SHIPS, on getting within signal distance of the senior officer, are required to show their number, and on this being recognized, that officer gives his number in return.

Local signals, or temporary additions to the signal books, general orders, and copies of the squadron routine, should be procured without delay after joining company.

Shortening all sail together, in coming to anchor, however well done aloft, cannot but crowd the decks at a time when you want silence and the power of carrying out a sudden alteration in your plans. Except when you want to “charge” into a station with great way, or catch breezes over the land with your lofty canvas, the seamanlike way to come to is under topsails, after the courses and upper sails have been taken in and the upper yards squared. You can then feel your way with the topsails, deaden it with a check of the braces, freshen it with a small addition of canvas, or stop it by heaving aback.

When about to shorten sail, get the marks on the lee lower lifts down; clew up; man all the braces, and lower and square all together.

In coming in, while blowing hard, get as much sail reefed and furled as you can spare with prudence, and the cables double-bitted. If running, round to before letting go, and have hands by the second anchor ready for letting go.

Always double-bitt before anchoring in deep water, as at Madeira, and similar anchorages.

Should you use a buoy, do not part with it until veering obliges you to do so.

The rolling motion may be checked, when at anchor, provided there be not too much wind, by making sail and bracing by. This is no unimportant object, especially in handling boats.

No one who could help it would moor in a roadstead. At single anchor a ship is ready for sea, and her remaining anchors are disposable for a gale from any quarter.

The common rule for giving the proper scope to ride by, in moderate weather, is six times the depth of water.


In coming to an anchor, it is desirable to run the cable out straight, clear of the anchor, after letting go. To do this we must either wait for sternway before letting go, or else let go while there is headway on, and pay out roundly.

For the former there must be wind enough (if there is no tide) to force the ship astern. In the latter, there is the chance of damaging the copper and snapping the chain, and thus of running on board a vessel which we had reckoned on clearing. It is evidently an unnecessary risk in strong breezes, and therefore only adopted in light ones, where the risk is small. The mizzen topsail is often set aback to give the ship sternboard.

The object in thus laying out the cable is, that not only will the anchor be clear, but that (except in strong breezes and tides) the ship will ride far from her anchor by the mere weight of the chain, where it rises from the bottom.


It will be assumed that the ship has had a long and boisterous passage, and that she is approaching her port of destination under favorable circumstances, pleasant weather, and with a reasonable prospect of making a speedy run in.

On striking soundings, bend chains and get the anchors off the bows. A day or two before making the port, send down any extra rigging that may be aloft, scrape and grease spars, get the upper masts in line, and see that all the square marks are on the lifts and braces. Scrub paint-work inside and out, and if found necessary give the ship a light coat of paint outside, by rubbing off with rags steeped in oil and lampblack. Touch up all chafes on the spars aloft. The morning before going in, holystone decks, and scrub boats, spars, and oars. Sling clean hammocks the evening before.

As you near the port, send down all chafing gear, lower the boat davits and square the boats, having them all ready for lowering, have all the half ports squared, and see that no lines are towing overboard. Have sentry boards placed, and sentries ready for posting, the accommodation ladder scrubbed and ready for shipping. All sheets snug home, and sails up taut; clew-jiggers hooked, if used. If anticipating a long stay in port, the studding-sails may be unbent, the gear unrove, tallied, and stowed away. If intending to moor immediately after anchoring, rig the capstan for the chain of the anchor first let go, unless the bars will be in the way. The officers and crew should be dressed in the uniform prescribed by the captain. Every preparation should be made for firing a salute, and the flags to be used in readiness.


Sometimes the topsail sheets and fore and main tacks and sheets are singled to facilitate shortening sail.

If coming in under steam alone, have all the sails neatly furled, yards squared, and rigging hauled taut.

On approaching a port at any time, day or night, have the colors set. If it has been too dark to make out the colors upon the ship’s entering port, they are usually ordered to be hoisted at daybreak the next morning.

Upon nearing the anchorage, the officer of the deck, when so ordered, directs the boatswain to call “BRING SHIP TO ANCHOR! The first lieutenant then takes the trumpet, and officers and crew repair to their stations. The officers, following the executive, repair in the order of rank to the forecastle, main deck, starboard and port gangways and mizzen mast. The navigator, or other officer assigned to this duty, will see that both anchors are ready for letting go, that the chains are bitted and clear for running, compressors thrown back, with men to man the falls, hook-ropes, stoppers, &c., at hand.

