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History And Evolution Of The Anchor

The Anchor History And Evolution

An Anchor is a device used to secure a ship to the sea bottom. Ever since man started fishing and traveling on water parking the vessel has always been necessary.

This device and the means of connecting it to a vessel have undergone changes over the years. The means of connecting has evolved from ropes to chains then cables.

History of anchors can be dated back to at least the bronze edge where rocks were used for design. A hole would be drilled into a rock where a rope will be tied.

These were used to resist the forces of a storm when the ship was anchored. The design and performance of anchors has evolved and better versions are expected in the future.

Types Of Anchors

Stone Anchoring

The demand for an anchor was from fishing. But as man started sailing the rough waters the demand for a better anchor increased. stone anchor
Back in the bronze age a hole was drilled through a rock and a rope tied through the hole.


In ancient Greek wooden logs, sacks filled with sand and baskets filled with rocks were used as anchors.

Approximately 2000 years ago a stone was enclosed into a wooden structure with flukes used to enhance the securing method.


This anchor is commonly referred to as the killick anchor.

More holes were drilled later and flukes were attached directly into the stone.


The transition from Greek to Roman Empire saw the development of an anchor with some aspects of an intuitive pattern.

But instead of steel forges they used lead for the stock and wood for the collar. The Greeks are credited with the development of flukes or teeth. 

First, it was one tooth after which they moved to a pair. Flukes and shafts were made out of wood.

The pattern was fully developed into an Admiralty with stock at shanks end. These were placed at right angles to a pair of flukes.

The orientation of the anchor allows the fluke to dig into the ground. This happens regardless of how the anchor hits the sea bottom.
Admiral pattern was combined with iron as the material. Flukes were still being used to fasten the ship to the bottom. This basic design remained unchanged for centuries.


In the early 19th century the admiralty deign was perfected. Quality iron and good welding techniques were applied.trotman anchor

The 19th century saw improvements in fluke design to deal with vessel swings due to currents and wind.

Holding power was improved by introducing one armed anchors. This marked the age of the Trotman anchoring. The pivot was such that arms join the shank allowing the idle arm to fold close to the shank.


The hinged stockless fluke type was adopted in large ships. The absence of a stock made the stowing process much easier.

The addition of a hinge was an exceptional innovation. This is because it allowed both flukes deep to the bottom. This development happened in England. Stockless Anchor

However, the weight to holding power ratio was significantly lower compared to the admiralty design. Even so, they were widely adopted.

They were easy to handle and could stow large ships. These were hauled to a point where the shank rest within the haws pipes and the flukes inside hulls' recces.

Fluke Transitions

Stockless anchors were modified by Sir Geoffrey Taylor into a single fluke anchor in 1930s commonly referred to as Coastal Quick Release.

Here, the weighted tip resembled a plough. The singular hinged shank allowed directional movement without pulling the whole unit out.

In 1940s the aviation and military demand saw the invention of a triangular, blade-like fluke by Richard Danforth.

This wide sharp triangular fluke was used with sea planes. It was much lighter and had a high weight to holding ratio.

This design has been adopted into the aluminum Fortress anchors. Claw anchors were introduced in 1970s by Peter Bruce to secure platforms used with North Sea oil rigs.

Smaller versions were adopted in boats. They are easy to step but they have average holding power.

In 1992 the CQR was modified into Delta anchors by Phillip McCarron and others. It was used for floating systems like oil rigs.

The weighted tip of CQR is still present but the fluke has a bigger surface area to weight ratio. The hinge was also eliminated. Despite being a plough anchor, it sets well and holds hard enough to the bottom.

rocha anchor

The scoop type anchor was then introduced in 1996 by a Alain Poiraud.

These anchors resemble a shovel with a concave fluke. It digs deeper by applying more pressure.

He later changed the design into convex following weighing and muck problems.

The shank was also made hollow. These two modifications improved holding power and orientation.

Another exceptional scoop type was made by Yilmanez Yucel and Nejat Ovutmen. The Ultra were handmade and curved out of steel.

It has a hollow shank and a weighted tip which allows for proper orientation. It also features side wing plates.

The 21st century saw the development of a 3-fluke anchor which triangular arrangement.
This was meant for general purposes but was difficult to stow.
Later, Peter Smith developed the Rocna which had a concave fluke, setting skids and a rotating tool bar for general purposes.


There are many scoop type anchors available in the market today. They perform better that any other designs in history.

Scoops can be employed on different bottom substrates from sand to mud. They are suitable for varied conditions and can be used with ropes or chains.

The evolution of anchors is expected to continue due to pursuit of better performance.

The anchor has come a long way throughout history and it truly is amazing just how much it has changed. People love the history and rightly so.

We honor of the anchor, put together a collection of leather  anchor bracelets for guys and gals to show our love of this piece of history.

Wearing an anchor bracelet comes with a lot of meaning , the anchor itself is a symbol of stability, peace and hope and allows us to keep a clear mind among the tides of life.

Feel free to browse the collection and you will surely find one that's perfect for you. 

  • Mar 06, 2017
  • Category: News
  • Comments: 0
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