Two capstan-like fittings mounted on the forecastle deck of larger ships by which the two bower anchors are weighed or veered. They are set either side of the centreline of the ship in the line of the bower cables, and the chain links of the cables fit into cavities round the drum of the cable-holders so that they are held firmly. When a bower anchor is being weighed, its cable-holder is geared into the capstan engine so that the anchor is hove in mechanically; when the anchor is being let go or veered, the cable-holder is unclutched from the capstan engine and can run freely, its speed being controlled by a friction brake, which is also used to hold the cable when the ship lies to its anchor. In very large ships which carry a sheet anchor in addition to two bower anchors, a third cable-holder is not fitted, the sheet anchor cable being brought to the capstan for weighing and veering.
In smaller vessels a windlass takes the place of capstan and cable-holders, with gypsies, fitted to take the links of the bower cables, mounted inboard of each warping drum.
Subjects: Maritime History.