Should the navigator have charge of the ground tackle, he returns to the bridge, to pilot the ship in.

The junior officers are distributed about the ship to the best advantage.

The principal stations of the crew are at the wheel, lead, anchors, conn, signals, clew-jiggers and buntlines, down-hauls and brails, and weather braces. Hands by tacks and sheets, halliards, outhauls, bowlines, lee braces, and on the lower yards to overhaul the topsail sheets. Also hands by the compressors, and hook-rope on the main deck.

Only those men stationed aloft will go there; all others must keep below the rail, out of the chains and clear of the ports. Care should be taken that the general appearance of the ship is neat and seamanlike.

For detail of duties of the men stationed at the anchors at the order LET GO! see Chapter XIV., page 247.

If a senior officer’s ship is lying in the port, observe the disposition made of his light spars, and, if need be, make the usual signals and all preparations for sending down light yards and masts, should his be on deck. Sway at the order LAY DOWN FROM ALOFT! after furling sail, but lower carefully while men are in the rigging.

A vessel entering port with light yards in the rigging should make similar preparations for crossing them on anchoring if the senior officer has his light yards across.

As soon as the sails are furled, lay down all but the square yard men, send a boat ahead, square yards haul taut and stop in rigging, and pipe down.

Get the lower booms out, rigged for port, and lower boats according to circumstances. When coming in under steam alone, the former are generally rigged out as soon as the anchor is let go. At the same time, circumstances permitting,


run up the jack if the topgallant yards are across, and fire the first gun of the salute.

The catamaran should be ready, so that the copper may be scrubbed and oiled the morning after coming to.

Immediately after anchoring, the navigator gets bearings of the prominent objects in sight, that the ship’s position may be plotted on the chart. These bearings must be entered in the log.

On piping down, the first lieutenant gives up the deck to the officer of the watch.



BRING SHIP TO ANCHOR! See that all the officers and crew are on deck and at their stations. TOP-GALLANT AND ROYAL YARDMEN IN THE TOPS! Stand by to take in all the studding-sails and royals! After the men are stationed, take them in, giving the order, Haul taut!IN STUDDING-SAILS AND ROYALS! Or give the order for the stun’ sails in detail. Rig in and get alongside the studding-sail booms, make up and stow away the sails, trice up the gear, take the burtons off the topsail yard, and jiggers off the top-gallant lifts, if used.

Man the top-gallant clewlines! Fore clew-garnets and buntlines! and when ready, Haul taut!IN TOP-GALLANT SAILS, UP FORESAIL!

FURL THE TOP-GALLANT SAILS AND ROYALS! The moment this order is given, the light-yard men should lay aloft from the top, and after furling the sails snugly, lay down on deck.

Square the lower yards by the lifts, and let the captains of the tops square the top-gallant and royal yards.

Man the topsail clew-jiggers and buntlines; jib downhaul! spanker outhaul! At this order hands lay out on lower yards to overhaul topsail sheets. Have hands stationed by the topsail sheets and halliards, jib halliards and spanker brails, and to attend the braces. Bear the spanker boom over on the quarter.

When near the anchorage, put the helm to starboard or port, as the case may be, having allowed for head-reach in bringing her to the wind. Then give the order, Haul taut! Let go the topsail sheets!CLEW UP! HAUL DOWN THE JIB! HAUL OUT THE SPANKER! As soon as the sails shake, having the wind abeam, Settle away the topsail halliards! SQUARE AWAY! Take in the slack of the braces as the yards come down, keeping them square. The buntlines are hauled up above the yard, the clews hauled forward by the clew-jiggers.


She comes to the wind by the effect of the helm and spanker, and as soon as she loses entirely her headway give the orders, Stand clear of the starboard (or port) chain! LET GO THE STARBOARD (or port) ANCHOR! Spanker brails! and as soon as she swings to the anchor, BRAIL UP THE SPANKER! Direct the navigator * as to the scope to be given, he reporting the order carried out when the chain is secured; furl sails, square yards, haul taut rigging, and pipe down.

If coming in before the wind, or with the wind well aft, the head sails may be down, or hauled down before shortening sail.

If the crew has been well drilled, all the studding-sails, top-gallant sails, royals, and foresail may be taken in together; and this, when well done, has a fine effect.

The best command to give on such occasions, where everything is started together, is:

Haul taut! SHORTEN SAIL!

This should be done in time sufficient to admit of getting the sails, booms, and gear out of the way before taking in the topsails.

