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Old 06-16-2015, 05:51 PM   #1
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Default Submarine anchors - used when and where?

Last year, I saw a photo of a submarine from below, and the caption said that it showed the submarine's anchor!

It had never occurred to me before that subs have anchors, but apparently they do.

Now, when and where do subs anchor? Are they used routinely or just for emergencies?

I can't imagine that dropping and retreiving an anchor can ever be anywhere near silent.
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Old 06-16-2015, 06:00 PM   #2
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Maybe something similar, but when I was in the Coast Guard we had a sea anchor on our ship when the ocean was too deep for a regular anchor.

We only used it once, and maybe just because the Captain was bored. It was used for the same reason you'd use a regular anchor, just to hang out in one spot without engines idling.
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Old 06-16-2015, 06:20 PM   #3
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What I'm referring to are definitely proper anchors, intended to catch on the bottom.

And I know what anchors are for, just not how subs use them (they're, after all, a bit different from surface vessels in many ways).
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Old 06-19-2015, 09:12 AM   #4
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As it was told to me during my qualification process (on an Ohio class) We only had one because of coast guard requirements. The only time we ever used it was in drydock, to make sure it worked.
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Old 06-19-2015, 10:43 AM   #5
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While looking up 'submarines at anchor' I came across this long forgotten gem with great pictures. http://www.navsource.org/archives/08/08023.htm How stupid am I; you cant really see a sub's anchor when it's anchored anyway.
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Old 06-19-2015, 07:00 PM   #6
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Why not the same reason that ship uses them? Anchoring in a harbor, for example when there are no slips available.
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Old 06-19-2015, 07:37 PM   #7
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In the book "Final Harbor" Submariner Harry Homewood wrote that when a fleet sub went out on a war patrol, the anchor and chains were removed because

1. They were really not used much in war patrols
2. There were risks of the anchor breaking loose in a depth charge attack and dragging the chain with it.

His book was pretty realistic, but was this really the case? Did fleet subs go out on war patrols sans anchor/chain?
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Old 06-19-2015, 11:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Platapus View Post
His book was pretty realistic, but was this really the case? Did fleet subs go out on war patrols sans anchor/chain?
This sounds like the question of prop guards; something that you might want in peacetime, but not on a war patrol.


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Old 06-20-2015, 01:17 PM   #9
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I think the OP is talking about modern nuclear submarines if he saw a picture last year he probably saw an SSN.

Modern boats have anchors flush with the bottom of the submarine like an upside down mushroom.

Just plain sense for a boat to have an anchor for emergency only I would think. They just do dead slow turns waiting for seal teams to come back.
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Old 09-24-2016, 02:04 PM   #10
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cool dropping the anchor

When a diesel submarine is on maneuvering watch, the anchor manifold is manned so the anchor can be dropped in case of an emergency, other times the anchor might be dropped off shore just to keep the boat in place, for whatever reason, I actually served on a diesel submarine and saw this happen under both scenarios
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Old 09-24-2016, 02:52 PM   #11
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Default Welcome aboard!

to the mark!https://www.quora.com/Does-the-submarine-have-an-anchor! Indeed!Baleo's do and so do VII-C/41's
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Old 09-26-2016, 07:43 AM   #12
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The only times I remember us using the anchor were when we anchored out in Bermuda and Nassau.
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Old 02-01-2018, 03:25 PM   #13
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We would anchor out sometimes (rarely!) on the SSN's I served aboard. The trick was to ensure we had sternway on when dropping the hook ... otherwise you run the risk of dinging the rudder and possibly the screw.
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Old 02-01-2018, 03:29 PM   #14
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Here's a picture of USS Phoenix (SSN-702) anchored out at Nassau ... note the black "anchor" ball dayshape flying from the sail.
1[/IMG]https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10200482600081046&set=g.17642919199 0&type=1&theater&ifg=1
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Old 02-02-2018, 08:08 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Platapus View Post

1. They were really not used much in war patrols
They are not used much, if at all.

Back in the good old days, we were still being held prisoner in a PHNSY drydock (AKA "home" ) when the ship's anchor was busted out of storage and left in a pile back near the rudder.
Being we were stuck in shipyard duty, always a tedious and boring affair, many of us gathered to look at the anchor and comment on its presence, 'cuz, well, we were that bored.

"Check out the chain, something's wrong.." a TM bud says.
And, he was right. Three quarters of the chain links were wrong. Several years prior, something had gone wrong and most of the links had been replaced in a rather hasty manner. The new links were Canadian chain, top quality but also forged using the metric system.

The upshot was that the rest of us all said "Huh, how about that.." and went on to find other things to stare at while filing away the factiod for use during quals check-outs on un-suspecting nubs.

About a year later, we finally get the boat back in the water and the CO gets a burr in his saddle to do a Dependent's Cruise to Lanai as a reward to the families. Dependent's Cruises were becoming more popular in the Navy, but not on subs. Subs have many Things That Can Hurt You and mix of these items plus civilians and young-uns was not being looked forward to.

A little later, my TM bud and I are dutifully studying our Bluejackets manuals in the barracks when my QM roomie shows up. "You're not going to believe this, we'll have to anchor out when we get to Lania..".
"You're kidding, right? Didn't anyone think this thing through?"
"Well, obviously..."

At which point my TM bud remembers our quals ambush factiod and says, "Don't we have to drop the anchor if we anchor out? I wonder if it'll drop?" . "Well, maybe they fixed the chain before they winched it back into the boat?" (PHNSY has become legendary to us by this point when it came to dropping the ball).

Now, we did the right thing and passed this info up the chain of command.


We still set sail for Lanai, of course, with many wives, girlfriends, and kids wondering how to flush the toilets and "What does this thing do?".
We also dove and our intrepid skipper put on a display of the capabilities of a Los Angeles class sub, a display which was so good that all of our dependents needed to be debriefed after we got home. You know that stock Navy statement, "In excess of 20 knots and 200 feet"? Yeah, we kinda broke that..

So, we make it to our mooring area off Lanai. Now, good sailors will bet on almost anything and there was some considerable "action" on whether or not the anchor would do its thing.
The Nav takes a deep breath and gives the order to drop the anchor. Five seconds later Sonar comes on the MC to report hearing some kind of "thumpy-clangy sound" that came from back aft.

We winch the anchor back in and try it again...

To make a long story shorter, there are specific conditions that separate being under way from at anchor. We were definitely NOT at anchor, so..

The small boat showed up to take our civilian guests to their already-reserved hotels plus my TM bud who got hosed with a long weekend of Shore Patrol, which was slightly ironic in that he was the only active duty person on the island. At least he didn't have to arrest himself.

For the rest of us, we spent a couple of days making interesting geometric patterns on our charts and wondering if Lanai was really the garden paradise it was said to be.
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