Boy's Manual of Seamanship and Gunnery


Parts of a Capstan, Etc.

Parts of an Anchor

Description of Chain Cables


A framework of timber, raised round the openings forming the hatchways, to prevent the water from running below; a rabbet is worked in their inside upper edge to receive gratings, hatches, or other fittings.


Openings of various sizes, forming a communication, by means of ladders, from one deck to another. The top coverings to a hold of a ship are called hatchways.


Are formed by pieces of wood being nailed across a framework at right angles, leaving open apertures of certain sizes to admit light and ventilation down the hatchways.

In stormy weather, tarpaulins are nailed over them, which is called battening down.


Holes in a ships side to admit light and give ventilation. Ball's-eyes in an iron framing are fitted, and can be screwed in or removed at pleasure.


Holes in the water ways, cut through the ship's side, to free the deck of water.


Pieces of rounded wood, fitted to the scupper-holes to keep the water from washing in and wetting the decks.


Pieces of wood made round to fit to the hawse-holes, and keep the water out when at sea.


Two pieces of wood, fitted together in the shape of a shutter; to keep the hawse-plugs in their place, and prevent their being washed out at sea.


A portion of the deck, within the manger board in the bows of a ship, extending athwart from side to side.

Manger Board.

A coaming, or low partition, forming the manger, to prevent any water shipped through the hawse-holes from running aft.

Chain Pipes.

A large iron pipe, through which the chain cable passes from the chain-lockers to the deck above.

Riding Bitts.

Timber heads amidships, in the fore part of the deck, for biting or making fast the cable, for which purpose they are coated with iron.


An iron lever, one end being attached to the beams close to the chain pipes by a large iron bolt, on which it revolves, the other end being worked by a tackle, so as to stop or let the cable run out at pleasure.


Are a strong framework of timber round the different masts, secured by being bolted to the beams, fitted with sheaves, for topsail sheets and other ropes to lead through and belay to.

Fife Rail.

A piece of timber, with a number of sheave-holes and belaying pins fitted to it, bolted to the ship's side or elsewhere, forming leads and securities for the running gear.

Belaying Pins, Cleats, and Cavils,

Are mostly of hard wood, placed where required, as most convenient for belaying ropes. Cleats or cavils are mostly bolted to the ship's side. Belaying pins, fitted in holes in fife rails, &c.


They are timber heads, for securing the anchor, hawsers, &c., to. Bollards are also placed on a quay for attaching vessels alongside the pier.


Is a projection on either bow; in large ships composed of stout timber curved like a knee, the stop or foot of it rests on the timbers, even with the water way, and passes through the deck, and is secured to the side timbers ; outside it is strengthened by a large iron knee, called a cathead knee.

The upper part of the cathead stands above the level of the upper rail, and out from the ship's side, so the bower anchor can hang clear for being let go, or in catting the anchor, the cat-fall will bring it clear of the ship's side ; it is fitted with two or three sheaves in the head of it, according to the size of the ship.

An iron davit, mostly a moveable one, answers the purpose of a cathead in small vessels


A spar, projecting from each bow, for hauling the fore tack down to.

Goose Neck.

The outer boom iron on the lower and topsail yards.


An iron outrigger on the end of the gaff, for hoisting the ensign to, or a projection off a ship's side to keep blocks clear.


Pieces of wood or iron projecting over a ship's side or stern, fitted with sheaves or blocks, for hoisting boats up and reeving falls.

Fish Davit

Is a large piece of timber, fitted with a double block over the bead, for reeving the fish-fall through. It tends to keep the flukes of the anchor clear of the ship's side in fishing the anchor, the lower end rests in a shoe in the fore chains, the upper end is supported by topping lift and guys.



A Capstan

Is a mechanical arrangement of several pieces of timber and iron, and so constructed as to possess great power ; it is used for all heavy purchases, such as weighing an anchor, or sending topmasts up.

Q. Name the parts of a capstan ?

A. Barrel-whelps, bed, paul rim, sprocket wheel, spindle, drum-head, chocks.


Is the principal piece of the capstan, and has a hole through its centre, in which the spindle ships.


