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Hope anchor issues go here and not in the rigging section.

 

Anyway, I am confused as to how one operated two anchors from one windlass, was not the normal anchoring process to drop one anchor, drift, drop another and then winch yourself back to midway between the two? Or did small vessels like cutters only use one anchor? I can't see how you could have both hawsers wrapped around the windlass and still be able to operate on one at a time, but if you don't pass the hawser around the windlass before dropping an anchor, I have no idea how you're supposed to drop said anchor safely, much less how you're going to get the hawser around the windlass to be able to raise that anchor post facto.

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My guess would be that after the first anchor is set, the cable was “stoppered,” taken off the winch, then turned around an appropriate hard point (eg. riding bitt).  Then the cable for the second anchor was taken to the winch and the process repeated.

 

Curious to learn if there was another method.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

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I thought this would be an easy one to address but after speed reading appropriate sections  in Seamanship Age of Sail by John Harland I found there was a lot to do in preparing and actually anchoring.  In short, the anchor was dropped one at a time and the ship moved away from the anchor(s) with wind and tide until the anchor(s) bit.  The number and selection of sails used when anchoring was depend on the wind conditions and direction. The hawser(s) was wrapped around the riding bitts a turn (sometimes twice) then secured once the ship pulled tight and anchor bit.  I was unable to find any mention of using capstans or windlasses in anchoring.  The number of anchors used could be as many as three or four, depending on wind and tide.  There were different sequences used when coming to an anchorage head on with wind dead aft, coming in before the wind with the tide, coming in before the wind and against the tide, and anchoring on a lee shore, the last requiring as many as four anchors letting go first the weather sheet, then the weather bower, then the lee bower and last the lee sheet anchor.  The helm was used at times to maintain the ship tight against the hawsers, and again there is no mention of using the capstans.  There are about 28 pages on anchoring and mooring and there are numerous drawings showing the maneuvering in different situations in Harland's book.    I am sure there are other members with more knowledge on this, but Harland is usually a reliable source of such information.

Allan

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A major task assigned to ships’ boats, particularly longboats and launches was the job of setting out and weighing the second anchor.  Once the first Anchor was dropped, the ship’s mobility was obviously limited.  The second anchor would be lowered  and lashed to one or more boats.  The boat would be rowed or sometimes towed to the selected location and dropped.  When the ship got under way the procedure was reversed.  Ancre’s recent publication on longboats details French practice for doing this.  There is also an extensive discussion of handling anchors at the end of the age of Naval sail in Luce’s Seamanship.  Those interested can find this reproduced on line.

 

Anchor handling had a major influence on the design of the larger ship’s boats.  In the 1700’s British and Dutch tended to handle anchors over boat’s bows so they had wide flaring bows to gain buoyancy.  French practice was to handle anchors over the stern hence wide sterns.  Later in the 1700’s the British Royal Navy began to substitute wide sterned launches for the narrower sterned longboats allowing handling over the stern.

 

Roger

Edited by Roger Pellett
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Dropping an anchor from a ships boat is one thing, but there is no way the crew of a boat is going to be able to weigh or raise an anchor.  After all, the job did require a windlass or capstan on the main vessel to accomplish.

 

As far as dropping one anchor and then maneuvering to drop another goes, the ship, at the end of her anchor rode was certainly less mobile but not immobile.  There was considerable ability to warp the ship to any location within its anchor circle.  The more anchors you put out, however the less maneuverable the ship becomes.

 

The submarine rescue ship that I served in did exactly this when we set out a "4-point moor" (four anchors, one from each bow and one from each quarter in an X pattern).  By hauling on one or more of the anchor cables we could position the ship over the downed sub in order to lower a diving bell.  Granted a ship under sail is not as maneuverable as one under power, but it can still be done.

 

Regards,

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Thanks to @el cid, @allanyed, @Roger Pellett, and @popeye2sea.

