Sunday, February 17, 2008


When you are weighing anchor, the same gear must be available on the forecastle as for anchoring. In addition, there is a grapnel (a small four-armed anchor) used to retrieve the anchor buoy. A hose is rigged to wash mud from the anchor and the chain. The windlass is energized and tested, and then the wildcat is engaged. The brake is then released and the wildcat is tested. The
brake is set, and all stoppers but one are cast off. When ready, the report “READY TO HEAVE IN” is made to the bridge.

On the command “HEAVE AROUND,” the brake is taken off and the chain is heaved in enough to take the strain off the stopper. The stopper is then cast off and heaving is resumed. Reports are made to the bridge periodically on the direction the chain is tending, the amount of chain remaining out, and the degree of strain on the chain. If the command were “HEAVE AROUND TO SHORT STAY” the chain would be heaved in just short of breaking out the anchor (pulling the anchor loose from the bottom). When the chain is at short stay, it is reported to the bridge. On the command “HEAVE
AROUND AND UP,” start heaving. When the flukes have broken out, and the crown still rests on the bottom, the report “ANCHOR IS UP AND DOWN” is made.

When the anchor is free of the bottom, it is “AWEIGH”. At this time the anchor ball are hauled down and the ship is now underway. When the anchor comes into view and its condition can be noted, the report “ANCHOR IN SIGHT, CLEAR (or FOUL) ANCHOR” is made. The anchor is reported as housed when the shank is in the hawsepipe and the flukes are against the ship's side. The
anchor buoy is recovered as soon as possible, and a report is made to the bridge when the anchor buoy is on board. The anchor again is made ready for letting go and kept that way until the anchor detail is told to secure it after the ship is outside the harbor or channel.

To secure the anchor for sea, set the brake, then pass the stoppers and even them. Take the brake off, then slacken the chain between the wildcat and the stopper. The brake is set and the wildcat is disengaged. To prevent water from entering the chain locker, secure buckler plates over the chain pipes for those ships with open decks.

Stowing Chain
As the chain comes aboard, it passes along the deck, on metal flash plates, around the wildcat, and down into the chain locker. The chain goes into a locker. The bitter end is secured to a pad eye (ring) on the bulkhead of the chain locker. When working small chain, at least two Seaman should guard against any possible pileup in the chain locker. The chain can be kept from piling up by pushing any accumulation over with a length of 2 by 4 lumber.

A stockless type anchor is housed in the hawsepipe and it is secured by passing the stoppers. The anchor must be drawn taut in the hawsepipe by the outboard stopper to prevent the flukes from banging the sides. Stoppers are attached to the chain by straddling a link with the tongue and strong back of the pelican hook. The bail is then closed on the pelican hook. The toggle that keeps the pelican hook closed must then be inserted in the tongue of the pelican hook and the lanyard secured around the bail to prevent the
toggle pin from coming out. The turn buckles must be adjusted so each stopper will take an equal strain.