Are strengthening pieces of hard wood bolted to the barrel, rounded off for hawsers or any purchase to work smoothly on.


Are pieces of wood let in at the top and bottom of the barrel to keep the whelps in place.


The part of the deck prepared for the capstan to stand on by placing additional pieces of oak.


Are square pieces of iron, bolted to a metal band round the lower part of the barrel, below the whelps, and are easily let down and taken up as required in working the capstan.

Paul Rim.

An iron fitment, fitted with cogs, on the deck, bolted with partners at the foot of the barrel. When the pauls are down in place, they keep the capstan from moving.

Sprocket Wheel

Is an iron band fitted with teeth round the lower part of the barrel, which enters the long links of the chain messenger in weighing anchor.


Is an iron bar pivoted in a socket on the deck below that on which the capstan stands, passes through a metal bushed hole in the partners, up through the centre of the barrel. It is to the barrel what an axle is to a cart-wheel.

Drum Head.

A round wooden fitment on the top of the barrel, with a number of square holes at regular intervals for shipping the capstan bars in, by which means the capstan is worked. It is strengthened by two metal bands round it on top and below the holes.


Q. Name the parts of an anchor.

A. The ring, shank, stock, arms, crown, fluke or palm, bill or pee.

The Ring, or Shackle,

Is attached to the upper part of the shank, to which the cable is attached.


The perpendicular or middle piece of an anchor.


Is made of wood or iron ; if iron, it reeves through the lower hole in the upper end of the shank ; if wood, it is built round the shank, at the same place, and hooped and bolted together ; it stands at right angles to the arms, and being much longer, cants the anchor with one fluke down, which causes it to hook to the ground.


The two triangular pieces at the lower end of the shank, forming hooks, one of which is always hooked or buried iii the ground when the anchor is let go, so as to hold the ship in a stationary position.


The lower end of the shank, where the arms or flukes are joined.

Fluke, or Palm.

The broad triangular piece within the extreme end or bill of the arms. It is so constructed as to have a greater hold of the ground.

Bill, or Pee.

The extreme point of the arms and flukes.

Q. How is a wooden stock constructed ?

A. It is made of oak, in two pieces, much broader in the middle than at the ends, and left a little apart in the middle, to admit of the hoops being driven up, when the wood shrinks, to bind it together. A wooden stock, in breadth and depth, is one-twelfth in the middle and one-twenty fourth at the ends of its entire length.

The length of the stock is equal to that of the shank.


An iron stock is about one-fifth the weight of the anchor. It is curved at one end, the other is straight, to reeve through the lower hole in the upper part of the shank. A shoulder is fitted in the centre to act as a stop against the side of the shank; it is secured in place by a forelock through the end on the opposite side of the shank, to the shoulder. It is easily disengaged, and laid up and down the shank, for convenience of stowage inboard.

Q. What anchors are supplied to a ship of war?

A. Two bowers - viz., best and small bower ; two sheet or waist anchors, one stream, one kedge.


The best and small bower ; the starboard anchor being termed the best bower, and the port anchor the small bower.

Sheet Anchors.

They are called waist anchors, from being stowed in the waist abaft the fore rigging. One of these anchors is always got ready when lying at anchor in a gale, in the event of the lower anchors not holding or parting.

The bower and sheet anchors are about the same weight.


In weight about two-thirds of the bowers ; used for warping or anchoring, in a tideway or calm, when it is not intended to remain at anchor.


Used for light work ; warping a ship from one part of the harbour to the other, or keeping her clear of her anchor in a tideway.


