History of Anchors

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Admiralty Anchor

History of Anchors

History of Anchors definition: An anchor is a device, normally made of metal, used to connect a vessel to the bed of a body of water to prevent the craft from drifting due to wind or current. The word derives from Latin ancora, which itself comes from the Greek ἄγκυρα (ankura)
From what we can determine the earliest anchors date back to the Bronze age and have been found to be simple rocks. Pre-European Maori waka (canoes) used one or more hollowed stones, tied with flax ropes, as anchors. Many modern moorings still rely on a large rock as the primary element of their design. However, using pure mass to resist the forces of a storm only works well as a permanent mooring; a large enough rock would be nearly impossible to move to a new location.
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. Iron was afterwards introduced for the construction of anchors, and an improvement was made by forming them with teeth, or “flukes”, to fasten themselves into the bottom.
Anchors can either be temporary or permanent.
Permanent anchors are used in the creation of a mooring, and are rarely moved; a specialist service is often required to move or maintain them.
Vessels carry one or more temporary anchors, which may be of different designs and weights.


History of Anchors Drogue Anchor used while at Sea

Drogue Anchor

A sea anchor is a drogue, not in contact with the seabed, used to control a drifting vessel

Modern day types of anchors that can be found on small vessels

History of Anchors - Fluke Style Anchor

Fluke Style Anchor

The design is a burying variety, and once well set can develop high resistance. Its lightweight and compact flat design make it easy to retrieve and relatively easy to store; some anchor rollers and hawsepipes can accommodate a fluke-style anchor. The Danforth which is a similar style will not hold on gravel, weed however, in boulders and coral it can act as a hook thereby holding firm

History of Anchors -Bruce Anchor for smaller vessels

Bruce or Claw Anchor

Orignally used for larger vessels it is now popular with smaller vesselsOriginally used for larger vessels it is now popular with smaller boat users.  Designed in the  Isle of Man in 1970 by Peter Bruce it was orignally intended to give an additional option from the plough to address some of the problems. As a result the claw type was found to quickly set in most seabeds not breaking out with the tide or wind change. The Claw instead slowly turned in the bottom to align with the force.


History of Anchors - CQR Plough Anchor

CQR Plough Anchor

Named as such due to it’s similarity to the agriculture plough, These types of anchors are popular with boaters and are good in all bottoms but not exceptionally in any. These are often stored at the Bow on rollers.

History of Anchors - Rocna Anchor

Rocna Anchor

The Rocna Anchor is New Zealand based design since 2004 and used for penetrating weed and grass


There are many different anchors which are used for all purposes we have listed some of the more common ones which can be found in chandler’s.  The warp and chain that goes with these are as important as the anchor itself and most be measured correctly to allow for the anchor to carry out the job it is being asked to do. This will depend on the weight of the craft and the depth of water, if you are not sure what you should have, we can assist in you selecting the right one for your needs. Simply contact us by following this link

We hope you have enjoyed reading some of the facts surrounding these anchors.


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