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I am building Model Shipways Bluenose (3/16" =1'-0") and puzzled by lack of info regarding anchor rigging. The anchor cable shows going from the anchor to the hawse pipe but nothing beyond that. I assume that it proceed onto the deck to the winch, but after that I haven't a clue as to what happens. In one of the pictures it looks like it might be coiled up on the deck, but I doubt that.

Does any one have the knowledge of what is going on with the cable???



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I beleive that after the windlass it would go below deck through a scuttle or hatch, check you deck plan and see what is in that area. There might be a small amount coiled on deck to allow for initial release. I'm not sure if the cable will be on the windlass when lashed in place to the rail though, that is usually rigged when hauling, but allowed to run free for a drop.

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Though I, haven't researched this aspect yet (still tied up in rat lines), the plans do show an open chain box. No further details are given. If you search for "Bluenose" find the Nova Scotia archives for photos by W.R. MacAskill. You should find photos from around 1940 showing deck details the chain box is clearly seen behind the engine box. Here is the link http://www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/virtual/bluenose/archives.asp?ID=193


Dave B

Edited by DBorgens
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  • 1 month later...

Hello Fred;


I, too, am buiding a model of Bluenose 11, my first build. I have been using a lot of information from Bluenose 11, Saga of the Great Fishing Schooners, by L.B. Jenson. On page 111, the anchor chain is shown on the windlass, but no end of the chain is visible. However, on page 55, chain is shown flaked out on deck on the port side against the bulwarks, and appears to be opposite the foremast. There is a notation that states, "Club anchor chain stowed in bottomless wooden box, 4ft. by 4ft. 16 inches deep, laid on planks to protect the deck. A few flakes of chain were lashed down on deck as shown." I do not know how to include the sketch in this note; it doesn't appear all that clear anyway. I hope this helps without adding confusion.


Good luck with your build; my next one will be the Pride of Baltimore 11.



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  • 4 years later...

I have the same question while I am building fisherman Elsie. Would the anchor chain be around the winch and/or in the chain box on deck when not as sea? I have found no indication of a chain box on any Elsie plans. Any suggestions are appreciated.



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  • 2 weeks later...

It’s a pain in the butt to drop anchor on a schooner with chain. The chain is in the aforementioned wood box adjacent to the foremast. It leads out of the box and then takes three to four turns around the windlass THEN it’s lead forward and out the haws hole and back to the anchor on the bulwarks. 

To drop anchor the crew has to “throw chain”, they’ve got to pass all the chain they anticipate they’ll need for the depth they’re in around the turns on the windlass. So if you’re  in 40 feet of water you need the forty PLUS the extra amount of scope required. Maybe sixty feet total? 80? Every foot of which must be manhandled out of the chain box and around the turns on the windlas THEN flaked out on deck forward of the windlass. It’s backbreaking as you can imagine. 

The anchor is dropped, in seconds the chain roars dramatically out the hawshole from the neat flake on deck. Note that the windlass plays no roll at all in the DROPPING of the anchor. It’s only used to raise the anchor. Tension from the train isn’t allowed to come onto the windlass untill it’s time to raise anchor. The rest of the time spent at anchor, a Devils Claw holds the tension of the chain inboard.

 The point I’m making is the three turns around the windlass. At no point is the chain NOT around the windlass, it’s always configured that way, and has to be. 

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Further to Frankie's comments, rule of thumb that I learned back in my boating days was that  the amount of anchor rode (chain and/or line) let out should be about 5 to 7 times the depth, so if there is even only 20 feet of water, that is at least 100 feet of rode let out.  A lot depends on the type of bottom, wind and speed of the tide.


Question, would the Bluenose and other similar schooners have used a rode of all chain or combination of rope and chain?    



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