Cables Supplied to a First Class-Frigate.
Name of Cable. Circumference. No. Supplied. Length.
Chain Cable-Bower 2 1/8 inches 4 100 fathoms.
Fore Gangers 2 1/8 inches 2 37 fathoms
Stream 1 inches 1 100 fathoms.
Messenger 1 inches 1 -
Hemp Cable 17 inches 1 100 fathoms.
Stream 13 inches 1 100 fathoms.
Ships are supplied according to their size and class


Q. How long is a length of, cable ?

A. Twelve and a half fathoms.

Q. How many lengths are there supplied to a ship of war in each cable ?

A. Eight lengths, or 100 fathoms.

Q. How many swivels are there in a cable?

A. Two. One in the first, and one in the last length.

Q. How many shackles ?

A. One to every length.

Q. How is a shackle or length of cable marked ?

A. The first length or shackle has a piece of wire or tin round the stud or stay-pin of the first link abaft the shackle ; the second round the second link, and so on, generally up to ten, when you commence at the first link again.

Q. What is the use of a swivel ?

A. To keep a cable clear of turns when lying at single anchor. If there were no swivels, as a ship swung constantly round to the tide, she would twist her cable full of turns, and bring an unfair strain on some of the links.

Q. What is the use of shackles ?

A. To join the cable, and transpose the lengths, as required.

Q. Which end of the shackle is forward or outward?

A. The crown or round end; the pins or lugs aft.

Q. Why ?

A. If the pins or lugs of the shackles were forward, they would be liable to catch against the bitts, hawse-pipes, or elsewhere, and check or stop the cable running out.

Q. What is the use of the cross pins or stud in the links of a chain cable?

A. To give support to the links, and prevent them from closing when any heavy strain is brought on the cable ; they also keep the cable from twisting and getting full of kinks.

Q. If sent in charge of a lighter to the dockyard, to bring the chain cables off, how would you stow them in the lighter ?

A. I would stow the anchor end in the lighter first, because it would be the last to go out when alongside the ship.

Q. How would you know the anchor end?

A. By the swivels. The cup of the swivel is always aft, to prevent it catching anywhere as the cable runs out.

Q. How are the swivels kept in a state of preservation ?

A. By pouring a mixture of white lead and tallow into the cup.

Q. What is the difference between a joining shackle and an anchor shackle ?

A. In a joining shackle the bolt or pin of the shackle does not project beyond the lugs of the shackle, and is secured in place by a pin passing through a hole in the shackle and bolt. This pin is made to sink into the shackle, and is secured in place by a leaden pellet well beaten down over it.

In an anchor shackle the bolt projects beyond the lugs of the shackle, and is secured by a fore lock.

Q. How does a leaden pellet keep the pin in place ?

A. When beaten down into the groove or hole it expands on the inside, thus making the pin a fixture.

Q. What precaution ought to be taken when it is necessary to replace the pellets?

A. All lead remaining on the groove should be scraped off, which is termed reaming ; should this be neglected, the new pellet will not hold, and the pin will in time work out, also the bolt of the shackle.

Q. Where are the chain cables stowed ?

A. In the chain lockers.

Q. How many chain lockers are there ?

A. Four ; two each side of the main mast, three for the bower cables, and the fourth for the chain, stream, and messenger.

Q. What hawse-hole would you take the bower cables in at ?

A. The two nearest the stem or inner one on each bow, termed the standing hawse-hole.

Q. What are the outer or spare hawse-holes for?

A. For the sheet cables.

Q. How are the cables got inboard out of the lighter ?

A. By double whips, led along the deck outside the bitts.

Q. Where and how is the inner end of a cable secured?

A. In a sailing ship, to slips secured round the main mast, in steamers to ring bolts in the sleepers on either side. The slips are shackled to necklaces round the main mast, and long enough to reach the top of the chain locker, so a cable can easily be slipped.

Q. How do you bend a cable to an anchor ?

A. By a ring rope and the fore bowline.

The ring rope is rove through the ring of the anchor, from aft forward, outside, and under all the head gear, in through the hawse-hole, and bent to the fifth or sixth link of the cable and stopped to the first link ; the fore bowline is bent inside, to assist in lighting the cable out ; also to take the weight off the ring-rope. When sufficient slack is outside the hawse-hole clap on the ring rope and rouse the cable up to the ring of the anchor, cut the stop on the first link, and shackle it.