 

Here is my problem: I am trying to rig anchors on my cutter complete with anchor buoys. But as you see, once a hawser is bent to an anchor, there is no way to either engage or disengage it from the windlass- that has to happen before the hawser becomes attached to the anchor. But at the same time, they can't raise an anchor unless it's engaged on the windlass.

 

So I am thinking it simply wasn't possible for a cutter with this type of windlass to drop and recover two anchors, and in terms of rigging I am inclined to leave the hawser entirely off the port bowyer because I can't see any way for both hawsers and anchors to be in action at the same time.

20190418_115815.jpg

Edited by vossiewulf
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Hmmm, good one.  Perhaps both cables had turns on the winch but the turns for the one not being worked were left slack or loose around the winch barrel.  A winch or windlass will only take a strain when there is tension on the inboard end of the line, otherwise the line will slip.  

 

Having turns around the winch or some some other hard point would also help the crew control the anchor as it’s dropped and the ship backed down to set the anchor.

 

Having handled my fair share of mooring lines, it wouldn’t be fun hauling all the line out of the cable tier to get to the bitter end so as to get it off the winch, but maybe that’s what they did.

 

HTH,

 

Keith

Edited by el cid
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Some windlasses had a sort of arbor that ran above.  This allowed the cable for the Anchor not intended for use to be hung from it in large loose coils around the windlass but not in contact with the barrel.

 

Roger

Edited by Roger Pellett
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Good question.   But I don't have an answer for that as it depends on what you want to do.  You could fully ring one anchor and maybe have it hanging down ready to drop and the other have it unrigged and secured.   Most of what I read says that the anchors weren't rigged if they weren't about to be used.   So come up with a short backstory and go with it like: at sea, in port getting ready to drop anchor, or at the dock.   

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Rig one anchor and have it hanging from the Cat quick release toggle or a hank of line with an axe handy. Run the Hawser from the anchor around the bows and inboard through the Hawse hole and have about 4 fathoms to reach bottom and another 24 flaked out for the scope on deck for anchoring in 4 fathom deep water, bypass the Windless which has a toggle stop but no brake so using them to let go would be dangerous, when chains became common they required a Gypsy for the chain, the windless then needed refining with clutch's and brakes for that Gypsy and the chain remained around the Gypsy, the drums always turned when the mechanism was operating. That is how I have read it was done. Setting two or more anchors from the bows is asking for them to become fouled, unless another is set aft to prevent the ship from swinging in a tidal stream.

 

Edited by jud
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It is tempting to show this, because we are used to see this on modern windlasses/capstans, but the hawsers would only be taken around it, when heaving-in the anchor. For letting go, the hawser would be arranged in long bights on the deck, with the end secured appropriately (you don't want to loose the hawser ...). The bights would be tied together at intveralls with light rope. The hawser would break these ropes, which would reduce the speed of running out. Depending on wind, sea and space around 3 to 5 times the water depth would be payed out. The hawser would be stopped appropriately by taking it around bitts. Alternatively and as noted by others, the anchor can be rowed out and dropped a the desired location. In any case, the ship has to be let drift for the anchor to securely bite.

It is always wise to have two anchors out, particularly when anchoring over night. An anchor can come adrift easily. Normally, the two anchors should not prevent the ship from swinging with the wind or tide, if there is enough space. The two anchor cables would be tied together with a lashing just in front of the bow to prevent their uncontrolled crossing. I think there is picture of this Lever's book.

If there is not enough space for the ship to swing freely with wind and tide because there are other ships in the anchorage, because of nearby reeves etc., one will have to put out one or more stern anchors. This is a less desirable situation, as the ship will ride harder on its anchors, putting more strain on the cables and risking to break loose an anchor.

Only when taking in the anchor(s), their cables would be taken around the windlass/capstan (or a messenger be use). Neither on the old-time windlasses nor on the more modern 'patent' windlasses there is a way to hold the pawls in a disengaged position. On patent windlasses the pawls on the levers aren't even easily accessible.