The top-gallant sails and royals should be furled at once, when clewed up. To this end it is well to have the light-yard men on the jack and cross-trees ready to lay out the moment the yards are down.

It is not advisable to attempt to reduce a cloud of canvas at once, unless the crew and rigging are in such a state as to insure success.


If there is not room to take the necessary sweep, in coming to anchor with the wind aft, check-stoppers may be put on the cable to deaden the headway. Having clewed up the sails in good time, furl them, that you may approach the anchorage with as little headway as possible. The anchor being let go, the checks, breaking one after the other, serve to stop her headway before the range is veered to. If no cable is ranged, have careful hands at the compressors.


Coming to anchor with the yards braced up, you must have the weather braces well manned, and have hands ready to square the lower lifts, before the topsails are clewed up; and the moment the order is given to clew up, let the braces be hauled in, and the lower lifts hauled taut to the

* As before stated, the duties of the navigator in connection with the chains in coming to or getting under way are frequently performed by a watch officer, the navigator remaining on the spar-deck to pilot the ship.


square mark. Some officers square the yards by the braces before they clew up the sails. This hastens to stop her headway, and it is necessary in some cases, as, for instance, in coming to in a crowded harbor, or where you have little room. But it renders the operation of clewing up difficult, from the sails being aback and binding against the rigging. Others clew up the topsails, and then, manning all the weather braces, order, Settle away the topsail halliards! SQUARE AWAY! When circumstances permit, this is preferable.

As soon as the cable is taut and the anchor ahead, “veer to” on the cable, giving it to her as she will take it.’

Standing in on a bowline under all sail, the most approved method is to shorten sail to topsails, jib, and spanker, and to come to under that sail.

Everything being in readiness, give the command-

Man the fore and main clew garnets and buntlines!

Top-gallant and royal clewlines, flying jib downhaul!

Aloft top-gallant and royal yard men!*

Having hands by the tacks, sheets, halliards, and lee braces, and weather top-gallant and royal braces manned, order, Haul taut!


The sails are clewed up, yards clewed down, and squared in by the braces.


Next order-

Man the topsail clew jiggers and buntlines!

Jib downhaul!

At this order the men stationed there lay out on the lower yards to overhaul topsail sheets, and a few hands are sent to the spanker sheet.

Stand by the starboard (or port) anchor!

When it is judged that the ship can be luffed up into her berth, order the helm

Hard down!

Haul taut!

Let go the jib halliards! HAUL DOWN!

Clear away the topsail sheets! CLEW UP!

The spanker sheet is now hauled over till the boom is amidships; the jib is hauled down snug, and the topsails clewed up. Then-

Man the weather braces! Stand by the topsail halliards!

Settle away the topsail halliards! SQUARE AWAY!

At this order the topsail halliards are settled away roundly, and the braces hauled in to the square marks.

The quartermaster in the chains, judging by his lead, will report when headway ceases; as soon as the ship

* This presupposes the light-yard men have already been sent into the tops.


commences going astern, Stand clear of the starboard chain! LET GO THE STARBOARD ANCHOR! If a buoy is used, first, Stream the buoy!

When head to wind, put the wheel amidships and secure it, and brail up the spanker.

Let her take the chain from the locker if she will, and do not pay it down in a lump under the forefoot. If the wind is so light that, even with the mizzen topsail set, she will not take the chain, you must wait either for the tide or a stronger breeze to send her astern.

The anchor being down-


Man the bunt-jiggers, have hands by the clew-jiggers and buntlines, &c., and proceed to furl. Should it be found, after clewing up, that the ship head reaches too much, and is in danger of fouling another vessel, sheet home and hoist the mizzen topsail. Should this prove insufficient, drop the foresail.


Running in with a scant but good working breeze, a ship, by a series of half-boards, might work up in a crowded harbor to a position not otherwise attainable, the manoeuvre being attended with greater success with a favorable tide.

Or having the yards braced sharp up, and everybody at their stations, Clear away the topsail sheets! CLEW UP! and keeping fast the halliards that the yards may remain pointed to the wind, stand on under jib and spanker, luffing all she will. Man all the weather braces! Jib downhaul! Hands by the topsail halliards! Lee fore and main lifts! and when up to your berth, HAUL AFT THE SPANKER SHEET! Hard down! HAUL DOWN THE JIB! Settle away the topsail halliards! SQUARE AWAY! When she loses headway, let go the anchor, furl sails, square yards, haul taut the rigging, and pipe down.