N.B.-Ships with long bows require a second ring rope.

Q. Where are the hemp cables stowed ?

A. In the tiers, coiled down right-handed.

Q. How is the inboard end of hemp sheet cable secured ?

A. Shackled to a chain stropped round a beam in the heart of the tiers, and lashed down also to one of the adjoining beams.

Q. Which side is the sheet cable coiled ?

A. On the same side as the chain sheet is stowed.

Q. Why should both chain and hemp-sheet cables be stowed the same side ?

A. There being a difficulty in bending a rope so large as the sheet cable, it therefore has to be led across the opposite side of the ship when required for use.

Q. Which tier is the stream hemp cable coiled in?

A. The opposite tier to which the sheet cable is stowed.

Q. How is a hemp sheet cable bent to the sheet anchor ?

A. Shackled to the ganger.

Q. What is a ganger?

A. Three lengths of chain cable, the same size chain as the bower cable, shackled to the sheet anchor ; it keeps the hemp cable from being chafed a against the ground.

Q. How is a hemp sheet cable fitted ?

A. By an Elliott's eye in the outer or outboard end, and a ropemaker's eye in the inboard end.

Q. What precaution is taken to preserve the eye in the hemp cable?

A. It is keckled over, which is merely serving over the eye with rope to prevent the cable being chafed on the ground. It is also keckled in the wake of the hawse-hole and cutwater.

Q. What are hemp, sheet, and stream cables principally supplied for ?

A. For laying out the sheet and stream anchors in the event of the ship being on shore, to assist in heaving her off.

Q. How many messengers are there supplied to a ship of war ?

A. Only one: a chain one

Working the Capstan.

Q. Who rigs the capstan?

A. The carpenter and his crew.

Q. What do you mean by rigging the capstan ?

A. The bars being shipped, pinned, and swifted in place.

Q. How are they secured in place ?

A. By passing pins up through holes in the drum-head, and corresponding holes in the heel of the bars, the pins are kept in place by a catch, which they fit into, by giving them a half turn.

Q. What do you mean by swifting them to ?

A. In each end of the bars there is a notch ; a piece of rope called the swifter is passed round in each notch, and swab-hitched to the end of each bar, each turn being hauled well taut, and the ends of the finish well set up together ; for this purpose a thimble is spliced in one end of the swifter for the other end to reeve through. While, rigging the capstan, the pauls are kept down to steady it.

Q. Who reeves the messenger ?

A. The main and fore-top men of the watch below : gunner's mate sees it clear of turns, passed round the capstan, and placed with the long links on the teeth of the sprocket wheel; the armourer shackles it.

Q. How is a messenger rove?

A. A hook rope is passed down the chain locker, bent to the end of the messenger, and run up on the deck the cables are worked on - viz., on the lower deck of a line-of-battle ship, main deck of a frigate, and upper deck of a corvette or smaller vessel, forward round the rollers ; the ends are adjusted as to length, hove taut, and joined together by a long or short shackle, as required, in order that it might fit the sprocket wheel of the capstan, thus forming an endless chain, passing round and round the capstan and the roller forward, the teeth of the sprocket wheel taking the long links of the messenger at each turn.

Q. How is it hove taut for shackling ?

A. One end is secured by a strand or rope's-end being rove through the third or fourth links from the end, to a ring-bolt in the deck, the capstan is hove round to tauten the messenger sufficiently to bring the end links together for shackling.

Q. How is a hemp messenger fitted ?

A. A long lashing eye is spliced in each end, which is grafted over, the messenger is passed round the rollers in a similar way to a chain messenger, and four turns round the barrel of the capstan ; in lashing the eyes together, a drift of from four to five feet is allowed between the eyes, so as they will lay fair on the capstan, the heaving-in part being the lowermost. The gunners are stationed by the capstan with commanders to give the messenger a tap up if it should work too low down on the barrel of the capstan.

Q. What is done in the event of the messenger carrying away ?

A. Bouse to the compressor, and stopper the cable at once. Join the messenger together again with a long or short span shackle, according whether it be a long or short link that is carried away.

