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Captain Al

Stowing anchor rode in 18th C.

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I am building HMS Bounty and have followed the instructions for leading the anchor rode down into the hold.  It seems from the build that the rode is actually sitting in the bilge between two frames.  This had gotten me thinking... does the kit have it wrong and the rode should really end up elsewhere?  Or, in reality, where was the rode stowed, as it would not seem to be a good idea to have manila rope sitting in bilge water for months.  In addition to this question, can anyone tell me how much rode Bounty would have carried? 

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Greetings Cap...

 

It is my understanding that anchor rode was stored on the orlop deck which is the lowest deck, or the first deck, above the bilge. The rode was laid out in large coils on the orlop to dry out. Of course, the water that drained from the manila rode ended up in the bilge.

 

wq3296 

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Hello Capt Al, you are right that the rope would not be stored in bilge water.  Preventing rot was a major effort on sailing ships. so the bosun had to do all he could to protect cables, sails and lines.  

 

The Bounty had a ceiling (the planking that covered the frames on the inside of the hull) so nothing could be stored between the frames.  She was 230 tons burthen, 70' length of keel, 24' 4" breadth and 11' 4" depth of  hold.  She did not have an orlop deck but she did have platforms fore and aft and the midships was the hold.  Ships of this size were assigned 4 anchors: a bower, a sheet, a stream and a kedge.  The bower and sheet anchors for Bounty had 4" (circumference) cables, at least 2 maybe 3, of about 85 fathoms each which could be spliced together as needed. Smaller cables were supplied for the other 2 anchors.  

 

The Bounty as outlined by John McCay in his AOS book does not show a cable tier or a manger which suggests to me that the cable would have been coiled on top of the barrels in the hold.  (Larger ships would have had cable tiers.........)    Hope this helps. 

Duff

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Thanks everyone for the answers.  I'd never even heard of an orlop deck.  I thought it was a typo.  Now I have something further to research.  But it all makes sense.  I think I'll reroute my model's cable and lay it on the platform. 85 fathoms would be around 500 feet, correct?  That and the 4 inch cable are both out of scale in this model.  They suggest 1.5mm thread which is more like 2.8 inches at 1:48, and they give us enough of that to make 2 1000mm rodes, each of them scaling to only 150 feet of rode.  Hope they don't need to anchor in a storm.  thanks again all.

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Duffer, a ship with 24 ft. breadth would have cables of 12 inch circumference so about 4 inch diameter. 

She might have had up to 7 cables.  A cable was 100 fathoms so 600 ft.  Probably Bounty, sent around the world where there were no bases, would have had a full complement.  Once out of 'soundings', in water too deep to anchor that is, the cables would have been taken off the anchors and stowed below, the anchors fished and lashed to the side, if not struck below.  I'm not sure why you think you need the full length of cable.  Is the hull cut away to show the interior?

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Is the hull cut away to show the interior?

 

Yes, the starboard side of the model is open for viewing, which is why we're interested in how the rope was stored in the hold/lower decks (it will be seen).  Most builders of this model have coiled the rope and placed it on the lower deck in the Bow (just above the hold).

 

I'm curious, when the Anchors were being used (for any reason) were the ends of the ropes tied off (an anchor stop if you will) to avoid the possibility of loosing the Anchor? 

Edited by thomaslambo

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Yes, the starboard side of the model is open for viewing, which is why we're interested in how the rope was stored in the hold/lower decks (it will be seen).  Most builders of this model have coiled the rope and placed it on the lower deck in the Bow (just above the hold).

 

I'm curious, when the Anchors were being used (for any reason) were the ends of the ropes tied off (an anchor stop if you will) to avoid the possibility of loosing the Anchor? 

Yes, the bitter end was belayed to the foot of the foremast.

Most representations I've seen show coils of cable in sort of a rectangular form, smaller coils inside larger ones.  These were very stiff things, think of almost rebar what with the triple rope construction and all the tar and serving, parcelling and keckling they put on them.

If there is a platform or orlop deck, there would be battens on the deck to keep the cable well-aired to aid drying.

