How A Tiny Anchor Can Hold A Whole Ship

When you think about it, it seems strange that such a tiny object defies an entire ships direction. Like these party tricks below, so many of these physics tricks seem impossible until you see them.


Something to do with friction maybe?

physicstrick3My mind says he used glue, but my heart says its science


So how does an anchor work?

The main thing about an anchor’s function is that it works against a force exerted against it by the ship, via the anchor’s chain, in a horizontal direction.

For an anchor to hold, you need to veer out enough chain so that the last part of it lies on the ground. Rule of thumb for small boats is at least depth times five for anchor chain.


So a ship does not lie above its anchor but downstream or downwind of it (assuming only one anchor). To pluck the anchor out of the ground, you take the boat above the anchor, ideally (if it is not snagged) it cannot hold against a vertical force.

So there you are: there is method in science’s madness. The physics behind anchors results in amazing things.

Shanghai Metal manufactures anchors and other mooring equipment. Having been certified by ABS, LR, GL, DNV, NK, BV, KR, RINA, RS, CCS, Shanghai Metal can ensure the high-quality standards of all our anchors and other marine products. With a 36,000 ton production capacity, we guarantee complete and on-time delivery regardless of the size of your order. To find out more, please visit our websiteLinkedInTwitter, and Facebook. Or you could try our new mobile by scanning our QR code.

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Sources: The Straight

Siobhan R.// SMC Editor

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