Q. If it is necessary to bring the opposite cable to, what is done ?

A. The ends must be unlashed and passed the contrary way ; this is readily done by heaving round until the eyes are close to the capstan; then cast off the lashing, slacken the turns, pass the end of the short leg of the messenger inside between them and the barrel of the capstan, render all parts until the lower turn is brought on the opposite side, re-lash the eyes, and it is ready for heaving in the other cable.

N.B. Hemp messengers are not now supplied to ships of war.

Q. How is a hawser brought to a capstan ?

A. With three round turns round the barrel of the capstan, the inboard part always being the upper turn.

Preparing to Anchor.

Q. Who clears the anchors away ready for letting go ?

A. The forecastle men.

Q. What precautions are taken when a ship is going to anchor?

A. The carpenters remove the bucklers and take the hawse-plugs out. Fore and main-top men range the cables ; according to the depth of water the ship is likely to anchor in, sufficient cable is ranged on the deck abaft the bitts, to allow the anchor to reach the bottom without a check, the running part outside. A bar of iron, called the bitt-pin, is shipped in the outer part of the cross piece, to prevent the chain coming off as it runs round the bitts.

Q. How is an anchor hung from the bows ready for letting go'?

A. The inner fluke is eased off the bill-board clear, the ring is hung by the cathead-stopper, and the shank by the shank-painter ; the inboard end of both being secured to bollard heads or large-size cavils in the ship's side.

Q. How is an anchor let go?

A. The cathead-stopper and shank-painter, being fitted to go over tumblers, at a given signal are slipped together, and the anchor falls clear of the ship's side into the water.

Q. Who gives the signal ?

A. The boatswain, who stands on the knight-heads when the order is given by the Commanding Officer, " stream the buoy," " stand clear of the cable," " let go the best or small bower anchor," whichever it might be. The boatswain gives the order - " one, two, three; let go," when the forecastle men pull together on the jigger (if so fitted), which releases the cathead-stopper and shank-painter together.

First part of forecastle men attend the cathead-stopper, and the second part the shank-painter, which are hauled inboard directly the anchor is gone.

Q. What precaution is taken at the order - "stream the buoy, stand clear of the cable" ?

A. The compressor having been thrown back clear of the cable, the chock of the tumbler is taken out, but the pins are kept in place till the order is given " let go the anchor," when they are taken out, the lever being kept back by hand till the boatswain gives the word - " one, two, three ; let go." At the word " let go," the anchor is freed by a smart pull on the monkey tails, which are lanyards, attached to the end of the lever ; the man attending the cathead-stopper taking care he does not let go before the man attending the shank-painter does, so as to insure the anchor falling flukes down.

Another plan of letting go the Anchor.

A span is fitted with one end secured to the lever of the cathead-stopper, and the other to the lever of the shank-painter ; a small jigger is hooked to the span, and at the word " let go," the hands attending it give a smart pull, having received the signal that the pins are out, both levers flying back, disengage the cathead-stopper and shank-painter together.

Q. What do you mean by an anchor being a cockbill ?

A. The shank-painter being eased down and the anchor allowed to hang from the cathead secured by the cathead-stopper only. Merchant ships generally cockbill their anchor when about to come to.

Q. To what part of the anchor, and how is the buoy-rope bent?

A. To the arms or flukes, by half-hitching it round the inner fluke, forming a clove-hitch on the crown, and securing the end by a running eye, or clinching it over the outer fluke

A piece of chain, three or four fathoms long, is frequently attached to the end of the buoy-rope, for bending it to the anchor, as it saves the buoy-rope from being chafed on the wound.

Q. Who streams the buoy?

A. The gunners, and next number from the after part of the fore chains, having previously seen the buoy-rope properly bent, and coiled down in the fore chains, clear for running.

Q. Is there any particular name given to the buoy that is bent to the anchor ?

A. Yes, the nun or can buoy: those used in the Navy are made of iron.

Q. How is a buoy-rope bent to a nun buoy?

A. There are two or three ways of bending it.

First, pass the buoy-rope through both upper and lower rings of the buoy, half-hitch and seize the end back, or else secure it with an inside clinch.