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Thanks jb for your insights.  A lot of good nautical history.  I noted elsewhere to tlambo that the belaying to the foremast could just as easily and strongly be done around the mast rather than through a ring on the mast.  Was I correct?  It would seem like it would be easier to pull a bolt or pin out of the wood than it would be to snap the 4" rode if the right knot was tied.

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Around the mast.  You could use the same hitch as used on the anchor ring.  I do through the ring (or around the mast), twice around the standing part, then the two rings thus formed lashed to each other, the end lashed to the rings.  Remember this cable is very stiff.

 

post-17589-0-23453500-1443912852.jpg

 

When I say the anchor cable is three-part I mean that it is made of three three-strand ropes made together into one.  Note the texture of the larger anchor cable compared to the three-strand line atop it.  When you then tar it, worm it, perhaps parcel, serve, keckle it, it becomes like iron.  You couldn't use a hitch that was intended to close down upon itself, and the coils in the tier need to be kept quite open, like a racetrack shape.

 

post-17589-0-06238900-1443913047.jpg

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jbshan, after double checking the dimensions, you are correct, the cable would have been close to 12" circumference.  McCay labled his table as such, but it should have read 'diameter'.  

 

Lever gives 85 fathoms (page 67, 1938 ed.) but 100 fathoms is reasonable, especially for a long voyage as you stated.  We do not know exactly what she had (unless stated in her log book), so Bligh would have accepted whatever was available yet serviceable.

 

For our newer members, 'Keckling' is old rope wrapped around the cable at short distances to protect it from chaffing.

 

BTW, where in Western NH are you?

 

Duff in Middletown, CT

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We thank everyone for all the information (Al and myself are collaborating on parts of our HMS Bounty builds).

 

I thought I'd post the description of these terms....this is all new to me, and perhaps other beginners will appreciate the information as well.

 

I'm thinking the "bitts" aren't always placed in the same location?

 

 

Bitt or bitts: A post or pair mounted on the ship's bow, for fastening ropes or cables.

 

Bitter end: The last part or loose end of a rope or cable.  The anchor cable is tied to the bitts; when the cable is fully paid out, the bitter end has been reached. 

 

 

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Lever's '85 fathoms' is for merchant ships in the coal trade.  A cable as a measurement is 100 fathoms or 600 feet.

NOTE to the wise:  Darcy Lever, 'The Young Sea Officer's Sheet Anchor' is practically required reading, a comprehensive compendium of the things a new seaman or young officer needed to know.  Lever covers most things above decks, not concerning himself much with the building of the ship, but with the setting up and operation.You can get it in a Dover publication for not very much $$.

 

When the cable is not entirely out, it is wrapped around the bitts and set up with stoppers, lashed to eyebolts on deck or on the knee of the bitts.  The stoppers are to prevent the wrap from coming off.  Belaying it to the mast below decks is to prevent the whole thing going overboard and being lost.

The bitts might be 'buried', but that is because the ship rises above the level on which the hawse holes are.  The bitts are normally on the same deck as the hawse holes.

Duff, about halfway up, where I89 and I91 cross.

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Re: 'The Young Sea Officer's Sheet Anchor'. For Canadian modellers among us who may be interested

in obtaining a copy of this book, it is available in Canada at "Lee Valley Tools". My hardcover copy was

published in 2000 by Algrove Publishing Limited, ISBN 0-921335-71-7. Please check the Lee Valley site

for the current pricing & availability. Regards, Mark Pollex, Calgary.

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Good discussions.

I double checked some of McCay's dimensions in his table (pages 108 to 112).  His table looks good and his rope dimensions appear to be correct for circumferences, EXCEPT for the anchor cables~!??  

 

He also discusses anchors, page 10.  I quote in part: "Bounty carried six anchor cables, each 100 fathoms long."  It is believed she carried 2 bowers, each 13 plus CWT (CWT in English usage is 112 lbs) .  Per Bligh's log, one was lost while weighing due to worm damage (these bowers had wood stocks) and is now displayed at Pitcairn Island.  The smaller anchors had iron stocks.

 

Duff

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