Anchors and Cables - Ships Nostalgia
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Anchors and Cables

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  #1  
Old 19th January 2020, 15:06
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Waighty Waighty is offline  
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Anchors and Cables

Can anyone answer this query?

I seem to remember that on Bank Line vessels the port anchor had 10 shackles of cable but the stbd anchor only had 9 shackles - or maybe it was the other way round. Either way, does anyone know why this was please?
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  #2  
Old 19th January 2020, 17:47
mikeharrison mikeharrison is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waighty View Post
Can anyone answer this query?

I seem to remember that on Bank Line vessels the port anchor had 10 shackles of cable but the stbd anchor only had 9 shackles - or maybe it was the other way round. Either way, does anyone know why this was please?
I think that the total length of anchor chain required is governed by the Equipment Number from the Class certificate calculations for the vessel.

So, if the calculation works out at 19 shackles of cable in total required then you could put 9 shackles on one anchor and 10 on the other.

Possibly not the greatest of ideas to have different cable lengths on each anchor though, as the bitter end might be seen early.

Regards, Mike
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  #3  
Old 19th January 2020, 19:04
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The short cable was usually on the starboard side and is called the 'weather anchor'... for obvious. Might be 9 + 10 or even 10 + 11... depending size of vessel.
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  #4  
Old 19th January 2020, 21:18
harry t. harry t. is offline
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the spare anchor shackle

After calculating the chain required it will be divided into two equal halves. But as per the classification rules the ship has to be provided with one spare shackle and this is usually connected to the port anchor chain, rather than be stowed away seperately.
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  #5  
Old 19th January 2020, 23:26
Biggles Wader Biggles Wader is offline  
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I can remember the mate shouting "eight in the water" as the windlass brake failed coming alongside at Chittagong. It took a while to get it all back in. I thought it had run out to the stopper pin.
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  #6  
Old 20th January 2020, 08:51
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Originally Posted by harry t. View Post
After calculating the chain required it will be divided into two equal halves. But as per the classification rules the ship has to be provided with one spare shackle and this is usually connected to the port anchor chain, rather than be stowed away seperately.

Exactly. And because the reason why the starboard (usually) is the shorter cable and becomes the 'weather anchor'... the port becomes the 'sleeping anchor'.
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  #7  
Old 20th January 2020, 09:48
duncs duncs is offline  
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Very interesting, re the anchors. I'm also aware which should be dropped first, in N or S hemisphere.
I've only twice(on the bridge), heard the OM say 'let go both'. I think that was your ultimate, 'hope she stops'. Needless, to say, the OM was correct, and it worked.
I didn't know that P and S anchor cables were different lengths.
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Old 20th January 2020, 13:21
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My thanks to all contributors.

Re post #2 , I've only been on one vessel where we lost the stbd anchor and that was the conbulker Cast Beaver 83,000 dwt, a well worn second hand ex Norwegian bulker managed by Denholm-Maclay (a short stint away from Bank Line). We were anchoring in Baie-Comeau (St Lawrence) to await a berth and owing to the depth walked out the anchor rather than drop it! At 8 shackles it took charge, overrode (ie knackered it) the gearing and shot out at great speed. Chippie valiantly tried to apply the brake which ultimately caused the lining to catch fire and come flying out in burning pieces. I pushed over the stopper bar which because of the speed of the running cable just bounced up and down! Eventually a loud bang from below the focsle followed by the bitter-end flying out and over the gypsy and vanishing down the spurling pipe. All done in a cloud of choking dust, rust and brake lining. Not something I wanted to repeat in future years and just glad no one was hurt!
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  #9  
Old 20th January 2020, 15:05
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Originally Posted by duncs View Post
Very interesting, re the anchors. I'm also aware which should be dropped first, in N or S hemisphere.
I've only twice(on the bridge), heard the OM say 'let go both'. I think that was your ultimate, 'hope she stops'. Needless, to say, the OM was correct, and it worked.
I didn't know that P and S anchor cables were different lengths.

I let got both (I was on the foscle) on LOCH LOMOND at Antwerp. Both anchors went out and held on.... while the tug's line parted and one of the rollers snapped and that shot down the deck. Engines astern and then hit the bank! I learned one thing. When you start hearing loud noises, bang etc... RUN LIKE S*IT!
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  #10  
Old 20th January 2020, 16:30
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I was off watch, spectating from the bridge wing as the fully-loaded, 18,000 dwt tanker ss "San Florentino" transited the Kiel canal from West to East. We were having difficulty adjusting our speed to match that of the other ships ahead and astern of us - it isn't easy to steer a single-screw, steam turbine tanker at slow speed, particularly whenever the engine has to run astern to slow or stop our progress in response to the flow of traffic.