Another way of securing it is to pass it through the underneath ring, swab-hitch it over the ring and seize the end back.

Q. What precaution is taken before slipping a cable ?

A. A buoy-rope is passed in through the hawse-hole, and as soon as the armourer has unshackled the cable, the buoy-rope is bent to the end of it and paid out through the hawse-hole again ; the buoy is then streamed, the cable paid out through the hawse-hole as far as the slip-stopper ; when all is clear and the ship's head has taken the right way, the slip is knocked off.

The buoy marking the end of the cable should have a distinguishing mark from the one marking the anchor.

Q. What is the use of a buoy to an anchor ?

A. It marks the position of the anchor, and prevents other ships fouling it.; it is also very useful in case of a ship being obliged to slip her cable ; it enables her to pick her anchor up again ; or in the event of one of the flukes hooking a mooring chain, or in any way becoming entangled with the bottom, by hauling on the buoy-rope, it will capsize the anchor and in all probability clear it.

Q. How is the cable checked when running out ?

A. By the compressor being boused to, which binds it against the chain pipes.

Q. Who attends the compressor tackle ?

A. The idlers on the lower deck.

Q. When there is sufficient cable out, how is it secured ?

A. By being bitted, and by means of deck stoppers.

Weighing Anchor.

Q. What preparations are made for weighing anchor ?

A. The slip-stopper is put on before all, and the cable is unbitted ready for bringing to ; the forecastle men reeve and overhaul the cat-fall down ; when sufficient is overhauled to allow the cat-block to reach the hawse-holes, it is hauled forward by the cat-back, ready for hooking ; they also see the martingale of the fish-davit hooked in place.

Foretopmen trice up the up and down tackle by the inner lower studdingsail halyards, and lash it to the short leg of the lower pendant, and hook the single block to the head of the fish-davit, to act as a topping-lift.

The gunners rig the fish-davit, and reeve the fish-fall when it is hauled forward in place by the fish-back, ready for hooking.

Q. Where is the fish-davit shipped, and how is it secured in place ?

A. It is shipped in a shoe, in the fore part of the fore chains and kept in place by fore and after guys, topping-lifts,




and a martingale. The after guy is the largest guy, as it has to bear a very great strain in fishing the anchor.

Q. What is the use of a martingale to a fish-davit ?

A. It keeps the head of the fish-davit down in place, when a strain is brought on, when hauling taut the fish-fall.

Q. What world be the consequence if the martingale was not taut before hauling on the fish-fall ?

A. The head of the fish-davit would rise, and in all probability the heel slip out of the shoe, and the davit capsize altogether.

Q. What is the use of the topping-lift to the fish-davit ?

A. After the fish-fall has brought the fluke level with the bill-board, pull up on the topping-lift, at the same time easing away the martingale ; when in position, lower the fish-fall, and place the bill of the anchor on the bill-board, where it is secured by the shank-painter.

Q. How is the cable secured to the messenger for heaving in ?

A. By rope or iron nippers.

Q. How is a rope nipper passed?

A. The messenger is brought to a cable, as a cable cannot he brought to a messenger. This is done by taking two round turns with the after or inboard end of a nipper round the messenger by one of the inside hands ; the coil or remaining part of the nipper is then passed over the cable to one of the outside hands, who, facing aft, passes it round the messenger and cable, with the sun on the port aide, and against the sun on the starboard side, rousing each turn taut, keeping the messenger on top of the cable, dogging the end round the cable and round the end of the next nipper, to prevent it from slipping ; it is held by one of the topmen, who walks aft with it. When far enough aft, and the cable is secured by other nippers following in a similar way, he starts the nipper he is holding and passes it forward again : the nippers are constantly being passed in this way as the cable comes in at the hawse-holes. When there is much sea on, or a great strain, racking turns are passed.

