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 Anchoring Times & Methods 
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Post Anchoring Times & Methods
Does anyone happen to know the specific method for anchoring Napoleonic ships of the line and how long it would take? Seems like they would not have just dropped the anchor and let it rattle into the depths, standing back and watching the capstan spin wildly (not to mention what parts of the ship the anchor might impact on the way into the water). I would think that they needed to maintain control as it was lowered, which would mean a full team of men on the capstan until the anchor was fixed on the bottom. Looking at the anchors on HMS Victory, they are quite large and would seem to have required quite a lot of preparation before use. I currently don't have access to my usual supply of books, otherwise I'd look it up! :?

Jim


Sun Jul 04, 2010 9:56 pm
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Post Re: Anchoring Times & Methods
Hi Jim,

Welcome to the SN Forum!

I think it would probably depend on the situation and the conditions (weather, type of anchorage, etc.). Perhaps someone else will jump in with more details?

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susan


Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:33 pm
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Post Re: Anchoring Times & Methods
Anchor cables of any size don't go on the capstan. Too fat. They live in the cable tier & lengths are laid out before coming to the anchorage. Anchor should not be in a position to hit any parts of the ship!
A short blurb in Lavery's "Nelson's Navy":

http://books.google.com/books?id=DVE5Yz ... 22&f=false

If the long link doesn't work, search for "dropping anchor" or go to page 169. Pg 170 has a (somewhat fuzzy & small on Google Books) diagram of raising the anchor, & description pg 171.

Can't remember how long it took on Rose & Bounty, but of course they are much smaller & have some modern alterations. The time-consuming part is striking sail & maneuvering to your spot & preparing. Once you drop the anchor, it goes down pretty quick.

Welcome to the forum. Hope that helps a bit -- it's late & I'm not quite awake :|

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Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:28 am
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Post Re: Anchoring Times & Methods
Thanks for the information, I used to have that book on loan but don't currently have access to it. I guess I should memorize things more often! It's odd though, I don't recall the catheads on HMS Victory as seeming able to clear her largest anchors. I guess I underestimated them... either that or they could only afford 2/3 scale catheads at the time they refurbished! (just kidding).

Jim


Sat Jul 10, 2010 1:01 am
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Post Re: Anchoring Times & Methods
One final anchoring note. Any questions I might have will be in relation to combat conditions, so anchoring will be in the form of a speedy selection of a spot to stop within the combat zone in order to assure a more favorable gun platform, cutting cables to get underway whilst under fire, and/or related issues. Hence my curiosity about specific anchoring times. I can see now that raising anchor the standard way in combat would not just be unlikely, but more like completedly out of the question due to the lack of manpower.


Sat Jul 10, 2010 1:09 am
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Post Re: Anchoring Times & Methods
Sounds like someone else is writing a book... :)

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Alison

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Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:51 am
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Post Re: Anchoring Times & Methods
Close - I design rules for miniature wargaming. I actually did the core work for this rule set in 2004 and they have been languishing on the backburner at WTJ's beta page (all WTJ rules are free). The movement portion of the rules has never really been well developed, so that remains the main issue to be cleaned up before I post them, or at least proceed with an expanded test play group.

Jim


Sat Jul 10, 2010 5:10 am
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Post Re: Anchoring Times & Methods
Liardet's "Professional Recollections", which is available through Google Books, is a good source of information on some of the more abstruse aspects of seamanship, including anchoring.


Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:50 pm
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Post Re: Anchoring Times & Methods
Ooh, yay. Just on a skim through the index it looks like there's a lot of interesting stuff in that. But oh dear, something else for the reading list...!
Thanks for posting that reference.

P.S. An afterthought... is there a thread, or does anyone think there should be one, that could be just for links to reference books like that? There's a ton of stuff on Google Books, & maybe if each of us shared things we've found it would help other members?

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Alison

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Sun Jul 11, 2010 5:40 am
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Post Re: Anchoring Times & Methods
Alison wrote:
P.S. An afterthought... is there a thread, or does anyone think there should be one, that could be just for links to reference books like that? There's a ton of stuff on Google Books, & maybe if each of us shared things we've found it would help other members?

I don't recall if we have a specific thread dedicated to links. In the past, we have supplied links to Google Books when specific topics (like this one for example) come up. Given the vast amount of books available, how would you like to see such a list of links organized?

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susan


Sun Jul 11, 2010 8:32 am
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Post Re: Anchoring Times & Methods
susan wrote:
Given the vast amount of books available, how would you like to see such a list of links organized?


Hmm. Good question. If there were a lot of posts, it would probably get pretty long & disorganized if people just posted consecutively. I dunno... I guess I was thinking people could put the title & a brief description; maybe limit it to a few keywords, & then if you wanted something specific you could do a search within that thread? Those not looking for specifics might just find things of interest by browsing through the posts.
Hadn't thought about organizing it...

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Alison

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Sun Jul 11, 2010 9:07 pm
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Post Re: Anchoring Times & Methods
Jim!

I don't know what books you have at your disposal, but John Harland's 'Seamanship in the Age of Sail' (Conway 1984) has complete details on methods of anchoring in all conditions - including anchor types, prepartions to be made, lay out of cables on the deck, release mechanisms, necessary manoeuvres etc. He even gives the sequence of orders.

The basic principle is that the vessel must be brought head on to the wind to stop its forward momentum then, as it begins to drift backwards, the anchor is dropped, the backward momentum only stopping when the anchor 'bites' the ground. Enormous preparation is required and the ship is not under command (to quote the international code of signals) while all this is going on. How this could be done in a combat situation without making the ship helpless in the face of a still mobile enemy is not clear to me.

Brian


Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:35 pm
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