The mate suggested to the Old Man that our speed could be slowed in a controlled fashion by lowering an anchor to just touch and bump along the bottom of the canal. This had been working well for some hours but about 20 or so minutes after I'd gone out onto the bridge wing to watch the goings-on, there was a shout from the party on the fo'c'sle followed by the loud noise of the anchor cable running out at high speed. Crew members appeared out of the murk heading aft at full speed. The view ahead was completely obscured by a black and red cloud of dried mud dust and rust hurled out of the chain locker with the departing cable. To the side of the cloud I could see the backsides of a herd of black and white cows, heading off into the distance.

After what seemed an age, there was a loud BANG and the noise stopped. So did the ship, as we skewed across the channel and pushed our bow into the bank.

Apparently the anchor that had been lazily bumping along had suddenly taken hold and bitten into the bed of the canal. Luckily the stern remained clear of the shallows and by careful manoeuvring we could go astern and remove our bow from the cow pasture before continuing on our way.

We got an unscheduled night ashore in Kiel- Holtenau and late the following afternoon a tug came alongside, proudly displaying our anchor on deck aft, with our anchor cable laid along the deck in bights running either side of, and around the forward end of, the deckhouse. Within an hour or so the cable had been hauled aboard via the hawse pile and stowed away in the chain locker and the anchor was back in its proper place. Sadly we didn't get another night ashore as we had hoped.

We made several more transits of the Kiel Canal without incident, and without using the anchor at any stage of the passage.
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Last edited by Ron Stringer; 20th January 2020 at 16:39..
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  #11  
Old 20th January 2020, 16:57
harry t. harry t. is offline
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no time to let go the anchor

Steaming up with a tug fast forad, cleared by the ‘bridge master’ to pass under the double set of railway bridges on the Calumet river in south Chicago. A train 50 miles away in Indiana, triggered a remote switch on the tracks to lower the 1st of the bridges. An anchor wouldn’t stop us from getting trapped underneath in time. It was hard a port on the wheel into the river bank, and fortunately the lady only had soft mud to contend with. Not a good experience for the nervous system.
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  #12  
Old 20th January 2020, 20:20
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We were anchored off Valleta(there's a bank there). A few of us on the bridge watching a big bulker, Panama, I think. The OM said, No way can he put his hook down there, it's too deep. We watched, and sure enough, a big cloud of rust, and the gypsy flying off the focsle head. But, that wasn't the end of it. His other hook was let go, and the other gypsy took off, same way.
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  #13  
Old 20th January 2020, 23:43
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could the xtra cable have anything to do with the Calcutta river moorings where part of the cable was sent aft?
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  #14  
Old 21st January 2020, 06:34
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Quote:
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could the xtra cable have anything to do with the Calcutta river moorings where part of the cable was sent aft?

Good answer, but why do VLCCs are wanting for the extra cable? Unless this is an old 'tradition' hangover from the past era?
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  #15  
Old 21st January 2020, 12:11
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Just a thought but Bank Line had an "Extra" hawes pipe on the Port side to make hanging off for buoys a lot easier. Could this have anything to do with the difference in lengths?
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  #16  
Old 21st January 2020, 13:00
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Found this photo in the Gallery. SPRUCEBANK. Yes, she had the extra hawsepipe but here in the photo the starboard anchor is hung off and the port is ready. The extra pipe is not being use here.
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File Type: jpg File0178 sprucebank.jpg (108.5 KB, 88 views)
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  #17  
Old 21st January 2020, 13:26
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Ah, found it. Class Requirements


"You are absolutely right about equipment number. for example if the number is 13.5 then both the chains will be approx. 14 shackle in length. It is class requirement that every vessel must be given one spare shackle besides as per equipment number requirement. Since it is difficult to stow the chain in forecastle store it is connected to any one of the Anchor chain whether Port or Stbd. That is the main reason why we have different lengths of Anchor chain on all ships."
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  #18  
Old 23rd January 2020, 00:05
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen J. Card View Post
Found this photo in the Gallery. SPRUCEBANK. Yes, she had the extra hawsepipe but here in the photo the starboard anchor is hung off and the port is ready. The extra pipe is not being use here.
Could have been for Nauru and Christmas Island, Steve.
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  #19  
Old 23rd January 2020, 00:21
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Greetings Roddy. Best for the New Year!

