Most boats are compatible with multiple sizes and types of anchors. Typically, the bottom of the body of water the boat is used in determines the anchor best suited for the boat, whether it is composed of soil, mud, coral or rock. Factors such as the condition of the boat and the weather conditions of the place the boat is used also determine anchor selection, notes WestMarine.com.
The two most common multi boat-compatible anchors are the fluke and the plow and scoop anchor. The fluke anchor is often more lightweight and used in smaller boats. The fluke holds better in bodies of water with mud or sand bottoms. However, the fluke does not hold well in rocks or coral and can damage easily in both conditions.
The scoop anchor has the best hold in most bottoms with the ability to hold in coral and rocky bodies of water, states WestMarine.com. This anchor type also functions well in varied wind conditions and does not shift easily if the wind direction changes suddenly. However, due to the shape of the anchor, slowing down is harder than with a fluke anchor. Heavier boats and cruising sailboats often are compatible with scoop and plow anchors.