Anchor Definition & Meaning

Hence they can be difficult to install in deep water without special equipment. Three time circumnavigator German Rolf Kaczirek invented the Bügel Anker in the 1980s. Kaczirek wanted an anchor that was self-righting without necessitating a ballasted tip. Instead, he added a roll bar and switched out the plough share for a flat blade design.


A sea anchor is a drag device, not in contact with the seabed, used to minimise drift of a vessel relative to the water. A drogue is a drag device used to slow or help steer a vessel running before a storm in a following or overtaking sea, or when crossing a bar in a breaking sea.. Use it to record your show, then sprinkle in sound effects, transitions, and background music.

These are used where the vessel is permanently or semi-permanently sited, for example in the case of lightvessels or channel marker buoys. The anchor needs to hold the vessel in all weathers, including the most severe storm, but needs to be lifted only occasionally, at most – for example, only if the vessel is to be towed into port for maintenance. An alternative to using an anchor under these circumstances, especially if the anchor need never be lifted at all, may be to use a pile which is driven into the seabed. A Danforth will not usually penetrate or hold in gravel or weeds.

It was designed as an advance over the anchors used for floating systems such as oil rigs. It retains the weighted tip of the CQR but has a much higher fluke area to weight ratio than its predecessor. The designers also eliminated the sometimes troublesome hinge. It is described as self-launching because it can be dropped from a bow roller simply by paying out the rode, without manual assistance.

If the weight is suspended off the seabed it acts as a spring or shock absorber to dampen the sudden actions that are normally transmitted to the anchor and can cause it to dislodge and drag. In light conditions, a kellet will reduce the swing of the vessel considerably. In heavier conditions these effects disappear as the rode becomes straightened and the weight ineffective. This anchor performed well in a 1989 US Naval Sea Systems Command test and in an August 2014 holding power test that was conducted in the soft mud bottoms of the Chesapeake Bay. The stockless anchor, patented in England in 1821, represented the first significant departure in anchor design in centuries. Though their holding-power-to-weight ratio is significantly lower than admiralty pattern anchors, their ease of handling and stowage aboard large ships led to almost universal adoption.

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This claw-shaped anchor was designed by Peter Bruce from Scotland in the 1970s. Bruce gained his early reputation from the production of large-scale commercial anchors for ships and fixed installations such as oil rigs. It was later scaled down for small boats, and copies of this very popular design abound. The Bruce and its copies, known generically as “claw type anchors”, have been adopted on smaller boats but they are most effective in larger sizes.


Modern anchors for smaller vessels have metal flukes which hook on to rocks on the bottom or bury themselves in soft seabed. Also known as tandem anchoring, in this technique two anchors are deployed in line with each other, on the same rode. With the foremost anchor reducing the load on the aft-most, this technique can develop great holding power and may be appropriate in “ultimate storm” circumstances. It does not limit swinging range, and might not be suitable in some circumstances.

Admiralty anchor

This is an oft copied design with the European Brake and Australian Sarca Excel being two of the more notable ones. Although it is a plough type What is Anchor, it sets and holds reasonably well in hard bottoms. Using two anchors set approximately 45° apart, or wider angles up to 90°, from the bow is a strong mooring for facing into strong winds. To set anchors in this way, first one anchor is set in the normal fashion.

They are available in sizes from about 5 kg up to several tons. Permanent come in a wide range of types and have no standard form. A slab of rock with an iron staple in it to attach a chain to would serve the purpose, as would any dense object of appropriate weight . Plough anchors stow conveniently in a roller at the bow, and have been popular with cruising sailors and private boaters. Ploughs can be moderately good in all types of seafloor, though not exceptional in any. The hinge can wear out and may trap a sailor’s fingers.

Kedging or warping is a technique for moving or turning a ship by using a relatively light anchor. At center back, senior Juliana Andrews and junior Mackenzie Hohulin anchor the back in front of sophomore keeper Amelia Finley, who has exceeded expectations in her first season as a starter. Gallagher, who will also retain his title of chief breaking news correspondent, will anchor the newscast from Los Angeles, and starts Oct. 3.

