From WikiPOBia

Revision as of 01:15, 29 October 2007 by LadyShelley (Talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search

The chains of a vessel are the iron linkages which secure the shrouds to the side of the hull. For each shroud there is a chain, consisting of several elongated links, the lowest of which is fixed to a chain-plate bolted to the hull. From here the chain extends upwards and outwards; it passes through a slot cut in the outer edge of the channel, and immediately above this its uppermost link is formed as a broad ring into which a deadeye is fitted.

The term chains was also applied to the whole structure of chains, channel and deadeyes. A man standing on one of the channels, perhaps for the purpose of heaving the log or the lead, would be said to be 'in the (fore, main or mizzen) chains' or simply 'in the chains'.

Other uses for chain were just becoming common during the canonical period, allowing Darcy Lever to write of anchor chains in 1819, "These Cables are now in general use."[1] Between Aubrey's preference for the old-fashioned and the age of most of his commands, it is unsurprising that he does not use chain cable. Chain slings, however, were shipped before an action to support to the yards should the halliard's part, and the standard means of controlling the level of water within the hull was a chain pump.


  1. Lever, Darcy. The Young Sea Officer's Sheet Anchor: or, A Key to the Leading of Rigging and to Practical Seamanship. (c)1998 by Dover Publications, Inc.: p.116
Personal tools