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Thread: Cathead

  1. #1
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    Default Cathead

    I recently came across the term "clump cathead" while reading about casting and weighing anchor on old sailing vessels.

    What is the difference between a "clump cathead" and a "normal" common or gardener "cathead" ??? Why is it necessary to distinguish between the two ??

    Or are they the same ???

    Puzzled Plomong

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    Default Re: Cathead

    A cathead timber extends out, so that the anchor of an old man of war can hang vertically and be dropped without touching the hull.
    The only "clump cathead" I've come across was a sheave mounted on the deck edge of a more modern warships, used when streaming a paravane.
    I wonder if a small merchant sailing ship, having less tumblehome than a warship, would need less extension in the cathead, so may have only needed a sheave in the deck edge to perform the same function.
    Last edited by dombuckley; 12-08-19 at 19:57.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Cathead

    "On each bow is a"clump cathead" from which the anchor is hung when its hawsepipe is required for the bridles of cable for securing the ship to a buoy."
    (Admiralty Manual of Seamanship vol. 1 1951 p.205)
    Last edited by Poignard; 12-08-19 at 20:21.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Cathead

    I had to look up what a cathead was! This is the definition given in the Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea. Hope the image works.
    Cathead.jpg

    Edit - sorry it comes out on its side! The original was in portrait view.
    Last edited by DavidMcMullan; 13-08-19 at 11:41.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Cathead

    Quote Originally Posted by dombuckley View Post
    The only "clump cathead" I've come across was a sheave mounted on the deck edge of a more modern warships, used when streaming a paravane.
    Was the sheave and/or its mounting referred to as a "clump cathead" in this case ????


    Quote Originally Posted by dombuckley View Post
    The only "clump cathead" I've come across was a sheave mounted on the deck edge of a more modern warships, used when streaming a paravane.
    I wonder if a small merchant sailing ship, having less tumblehome than a warship, would need less extension in the cathead, so may have only needed a sheave in the deck edge to perform the same function.
    That sounds like a reasonable explanation, but some more compelling evidence would be useful.

    I have a poorly-taken photo of an anchor on blocks on deck with the ring end of the shank just on or next to a sheaved block that is integral to the deck edge. That could be a "clump cathead", but I have no idea if that is correct. unfortunately the photo cannot be put up here for all to see.

    Plomong
    Last edited by Plomong; 13-08-19 at 22:58.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Cathead

    Quote Originally Posted by Poignard View Post
    "On each bow is a"clump cathead" from which the anchor is hung when its hawsepipe is required for the bridles of cable for securing the ship to a buoy."
    (Admiralty Manual of Seamanship vol. 1 1951 p.205)
    I cannot relate that to any part of the 2011 edition to which I have access. Could you give the section and sub-section title so I can make another attempt ???

    Plomong

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Cathead

    I'll have a look tomorow
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Cathead

    Quote Originally Posted by Poignard View Post
    I'll have a look tomorow
    Thanks

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    Default Re: Cathead

    Quote Originally Posted by Plomong View Post
    I cannot relate that to any part of the 2011 edition to which I have access. Could you give the section and sub-section title so I can make another attempt ???

    Plomong


    OK here goes.

    It is in the chapter entitled "Anchors and Cables", section entitled "Arrangement of Anchors and Cables", paragraph entitled "(i) In a Large Vessel" .

    There is a drawing entitled " Fig.213 - Arrangement of anchors and cables in a cruiser.". This drawing clearly shows the two clump catheads, one on each bow, facing forward. Each consists of two plates welded or rivetted to the deck and overhanging the edge of the deck with a sheave or roller between them. (They look somewhat like the simple bow roller found on many yachts_.

    On the following page are drawings showing the forecastles of a destroyer and what is described as "a small warship". These do not have clump catheads.

    I hope this helps you but if not, I could perhaps post a copy of the drawing.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Cathead

    My 1972 edition doesn’t seem to have it. It has this picture of Arrangement of anchors and cables in a cruiser. This is Figure 11-8 at page 325.



    Annoyingly it then goes on to speak of the hanging off of the anchor at the clump cathead as described in Volume II but my 1981 Volume II seems to have forgotten about clump cat heads.

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