Francis Liardet: Professional Recollections on Points of Seamanship, Discipline, &c., 1849.

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Anchoring with guns.

It has often happened that vessels of war, from previous loss of anchors, have been compelled to add to their security by the aid of guns. All the anchors you have are down, the ship drifting, and too much wind to weigh or slip with any chance of safety, I see nothing left for it, but to endeavour to bring the ship up with her guns. Make up your mind quickly as to the number of guns you think will be sufficient to hold the ship, run your hemp cable up to the spare hawse-hole on the side you think it will be advisable to let your guns go from; from aft over the main-deck guns outside, pass a hawser, which bend on to the hemp cable, haul as much of the end of the cable aft over as many of the main-deck guns as you wish, cross-lash the cable to the guns as near as convenient to the ship's side, unreeve the breechings from the breeching-rings, pass a strong lashing through each breeching-ring to the cable; when quite ready, throw your guns overboard together, and veer as the vessel drives, and you have a very good chance of saving your vessel. In such cases, it will be best to have the rope as dry as possible, as the lashings will tauten so much more under water, from that circumstance. It will also be well to protect the lashings on the guns as much as possible, from the ground. When you weigh your guns, as they come to the hawse-hole sling them, and run them up with the cat high enough to be taken in through the bow-port; most likely a tackle from the bowsprit will be required to keep them fair for entering the bow-port; have a good fore-and-aft tackle to run them inboard, then mount them, and put them in their places.
Francis Liardet: Professional Recollections on Points of Seamanship, Discipline, &c.
William Woodward, Portsea, 1849. 8vo, frontisp., (6), x, 319 pp, 1 col. plate of signals.

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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Copyright © 1998 Lars Bruzelius.