Best Bow Roller for Boats [Anchor Caddie]

Bow Roller for Boats [Anchor Caddie] Picture
  • Made of stainless steel with bright finish.
  • Friction free surface.

2. The Best Stainless Steel Anchor Bow Roller [Lewmar]

Stainless Steel Anchor Bow Roller [Lewmar] Picture

3. The Best Stainless Steel, Heavy Duty Anchor Bow Roller (Fixed Marine Yacht Docking) [XinKunmarine]

Stainless Steel, Heavy Duty Anchor Bow Roller (Fixed Marine Yacht Docking) [XinKunmarine] Picture

4. The Best Anchor Roller [Norestar]

Anchor Roller [Norestar] Picture

5. The Best Long Platform Anchor Roller [White Water]

Long Platform Anchor Roller [White Water] Picture

What is an anchor bow roller?

An anchor bow roller is the construction to provide a rolling surface that makes it easier to move anchors without banging up your topsides. It secures an anchor chain at its spot along the vessel deck so as not to let go and fall overboard. It also allows you to stow your anchor conveniently after you weigh it.

How do bow rollers work?

A bow roller function allows you to keep your anchor permanently mounted on the front of your boat. It is mounted at the forward tip of the bow and provides space for lines so that you can stow your anchor conveniently after weighing it. It can be also used for storing the anchor but it also makes retrieving the anchor by hand much easier. 

How to use an anchor roller?

To use the anchor roller, you need to do the following:

  • Mount the bow roller at the forward tip of your boat. It should have a hole in it for attaching to an anchor rope or line.
  • Attach some type of line that will allow you to stow your anchor conveniently after weighing it.

Types of the bow rollers

There are some types of anchor bow rollers that you can buy in the market and they are usually different by material - metal or plastic.

Metal bow rollers are durable and will last for a long time, but they can be heavy to move around because metal is not as lightweight as plastics.

Plastic anchor bow rollers are lighter weight than metal ones - this may make them easier to stow on the boat's gunwale when you're motoring out of an anchorage in rough conditions. Plastic also has less drag against the water so your forward motion might be slightly faster with one of these types of anchors.

What is the best way to store anchor bow roller during off-seasons?

One of the best ways to store your anchor bow roller during off-seasons is to remove it from your boat and store it in a dry, protected area. If you live in an area where winters are harsh, you may want to consider storing it indoors to prevent any damage from the cold weather.

What size of anchor roller is best?

The size depends on the weight of the boat anchor: If you have a smaller anchor (under 20 pounds) then go with a 12-inch diameter bow roller and if you have a larger anchor (over 40 pounds), use a bow roller more than a 12-inch diameter.

How do I benefit from a bow roller?

  • It will roll your anchor around on the bow to prevent it from dragging against your boat's hull while in use. This can reduce wear and tear on both the anchor and your boat, making for a longer-lasting investment.

  • The roller also provides small protection from waves coming off of other boats so that you don't get wet or have any water leak into your cabin when motoring around in an anchorage.

  • It takes less time and effort to stow at night because there is no need to coil up the rope - instead, just pull back on the line until everything tucks away nicely out of sight behind the foredeck railings.

What are the drawbacks of an anchor roller?

  1. If it’s no anchor well on a boat, anchor rollers take up some space in the foredeck because there is no room for much storage on the main deck when using an anchor roller. 

  2. Custom models are expensive than a simple style bow roller.

Is bow roller worth it?

  • They are worth it if you don't want to have a wet foredeck, especially while motoring in an anchorage.

  • Anchor rollers make it easier and faster to release your anchor line at night because there is no need for coiling up the rope before stowing the bow roller. 

  • The best part about using a boat anchor bow roller is that they take up less space on deck than traditional anchors do so they allow more room for storage below decks. 

What is important when choosing an anchor roller for a boat?

There are many types of anchors out there that use an anchor bow roller but for those who do not know what they should be looking for here is some advice about how to go about choosing one that suits them best. 

  • The size of the anchor roller is the most important factor, and not just because it will store more rope.

  • You also want to make sure that you consider how big your boat foredeck is since bow rollers can take up a lot of space on deck if they are too large.