On (sub-)modern hand-cranked or power-driven windlasses the motive power is applied to a lay-shaft that can be disengaged from the shaft with the drum(s) through a coupling. Such windlasses have band-brakes on the main shaft to control the running-out of the chain that is permanently taken around the drum. Their pawls can be arrested in a disengaged position, if they act on the main- rather than on the lay-shaft.

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2 hours ago, wefalck said:

It is tempting to show this, because we are used to see this on modern windlasses/capstans, but the hawsers would only be taken around it, when heaving-in the anchor......

Well said welfalk..

 

I have not seen any turns around the windless on any contemporary models.   I have seen the hawsers passing under the windless,

headed for the cable lockers.

 

I have seen a few kits, where the plans show a couple of turns around the windless.

 

On a model, I think wrapping around the windless might serve an artistic purpose, and provide context for observers

outside our ship modeling community.

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Thanks to everyone for the information and comments. As Greg notes, having turns around the windlass helps explain to the less knowledgeable how the anchors were worked. So I think I'm going to leave the starboard one as is, the ship just raised that anchor and the hawser will be detached and stowed shortly, and just have the port one stowed- I'm not sure how they even fit the runs of hawser on this small and busy deck, they had to have the train tackles stowed at least, and I have those on deck.

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I still wonder if both cables weren’t left turned on the drum.  Even with the pawl engaged, an anchor could be lowered by letting the line slip around the drum in a controlled manner.  To me this would be a much safer method for dropping anchor than just cutting it loose to run out wildly.  

 

And if turns weren’t on the drum before anchoring, when weighing anchor the crew would have to haul up all of cable from below (and I suspect the bitter end was secured to a hard point in the hold), and thread the end of the cable around the drum several times and then feed all the excess cable back down below.  If anchored in shallow water, that could be a lot of excess cable.

 

FWIW,

 

Keith

 

 

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I believe Keith may be on the right track. 

 

Even if two anchors are used it is possible the anchors would have been secured by the windlass alone.  One likely scenario MAY have been that the first anchor is dropped, set then the cable secured to a riding bitt (having been stoppered, with the tail remaining wrapped around the windlass drum and back into the cable locker tiers.  The second anchor could be dropped by a boat, set then secured the same way having the tails veer around the drum when that cable is not being worked, or 'leant back on' to allow the selected cable to be worked (after removing the turns from the riding bitts.

 

I have heard of the windlass acting as the riding bitts also, in that case I would suggest the same procedure except there would be no turns transferred to separate riding bitts?

 

Pure conjecture on my part - over to other for comment.

 

cheers

 

Pat

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Ok so now do I put hawsers going to both anchors, and have both of them going around the windlass? I agree that letting out an anchor by easing out line wrapped around the windlass would be more controlled, but even the anchor on a cutter was plenty heavy, would that have been a reasonable process? I'm thinking it was heavy enough that you'd have to go very slowly, and all of the anchoring procedures I've read seem to involve the anchor going down quickly.

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I have to withdraw my earlier comment about not seeing the anchor cables around the windless on contemporary models.

 

Here is one in the Gallery:

 

English Naval Cutter

 

P.S.

 

Just looking at your lastest build pics, and I must say they are an inspiration.

 

This is just my opinion, and possibly contrary to actual practice, but I think the hawser around one side of the windless doesn't look balanced. 

Even so, the workmanship as is, looks superb.

Edited by Gregory
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On 4/18/2019 at 6:14 PM, Roger Pellett said:

Some windlasses had a sort of arbor that ran above.  This allowed the cable for the Anchor not intended for use to be hung from it in large loose coils around the windlass but not in contact with the barrel.

Had I been slightly more experienced and seen this problem earlier, that is what I would have done: add a bar like that to each side of the windlass and then hung the coils of one cable from the arbor "clutch". Thanks for that idea.

 

On 4/18/2019 at 9:21 PM, jud said:

have it hanging from the Cat quick release toggle

I forgot to ask before, what pray tell is a cat quick release toggle? I actually have been wondering how in fact the cat hook was unhooked from the anchor.

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