Stand in close to one side of the channel, and when nearly abreast of the berth clew up the fore and main topsails, at the same time hauling down the jib. Put the helm down, haul out the spanker, and brace the mizzen topsail sharp aback. When head to wind, let go the anchor and clew up.

Anchoring in a narrow channel or harbor, with the intention of mooring, you will let go the first anchor on the weather shore, and moor with an open hawse, either in or out of the harbor, to the prevailing wind.

The necessity of these precautions will appear evident if


you should ever find yourself riding to a gale of wind with a cross or elbow in the hawse, cables chafing each other and injuring the cut water.


If, having a head wind, and tide favorable, you work up, you will, when near the anchorage, put the Vessel before the wind; and, keeping her under the management of the helm, with sufficient sail set to stem the current, you may, by reducing or making sail, drop with the tide, shoot ahead, or sheer to either side with the helm, until you have arrived at the proper spot for anchoring.

Always come to, however, with the head of the ship to that which is the stronger, either the wind or the tide. Let the last tack be that which will bring you close to the weather shore; reduce sail to the jib; put the helm up, and wear short round till the ship’s head approaches the flood tide (should the tide prevail), then down jib; let go the anchor and furl sails; otherwise anchor as if no tide.

Unless the wind be very light, sail should be furled as it is taken in, lest she overrun her chain.


Having the tide running out, with a fresh breeze in your favor, and having, by sufficient sail, forced your way through the water to the anchorage, reduce sail until she becomes stationary, when you may let go the anchor. Furl sail at once.

In a tideway you usually moor with one anchor up and the other down the stream.



After bending the bower chains, rouse up and bend both sheet chains; get the upper yards on deck; send down the top-gallant masts, send the studding-sails out of the tops; get up and reeve top-pendants and jeers, and make all preparations, before coming to, to house topmasts, and send down lower yards immediately after anchoring, if required. Weather-bit the chains and have the compressors well manned. As you near the harbor, haul up the foresail, and take in and furl the fore-topsail.* Have reefed spanker or storm mizzen ready for hauling out.

* The main topsail might be clewed up at this time and a head sail hoisted, which would suffice to give the necessary headway, and decrease the chances of broaching to.


Clew up the main-topsail when some distance from your berth, and when near it put the helm hard down and haul out the spanker. Send the men aloft to furl the foresail and main-topsail, and as she rounds to, with the wind on the bow, let go the weather bower and veer away roundly. When out to a good scope, from forty-five to sixty fathoms, according to the depth of water, let go the lee bower, and when head to wind, brail up the spanker. Bring her up gradually, veering to from ninety to one hundred and twenty fathoms on the first, and forty-five to sixty on the second.

Bring an equal strain on both cables and stopper well. Now house topmasts, &c., &c., if necessary.



In anchoring off coasts, or in exposed roadsteads, preparations must immediately be made for slipping and going to sea in case of bad weather. In coming to in such a case, we would let go that anchor from which we expect to cast when slipping. If anchoring off Tampico, for example, let go the port anchor, as, if we slip, it will be in a norther. Before furling sails, single-reef the courses and double-reef the topsails. Have storm sails bent, and be prepared for a gale at any moment. Make all preparations for slipping.

While lying at anchor under these circumstances, hoist boats, stowing inboard, every night if you are using them; all the davit boats will, of course, be hoisted. The officer of the deck, at night, should see the topsail sheets clear, unless the ship has steam up ready for going ahead at short notice. Have a hand by the drift lead.

Upon the first indication of bad weather all hands will be called, and, if time, the anchor hove up; otherwise the chain must be slipped. All anchors are kept ready for letting go; for something mightoccur to prevent slipping.



Send hands aloft to drop the foresail, screw down the forward compressor, unshackle the cable, bend on a hawser, and, as the vessel approaches, slip, and give her a wide berth. A head sail hoisted, with the sheet to windward, may assist in canting your vessel clear of the danger. In a fresh breeze, stand by to veer instead of unshackling.


If collision is unavoidable, get the swinging boom alongside, lower the quarter boat and lower deck ports, overhaul lower lifts, and brace the yards up on the tack opposite to, the side the ship is on. If a vessel gets athwart your hawse in a strong tide, probably the easiest way to clear is to send a kedge astern, set taut the hawser, and wait for the tide to turn. When it does, you will swing by the stern, and the other vessel be drifted clear of you. For tending ship at single anchor, see Appendix K.