  • It's also important to think about what kind of use your boat gets so that you don't buy something without thinking through how often it might get used (or worse, bought for use with another type or style of sailboat).

Quality of Steel

The most important thing you should pay attention to when choosing any equipment is the material it is made of. An anchor bow roller is not an exception, because the material defines its strength, total weight, and maximum load. Besides, the material must be resistant to corrosion. It is also necessary to take into account not only the material the device body is made of but also the quality of the bow rollers for boats the rope slides on.

Size to Fit a Rope

It is important to know that not all bow rollers for boats are the same size, and choose one correctly. If you are going to use a smaller rope (the length of which does not exceed 60 feet), then a small anchor roller will do just fine. But if your line is longer than this, it would be wiser to get a large-sized anchor bow roller with a greater load capacity.

Fastening Method

Anchor bow roller holders can differ according to the fastening method. That is why before buying hinged equipment it is necessary to pay attention to the way it is installed on the boat. Besides, you should fully evaluate fastening reliability that defines maximum load and anchor weight. Fully reliable fastening will provide security to its users, anchor and equipment safety.

Maximum Load

Industry experts recommend that before installing an anchor bow roller to the boat, you should measure your anchor weight. The heavier it is, the greater load capacity of equipment will be required for proper installation and use. Anchor bow rollers are available in different sizes with a certain maximum load level (usually higher than 60 feet), so make sure to select one which corresponds to your needs.

Not only the boat and hinged equipment safety will depend on it but also the security of people who are aboard.

Easy to install

Even if you are not a skilled technician, installation of anchor bow roller for boats will be easy. The main requirement is to have some common knowledge about how to use drill and screwdriver.

To make sure that the equipment stays in place for years to come, anchoring bolts should be tightened with not less than 30 ft-lb torque (to avoid potential loosening).

Easy to Use

At the time of anchoring your boat, should you decide to use this piece of equipment, it will be easy to insert it between anchor and bow.

Tip: The ultimate stability is achieved by providing enough space in front for an anchor roller (about 18 inches) so that as soon as any movement occurs there is a force that balances everything out. 

Corrosion Resistance

Some models have a zinc-plated steel base or a stainless steel spindle which provides superior corrosion resistance.

Tip: Anchor rollers are not only useful for boats but also for other items that need some balance such as kayaks, canoes, and inflatable rafts.

Bow rollers statistics

  • The anchor roller is usually a one-time investment with outstanding durability, cost efficiency, safety, and performance.

  • Anchor bow rollers are very durable and can last up to 15 years.

Best branded anchor bow rollers

The market is dominated by some manufacturers such as: Anchor Caddie, Lewmar, XinKunmarine, Norestar, White Water.

Don’t buy cheap anchor bow roller

If you buy cheap products, you will end up buying twice. There are some very cheap anchor bow rollers on the market, but these are the ones made from poor quality material and components, and they can break down after a few months. Buy more quality model as it will be worth price that you pay.


Let's go over some frequently asked questions about anchor bow rollers.

What material the anchor roller is made of?

There are a number of different materials that anchor bow rollers are made of - stainless steel or plastic - and the type you choose will depend on your needs.

Is this going to be permanent? If so then stainless steel would work best as it lasts longer and won't require maintenance. Plastic can be painted with a protective coating such as powder paint but once again this depends on the frequency of use.

Tip: You may also want to replace your roller if it has any corrosion or rust damage, especially in saltwater environments where corrosion is a constant battle.

Can I use bow rollers for boats in saltwater?

Yes, anchor bow rollers can be used in saltwater environments. However stainless steel will last longer and won't require maintenance but this isn't true with plastic as it may need to be painted with powder paint or other protective coating depending on the frequency of use.

How do I choose a roller for a bow?

Pay attention to some simple tips:

  • Bow rollers that are too small won't be able to grip the whole anchor line.

  • You'll want one with a larger diameter for more surface area and contact with the anchor line.

  • If you have an older boat, try looking for a stainless steel roller as they're not prone to corrosion from saltwater exposure. If it's new or in freshwater then plastic should do just fine.

How does a hinged bow roller work?

