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

Page 217:

Spring, when used, attached to the anchor or cable.

In using a spring from the bower anchor or cable, for the purpose of getting a ship's broadside to bear steadily on any object, can never be equal to the steadiness acquired by using a second anchor, with a stern-cable or hawser. If you have taken up a good position with the spring, and your broadside bears well, you never can depend upon keeping the ship's position for any time, as it will be liable to alteration with every change of wind or tide. Suppose a ship to be running in with the wind from the sea, to engage a battery, or vessels at anchor. She has anchored, and sprung her broadside to the object; while fireing, the wind comes off the land (no uncommon case near high land), the ship must then drop over or past her anchor, until she lays her broadside by the anchor and spring on the opposite, or in-shore side, which increases her distance from the object fired at, and lays her open to much annoyance from the enemy's fire, while perhaps very few of her guns will bear. A spring is at all times little to be relied on, compared with a stern-anchor. After it becomes dark, a spring will much decrease the certainty of your practice. If a ship has a good scope of cable, with one anchor a-head, and the other astern, rather tautly moored, and her broadside bearing well on the object, there will be little fear of her shearing about much. But should it be requisite to fire the guns at night by previous bearings, with the quoins of the guns marked for elevation then to make the practice more certain, it would be well to have two kedges, with two good strong hawsers laid out on the off side, one on the bow, and the other on the quarter; the hawser from aft being attached to the anchor on the bow, and the one from forward to the anchor on the quarter; these two hawsers crossing each other at a good angle, with as much scope as possible, well boused taut will insure the direction of the guns by bearings at night, and steadiness of aim by daylight.
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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