Reply To: Anchor work in the Grand Fleet

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Frank Scott

    This photograph shows HMS Dreadnought moored to two anchors, with a swivel inserted. The standard mooring swivel is illustrated in the Admiralty Manual of Seamanship, vol 1, from the first edition onwards, and it ensured that as the ship swung round with wind and or tide the hawse would remain clear. In other words it avoided the two anchor cables wrapping around each other.
    In its heyday the Royal Navy used this system extensively in fleet anchorages as it reduced the swinging circle, thus making more space for all the ships.
    The attachment was done on the starboard side, because in the RN this was the side with the sheet anchor. I never had to do it in my time in the service. However, my Father did use this system in a heavy repair ship out East at the end of WW2. I remember that he said that although it was a devil of a job, it was infinitely preferable to trying to sort out the tangle in heavy cable that resulted from not inserting the swivel.