Q. Who passes the nippers ?

A. Main and foretop men ; foretop men working before, and maintop men abaft the bitts.

Q. What is meant by heaving through all?

A. When the cable is covered with mud it slips through the nipper's ; to prevent this, buckets of sand arc kept close at hand, and the hands passing the nippers keep on throwing sand over the cable as it comes in, and the turns of the nippers are passed thicker ; if this is not sufficient, a round turn is taken round the messenger, then another round turn round the cable, with racking turns between.

Q. How is an iron nipper secured to the cable ?

A. A shackle, fitted with a hinge at one end, and a slip at the other, holds the messenger and cable together ; one of these is only used at a time, the second one being put on as the first gets well aft.

Q. When the anchor is hove up to the bows, what is done?

A. Pipe (avast heaving) when the slip-stopper is put on before all, walk back the capstan until the slip has the weight of the anchor; then off nippers, and bitt the cable.

Q. Why is the cable bitted?

A. To prevent the cable running out too freely when the slip is taken off for tatting the anchor.

Q. When is the slip knocked off?

A. When the cat is hooked, and all parts of the cat-fall are taut, the boatswain pipes veer, or serge the cable ; when sufficient is out to allow the anchor to reach the cathead,

the slip is again put on to prevent the cable from running out.

Q. Who hooks the cat-block, and how is it hooked?

A. The forecastle men. It is hooked with the bill of the hook in or towards the ship's side. When all is ready, walk away with the cat.

Q. Where do the men stead to hook the cat?

A. They are slung in bowline knots, and stand on the stock of the anchor ; the block having been roused forward by the first cat-back, the second cat-back is rove through the thimble in the bridle of the cat-block, and led up through the head gratings on to the forecastle, where the standing part is made fast ; it takes the weight of the block while the men on the stock guide the hook in the ring of the anchor ; the bridle is a piece of rope spliced into two small eyebolts on the fore part of the shell of the block, with a thimble seized in it for reeving the cat-back through ; when the cat is hooked, and the cable surged, the small cat-back is unrove. The large one is always kept in place for tricing the block up to the cathead after the cathead-stopper is passed.

Q. Who hooks the fish?

A. The captain of the forecastle ; the fish-hook is hauled forward by the fish-back, and when in a fair way of catching the inner fluke it is eased up ; when hooked, the fish-fall is steadied taut.

Q. What prevents tire fish from unhooking ?

A. The shoulder of the fluke.

Q. What is a fish-back ?

A. A rope bent to the fish-hook to rouse it forward in place for dropping it over the fluke of the anchor ; it is half-hitched round the hook, just below the eye, and seized down on the back part of the shoulder of the hook.

Q. How do you reeve a fish-fall ?

A. Through the single block in the fish-davit head down through the foremost sheave of the lower fish-block, up through the foremost sheave in the double block, over the davit heads, and so on to the finish ; the standing part is secured round the neck of the lower block ; the hauling part is rove through a single block lashed to the long leg of the lower pendant.

Q. Why are the cat and fish-falls rove through the foremost sheaves ?

A. Because they are the first to tauten, therefore will not jamb the after parts.

Q How do you reeve a cat-fall ?

A. Reeve it through the foremost sheave in the cathead, through the foremost sheave in the cat-block, and so on until it is rove in full ; the standing part is clinched to the eyebolt under the cathead, or secured with a round torn round the cathead, and timber-hitched.

Q. Where are the hauling parts of the cat and fish-falls led ?

A. Through leading blocks hooked to the eyebolts on the opposite side of the deck.

Q. What is done when the anchor is up to the cathead?

A. The cathead-stopper is passed and secured. The stock pendant is put over the outer part of the stock, the stock tackle hooked and steadied taut ; the fish is hooked to the inner fluke of the anchor.

Q. What precaution do yon take before walking away with the fish-fall ?

A. Unhook the cat-block, and attend the stock-tackle ; when all is ready, walk away with the fish-tackle, attending to martingale and topping-lift ; when the inner fluke is landed on the bill-board, pass the shank-painter.

