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OK, my next build is going to be the AL King of the Mississippi.  Looking over the plans and photos I noticed that the bow bulwark has hawser holes.  Being that you have the hawser holes wouldn't the riverboats have had anchors stowed somewhere?  I have been doing research over the last week and cannot find an answer to my question.  



Can anyone give me some advice on this or a good place to do some research?



Michael C. Warnick,



Current Build:  MS Fair American

Prior Builds:  AL Swift, AL San Francisco II, AL Mississippi

In the hanger:  MS Benjamin W. Latham

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To the best of my knowledge, and others may chime in, American riverboats like this did not use anchors. They really didn't need them; to hold position at any given point in most Western rivers you just nudged the boat up against the bank, tied off to something on the bank, and/or used the paddle. Rarely would these craft have been in a situation in which anchors would be necessary or functional, given the river environment.


However, as they routinely tied up at wharves or levees, they often needed to run lines forward. Often these were just passed over the bow, but others had a slotted hawsehole that allowed the line to be easily dropped in and kept out of the way. I've never seen round hawseholes as the AL kit has; more commonly they were slotted rectangles like the ones you can see in this image. The AL kit you describe has a lot of inaccuracies, however, so this isn't really surprising.


So I'd say no anchors, and change the shape of the hawseholes if you care to. That's my opinion; there are others very knowledgeable about steamboats on here, including Kurt Van Dahm, Cap'n Bob, and Canute. If you don't get other answers here, look them up and message them to get their ideas, too. You could also try posting a similar question in the Steamboats and Other Rivercraft-General Discussion thread to see if you get more answers there.

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