It's great for plough or flat anchor up to 20 kg and for boats with a bow pulpit, deckhouse, or railings. You'll want this style if you need easy access to your anchor line from time to time as they're not as hard on lines that are in constant use as fixed rollers can be. They also have a hinge that allows them to go up out of the way when needed so there's more space for fishing gear and other equipment too

Should a bow roller roll?

Anchor bow rollers are designed to sit still at the front of your boat. They only move when there's an anchor line attached, then they rotate around with it as you pull on the rope.

How much does a boat anchor cost?

The cost can vary depending on the type of anchor, the material it's made from, and where you purchase it. Prices can start at $80 for a standard galvanized steel anchor and go up to over $500 for an alloy or stainless steel anchor with a chain.

How do you secure an anchor to a bow?

To make your anchor be secure to a boat, you need to attach it with a chain. If there's a bow roller at the front of your boat, then you can often simply hook onto that and use it as an anchor point.

Where do you mount a boat anchor?

Anchor usually mounts at the front of a boat, often in direct contact with a bow.

How tight should the bow roller be?

It must be tight to prevent the anchor to fall off.

Important tips to using for anchor boat rollers.

  • Does the bow roller keep the anchor an adequate amount of distance away from the boat? If it's too close, the anchor may swing into the boat.

  • Can the shank fit through the loop of the roller? If no, you need to use a bow roller of different sizes.

  • Is there any movement when activating it? If so, then something is wrong and needs adjustment.

How to care about anchor roller for boat?

  • If you use a plastic model, it'll be good if you paint it with rust preventive primer before installing them on your vessel.

  • If you use a metal model, it's recommended to remove the rust after last long using if it is.

What anchor bow rollers for boats are good?

Check please our anchor bow rollers comparison table to find appropriate products for boat, jon boat, etc.

Where to Buy Cheap Anchor Bow Rollers for Boats?

Take a look at this TOP anchor bow rollers reviewed of 2023 and then press the «Check Price» button to check their price and availability.

What is the budget anchor bow roller for sale?

The Bow Roller for Boats [Anchor Caddie] is our Editor's Choice as the best model of anchor bow rollers for boat, jon boat with its combination of performance, features, quality and price.

Thesandshore.com is a source where the post about anchor bow rollers appeared first and was written by David Lee, an expert on marine eqipment. He has been boating for over 20 years and currently lives in Florida with his wife and children.

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Comments to Review

  1. I don’t trust any anchor pulley system except the Anchor Nest brand. Their products are really top quality and I have never had any problems with their products. Others, not so much. My point is to save yourself some stress and problems in the future by just going with anchor nest first because they will not disappoint or damage your equipment.

  2. Justin R. says:

    For a few months now I have been using the anchor nest by Anchor Caddie. It has served me well and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who asked my opinion on it. It has saved my back from a lot of wear and tear and makes boating a considerably more fun event now. The family is glad I can also enjoy the outings now without having to call on multiple people to help me with the anchor!

  3. Nancy Limer says:

    I have one by Anchor Caddie Co. It is produced in the United States and has a lifetime guarantee. This indispensable addition to anchoring systems made of the top-grade stainless steel and has improved roller system with high durability and excellent performance.

  4. Stainless Steel Delta Short Bow Anchor Roller by Lewmar is made of high-quality 304 stainless steel and designed specifically to avoid damaging the deck or the boat surface when dropping the anchor; the mounting length is 18-13/16”. The stainless steel self-launching anchor rollers by Anchorlift facilitate smooth mounting on the majority of bows and combine perfectly with the Bruce and Rocha anchors. And bow roller by Norestar can accommodate two B/C anchors up to 16 lbs and D/W anchors of no more than 22 lb In the case of 3-anchor mounting, the maximum weight will increase to 66 lbs and 44 lbs, respectively. Roller by White Water is produced from the stamped 304 stainless steel and has a polished finish of 1/8“ or the satin one of 5/32” thickness. It also comes with a 3/8“ FH fastener. This anchor roller fits long platforms, made of durable stainless steel. and holds various styles of anchors with a weight range from 13 to 55 lb.

  5. Lewmar Bow Roller is excellent stainless steel model for out boat. If the pro had been available we would have bought it and welded it to our fishing boat but this looks and functions perfectly even though had to bolt it in place.

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