How could the kedge anchor the poop deck anchor ever be utilized

Titanic had a small anchor sitting on her poop deck, but not within sight of any anchor chain. In case this anchor was ever used- what would it have been attached to? Was it really fuctional, or was it one of those things Olympic and Titanic had simply to fullfill some requirement? I wonder if Olympic ever used her kedge anchor...


Tarn Stephanos
Yes, Olympic and Titanic they had 2 Kedge anchors on board to fullfill requirements.
One of the many outdated rules I guess.

Interestingly though, there is a picture of Britannic which shows a small anchor with chain wrapped around her stem.
Perhaps it is from another ship out of sight, but why the heck use the ships stem?
Why is there even an anchor, whatever ship it belongs to, wrapped around the stem?

Small anchors are sometimes used. Occasionally the captain might want to anchor briefly without bothering with the main anchors. They were sometimes used for manoeuvring the ship in harbour. A dropped kedge anchor provides a pivot point for swinging the ship. I fancy that the Olympic class ships made very little use of them but it was normal to carry them so they did.

Erik Wood

Stern anchors are also used to stop the swing of a ship. If you anchor with only the bow anchor the ship will swing with the tide or wind. If you anchor in a channel big ships could block the entire channel. So stern anchors are used to stop the movment.


The Kedge anchors were basically there to satisfy the law which required that they be carried on board. Ships the size of Titanic rarely kedge, so its presence on board was just a formality. It is interesting to note that since the regulations made no requirements for carriage or tackle, Lusitania's kedge was stored in the most sensible spot ... at the bottom of her No 2 cargo hold where it provides it most useful service to the ship, namely ballast.

Bill Sauder
Facinating! So Titanic's kedge anchor was more or less useless..Sort of like the rear bumper of a 61' T-Bird. Its there for show, but it cant really be used. ..But I suspect that small anchor on the starboard side of the forcastle could be utilized, yet was also there to fullfill requirements. Did Olympic ever use any of these extar anchors? Interesting about the Lucy using her kedge for ballast! Was that commonly done on the large liners of that time?


Tarn Stephanos
Not to sound like a prissy schoolmarm, but we seem to have a language problem here.

A kedge anchor derives its name from its use--kedging. This is the process of moving a vessel by carrying the anchor out, and hauling the ship to it. A lightweight anchor is needed because it is usually carried by one or more of the ship's boats. (Int'l Maritime Dictionary, 2nd ed. Rene de Kerchove)

The most famous episode of kedging occurred off the New Jersey coast during the War of 1812 when the U.S. frigate Constitution kedged away from two pursuing British warships.

A stern anchor is any anchor stored and deployed from the stern of the ship. Normally stern anchors are about half the size of bowers (those at the bow). They are used primarily as Captain Erik described.

"Sheet anchor" is the term used to describe the biggest, heaviest anchor on board. In the days of sail it was usually stored inboard, often in way of the foremast. Deploying the sheet anchor was only done in the direst of might say when things had gone to sheet.

Today, the sheet anchor is often called the "best bower."

-- David G. Brown