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Anchoring gear

Naval anchor incorporated into HMAS Canberra (1927) memorial, Canberra, Australia

The elements of anchoring gear include the anchor, the cable (also called a rode), the method of attaching the two together, the method of attaching the cable to the ship, charts, and a method of learning the depth of the water.

Vessels may carry a number of anchors: bower anchors (formerly known as sheet anchors) are the main anchors used by a vessel and normally carried at the bow of the vessel. A kedge anchor is a light anchor used for warping an anchor, also known as kedging, or more commonly on yachts for mooring quickly or in benign conditions. A stream anchor, which is usually heavier than a kedge anchor, can be used for kedging or warping in addition to temporary mooring and restraining stern movement in tidal conditions or in waters where vessel movement needs to be restricted, such as rivers and channels.<ref>Stream Anchor, wordnik.com</ref> A Killick anchor is a small, possibly improvised, anchor.<ref>World Wide Words. World Wide Words (30 August 2003). Retrieved on 2013-03-30.</ref><ref>The "Pusser's Anchor". pussers.com</ref>

Charts are vital to good anchoring. Knowing the location of potential dangers, as well as being useful in estimating the effects of weather and tide in the anchorage, is essential in choosing a good place to drop the hook. One can get by without referring to charts, but they are an important tool and a part of good anchoring gear, and a skilled mariner would not choose to anchor without them.

The depth of water is necessary for determining scope, which is the ratio of length of cable to the depth measured from the highest point (usually the anchor roller or bow chock) to the seabed. For example, if the water is 25 ft (8 m) deep, and the anchor roller is 3 ft (1 m) above the water, the scope is the ratio between the amount of cable let out and 28 ft (9 m). For this reason it is important to have a reliable and accurate method of measuring the depth of water.

A cable or rode is the rope, chain, or combination thereof used to connect the anchor to the vessel.

Chain rode is relatively heavy but resists abrasion from coral sharp rocks or shellfish beds which may abrade a pure rope warp. Fibre rope is more susceptible to abrasion on the seabed or obstructions, and is more likely to fail without warning.

Combinations of a length of chain shackled to the anchor, with rope added to the other end of the chain are a common compromise on small craft.


Anchor sections
Intro  Overview   Evolution of the anchor    Small boat anchors    Permanent anchors    Anchoring gear   Anchor warps   Anchoring techniques   In heraldry  See also  References  Bibliography  Further reading  External links  

Anchoring gear
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