The photo from Philthechill in th SN Gallery

"Sprucebank heading for the river anchorage in the Hoogli judging by the way she's got her anchors hung-off and all ready for the bore tides!! Unfortunately the year escapes me, probably around 1966."

Nice photo of Sprucebank. Spotless hull. Must have been right out of dock or had been at anchor and painted all round.

The SN Gallery is a great research tool. Find stuff here than could not be found on the www! (But I guess the Gallery IS on the www!)
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  #20  
Old 24th January 2020, 01:34
pedormont pedormont is offline
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Shackles vs Shots

I have been wondering why you all speak of Shackles (12.5 fathoms= 75ft) and my U.S. colleagues use Shots (15 fathoms= 90 ft) for anchor cable measurements. What is the background on this disparity? Do your fleets use the same color-coding to identify how much chain has run out? The bitter end's arrival being announced by yellow followed by red? I know you folks have the answers somewhere for these burning questions. If you don't know, just make something up. I always enjoy a good yarn.

Thanks in advance and all the best (especially to anyone in Portland Port where I had the pleasure of ROV schooling with Global Marine).
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  #21  
Old 24th January 2020, 01:48
Victor J. Croasdale Victor J. Croasdale is offline  
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Hi,
back in the 70's and 80 I used to visit the Isle of Man a lot and I was fairly familiar with the approaches to the different piers. One time we were coming in at a speed I considered faster than normal. Then splash! Both picks into the water. I think that was the only time I saw an anchor dropped in Douglas harbour.
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  #22  
Old 24th January 2020, 03:25
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[QUOTE=pedormont;3026081]I have been wondering why you all speak of Shackles (12.5 fathoms= 75ft) and my U.S. colleagues use Shots (15 fathoms= 90 ft) for anchor cable measurements. What is the background on this disparity? Do your fleets use the same color-coding to identify how much chain has run out? The bitter end's arrival being announced by yellow followed by red? I know you folks have the answers somewhere for these burning questions. If you don't know, just make something up. I always enjoy a good yarn.

QUOTE]


I have never heard of a Shackle of being at 12.5 fathoms. Always as
15 fathoms. International.

In the OLD days... ie before 1950, the shackle was 12.5 fathoms. That was the old MN & Royal Navy.

Stephen
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  #23  
Old 24th January 2020, 03:28
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For colour marking, the joining link is paint RED. The number of links of the shackle is painted white... either before and after the red link. The stud is marked with wire. Yellow near the end? Never heard of that.
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Old 24th January 2020, 12:22
harry t. harry t. is offline
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anchor chain markings

Quote:
Originally Posted by pedormont View Post
I have been wondering why you all speak of Shackles (12.5 fathoms= 75ft) and my U.S. colleagues use Shots (15 fathoms= 90 ft) for anchor cable measurements. What is the background on this disparity? Do your fleets use the same color-coding to identify how much chain has run out? The bitter end's arrival being announced by yellow followed by red? I know you folks have the answers somewhere for these burning questions. If you don't know, just make something up. I always enjoy a good yarn.

Thanks in advance and all the best (especially to anyone in Portland Port where I had the pleasure of ROV schooling with Global Marine).
If you’re the mate at the front end, and you see those colours near the bitter end flying past, you’ve ballsed it up and as likely as not will be looking for a new job. On any ship the only order called out, in my experience, when letting go/dropping an anchor – ‘three, four or five in the water, or on the windlass’ as the case may be, no need to elaborate further. Some call the 15 fathoms “shackles”, others “shots”, - same, same meaning.

international markings as per classification societies - (left) Europeasn yard marking - (centre) USA yard marking - (right) - all the same, no diff.
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File Type: jpg 3-shackles---3-shots all same,same.jpg (60.6 KB, 26 views)
File Type: jpg european.jpg (273.9 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg usa.jpg (164.5 KB, 14 views)
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Last edited by harry t.; 24th January 2020 at 12:31.. Reason: photos
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  #25  
Old 24th January 2020, 13:57
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Morning Harry,

When did this 'international marking' for yellow/red come into force. Must be at least 35 years since had the cables laid out in the dock. I guess the rules are changing too fast!

Stephen
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