Gerber River Shorty Knife


Your boat is sinking, and it’s your fault. How did this happen?

Most likely, you dropped anchor in too strong a flow. A lot of watermen are not aware of how risky this can be. The problem is hydrodynamic. An anchor line with a floating boat at the end of it creates a pendulum, and the force of water keeps pouring more energy into the stroke. Swish, swish, back and forth the boat goes, until–worst case scenario–it tips. Many a drift boat guide has learned this the hard way, and if he was lucky it was in shallow enough water to bail the boat instead of calling for swiftwater rescue.

Obviously the solution to this problem is to pull the anchor, right? But what if the anchor is jammed up? I’ve seen this occur enough times that I switched to anchor chains; a safety measure since a ball of chains, each clipped to a caribiner, will simply slide over most submerged objects. But any anchor is potentially a stuck anchor, and that’s where a good knife comes in.


Gerber’s River Shorty is really smart. It’s blunt on the end, making it safe for use in inflatables like one-man pontoons. It also has a serrated edge, which is critical when you’re sawing against a taut, strong, wet anchor line. Water is itself a lubricant, and you need bite and bite in a hurry.

I also like the sleeve-over design. I have a similar, older knife that I keep on a line in my boats for just this reason. That knife (also a Gerber) folds, meaning you have to have two hands to unleash it. As anyone who has ever been in a near-disaster on a boat knows, two hands aren’t always available. Sometimes you need a hand to brace yourself or hold on to a boat mate. With the River Shorty, all you have to do is pop the cap like an ink pen and cut that anchor line to right your boat.

No anchor is worth your life, and any river floater should always be prepared it cut it free.

Rating:  5 stars out of 5

Available: $33, directly from Gerber.

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