Photo © Malene Thyssen, 22 july 2004

Iron anchors were of relatively light construction until the late Medieval period. In order to compensate for this lightness it was necessary to use in excess of four anchors. The problem of carrying large numbers of anchors was solved by the invention of the 'Admiralty anchor', an anchor with a removable stock. The removable stock enabled the anchors to be stacked in a compact manner thus occupying less room. Although this anchor was thought to be a recent invention, it can in fact be traced back over 2000 years to the 2nd century BC.


An arm positioned at a right angle to the flukes and located at either, the upper end of the shank at the point of the rode shackle, or at the crown of the anchor. The stock assists in positioning the flukes at an angle that will promote penetration into the bottom as the anchor is set.


The portion of the anchor that connects the crown, arms and flukes to the point on the anchor to which the rode is attached.


That part of the anchor that digs into the sea bed. A fluke has several component parts, an arm, a palm and a bill, depending upon the anchor type.


The point on the anchor at which the shank and the flukes meet. The crown is usually made to absorb the impact of the anchor as it hits the bottom. It is sometimes shaped so that directs the flukes into the position needed to anchor it to the seabed.

See Also

Medieval Shipping
History of Navigation
History of the Anchor

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