  • A drogue is a drag device used to slow or help steer a vessel running before a storm in a following or overtaking sea, or when crossing a bar in a breaking sea..
  • Handling and storage of these anchors requires special equipment and procedures.
  • The Viking Ladby ship used a fluked anchor of this type, made entirely of iron.

In contrast to the elaborate stowage procedures for earlier anchors, stockless anchors are simply hauled up until they rest with the shank inside the hawsepipes, and the flukes against the hull . Anchors achieve holding power either by “hooking” into the seabed, or mass, or a combination of the two. Permanent moorings use large masses resting on the seabed. Semi-permanent mooring anchors and large ship’s anchors derive a significant portion of their holding power from their mass, while also hooking or embedding in the bottom.

Holding ground is the area of sea floor which holds an anchor, and thus the attached ship or boat. Different types of anchor are designed to hold in different types of holding ground. Some bottom materials hold better than others; for instance, hard sand holds well, shell very poorly. An anchorage location may be chosen for its holding ground. In poor holding ground, only the weight of an anchor matters; in good holding ground, it is able to dig in, and the holding power can be significantly higher.


The crown of the anchor is then hauled up with a heavy tackle until one fluke can be hooked over the rail. Before dropping the anchor, the fishing process is reversed, and the anchor is dropped from the end of the cathead. The ancient Greeks used baskets of stones, large sacks filled with sand, and wooden logs filled with lead. According to Apollonius Rhodius and Stephen of Byzantium, anchors were formed of stone, and Athenaeus states that they were also sometimes made of wood. Such anchors held the vessel merely by their weight and by their friction along the bottom.

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In use, it still presents all the issues of the admiralty pattern anchor. The Admiralty Pattern anchor, or simply “Admiralty”, also known as a “Fisherman”, consists of a central shank with a ring or shackle for attaching the rode . At the other end of the shank there are two arms, carrying the flukes, while the stock is mounted to the shackle end, at ninety degrees to the arms. When the anchor lands on the bottom, it will generally fall over with the arms parallel to the seabed. As a strain comes onto the rope, the stock will dig into the bottom, canting the anchor until one of the flukes catches and digs into the bottom. An anchor is a device, normally made of metal, used to secure a vessel to the bed of a body of water to prevent the craft from drifting due to wind or current.

After this second anchor is set, the scope on the first is taken up until the vessel is lying between the two anchors and the load is taken equally on each cable. This moor also to some degree limits the range of a vessel’s swing to a narrower oval. Care should be taken that other vessels will not swing down on the boat due to the limited swing range. The basic anchoring consists of determining the location, dropping the anchor, laying out the scope, setting the hook, and assessing where the vessel ends up. The ship will seek a location which is sufficiently protected; has suitable holding ground, enough depth at low tide and enough room for the boat to swing. Since one fluke always protrudes up from the set anchor, there is a great tendency of the rode to foul the anchor as the vessel swings due to wind or current shifts.


Claw anchors are quite popular on charter fleets as their percentage set on the first try in many bottom types is very high. They have the reputation of not breaking out with tide or wind changes, instead slowly turning in the bottom to align with the force. American Richard Danforth invented the Danforth Anchor in the 1940s for use aboard landing craft. It uses a stock at the crown to which two large flat triangular flukes are attached.

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Additional dissipation of shock loads can be achieved by fitting a snubber between the chain and a bollard or cleat on deck. This also reduces shock loads on the deck fittings, and the vessel will usually lie more comfortably and quietly. This is an anchor which relies solely on being a heavy weight. It is usually just a large block of concrete or stone at the end of the chain. Its holding power is defined by its weight underwater (i.e. taking its buoyancy into account) regardless of the type of seabed, although suction can increase this if it becomes buried.

There are complications, and the technique requires careful preparation and a level of skill and experience above that required for a single anchor. A mushroom anchor will normally sink in the silt to the point where it has displaced its own weight in bottom material, thus greatly increasing its holding power. These anchors are only suitable for a silt or mud bottom, since they rely upon suction and cohesion of the bottom material, which rocky or coarse sand bottoms lack. The holding power of this anchor is at best about twice its weight until it becomes buried, when it can be as much as ten times its weight.