Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the U.S. Navy

Related Content
Anchors

Typically, anchors are made of cast steel, the fittings and the shanks of housing anchors, of forged steel. Anchors vary in weight from wherry anchors, weighing 30 pounds, to those carried by aircraft carriers weighing over 30,000 pounds, with the chain approximately 1,400 feet in length. Anchors have their weight stamped on them near the base, and a Bureau of Ships serial number and the date of manufacture. The edges to anchors are chamfered, or otherwise smoothed, to prevent damage to the hull of ship when being raised.

Anchors are taken in by an anchor windless. This consists of an engine connected to a shaft, usually vertical, around the top and fitted with a wildcat. The engine may be run in either direction and is controlled from the deck. The wildcat is a concave, vertical, drum-like device with ridges around it, and these ridges are so shaped that they will engage the links of the anchor chain.

Image: 050509-N-4776G-026: The port anchor USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) is released into the ocean during an anchor drop test, May 9, 2005. The nuclear-powered ship is currently underway conducting routine carrier operations in the Pacific Ocean. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Airman Kathleen Gorby.

Alphabetical list of Ship Anchors at the National Museum of the U.S. Navy

USS Anzio (CVE-57), ship's anchor, on display at the exterior front entrance, to the right while facing the National Museum of the U.S. Navy, Bldg. 76. 

The screw sloop of war Hartford, ship's anchor,  on display at the exterior front entrance, to the extreme right facing the National Museum of the U.S. Navy, Bldg. 76. 

Admiralty Anchors on display at Willard Park, Washington Navy Yard, Washington. D.C.