Q. Why is the cat-block unhooked before walking up the fish ?

A. To prevent it being split between the cathead and anchor as the fish brings the anchor up.

Q. How is a stock pendant and tackle fitted, and what is its use ?

A. The pendant is fitted with a running eye in one end to go over the anchor stock, and a thimble in the other for the tackle to hook to ; a luff is generally used for the tackle ; when in place, and steadied taut, it prevents the inner or or lower arm of the stock from scraping the ship's side in fishing the anchor ; it is also used when stowing the anchor sea after the second catting, to bring the stock close into bill-board.

Q. How is an anchor cleared when hove up to the bows foul?

A. We will suppose, for example, the anchor comes up flukes uppermost.

Clap the foul-anchor strop on the fluke most convenient, or the crown, hook the cat, and walk the anchor up to the cathead, then hang the anchor by passing an hawser equal to the weight over the thumb-cleat round the fluke, and hitching it to the cathead.

Haul taut the hawser and belay it, ease up and unhook the cat or strop. Overhaul the cat, and hook it to the ring of the anchor.

Ease away the hawser, and walk up the cat at the same time. Clear the cable with ring ropes.

Slue ropes on the stock will be found a great assistance.

Should the anchor come up with the cable round the stock, and the ring turned down so that it is impossible to hook the cat to it, put a strop round the stock in such a way as to insure its not slipping.

Hook the cat to the strop, and walk the anchor up to the cathead, when the cable can be readily cleared, either by ring ropes, or hanging the cable, unshackling it, dipping it round the stock till clear, and shackling it on again.

Hang the anchor, unhook the cat, off strop, and hook the cat to the ring, and cat the anchor.


Shorten in Cable - Is to heave a certain portion of it in.

Cable a long Stay - An expression used in shortening in cable when the anchor is a short distance ahead, and the cable only forming a small angle with the anchor.

Cable a short Stay - The cable is said to be a short stay when it grows in a line with the forestay.

Cable Grows - A cable is said to grow when it leads in any particular direction. As the cable grows on the port or starboard bow right ahead, astern, under her bottom, &c.

Cable short Apeek - A cable is called short apeek when it is nearly up and down. It is up and down when the ship is directly over it.

Cable under Foot - The cable is said to he under foot when it is veered quickly before the ship has had time to drop astern clear of her anchor.

Anchor Away - The anchor is said to be away directly it is broken out of the ground.

Anchor heaving in Sight - An anchor is said to be heaving in sight directly any one can see it from the bows ; it is reported foul or clear, as the case may be ; it is clear anchor when it hangs fairly by the ring from the end of the cable ; and a foul anchor if the cable has a turn over one of the arms of the stock or fluke.

Anchor coming Home - An anchor is said to be coming home, or dragging, when it will not hold. It is said to bite well when the lower fluke has a good hold on the ground.

Drop an Anchor under root - To drop an anchor under foot is to let go a second anchor without veering cable on it.

Back the Anchor - To back an anchor is to lash another anchor or pigs of ballast to it.

Nun Buoy watches well - A nun buoy is said to watch well when it floats lightly over the anchor.

Bleeding a Buoy - When a buoy leaks, and you are obliged to make a hole to let the water out, it is called bleeding a buoy.

The Buoy watches - A buoy watches when it is not carried under the surface by the strength of the tide or other causes.

Single Anchor - A ship with one anchor down is lying at single anchor.

Moored - When a ship has two anchors down.

Moorings - Two or more anchors laid down with large chains, ready for a ship to secure to.

Veering Cable - Is to light it along the deck and pay it out of the hawse-holes.

Surging - Veering cable suddenly ; or a hawser slipping up the barrel of a capstan is said to surge.

A Spring - Leading a hawser from aft, and making it fast to the cable the ship is riding by, so as to bring her broadside, by heaving on the hawser, in any required position

Adrift - Slipping or breaking away from moorings.

Warping - Transporting a ship from one part of a harbour to another by means of hawsers.

Kedging - Is hauling a ship about a harbour or anchorage by means of small anchors and hawsers.



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