Used to be that pushpoles were the most convenient way to temporarily anchor a skiff to a flat. Of course if the wind was blowing over 15 knots and you had even a moderately heavy skiff, you had to be very careful about the angle at which you inserted the pole into the bottom. Too much flex–especially on one of the early glass or graphite pushpoles–meant a trip back to the dock with a pole that might or might not be repairable.
So it’s not surprising that several companies have come out with manual anchoring systems based the pushpole-as-anchor concept but with a lower cost and a lower likelihood of breaking. Three products worth mentioning are the Stiff Ram-Rod, the Wang Anchor, and the Stick-It Anchor Pin. All are pictured here with links to their Web sites, and they’re all under $150.00.
Anchoring poles like these differ in materials and durability, but the key difference in my opinion centers on how the anchors are attached to the skiff. Most have a Y- or T-shaped head that will accept a looped tie-off line, which can be attached to your platform or a cleat. The Wang system includes a bracket which must be attached to the hull or deck. And the Stiffy adds a stainless steel shacked for clip-on ease.