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Has anyone thought about the weight of the anchors, the weight of the chain and associated ground tackle? HMS Hermes had a very vast amount of freeboard and sail area along with a very high center of gravity. Perhaps the naval architects designed the anchor housing, hawse pipes and ground tackle to be low low on purpose to lower the high center of gravity to help compensate for high freeboard, the height of the ship's island and spotting top. If the anchors had been placed higher, this higher center of gravity might cause the ship to not be as stable a platform and induce a more sharp roll and pitch while underway. As a former docking officer onboard the USS Los Alamos AFDB-7, the center of gravity was always higher when a ship is afloat, while in dry dock the center of gravity on the ship shifted significantly downward so that the weight of the vessel was 80% on the centerline keel blocks and 20%, (10% each side) on the side-hull blocks. This is what keeps the ship in place while on the blocks. Hope this helps. V/R Doug, USS Los Alamos Docking Officer 1982-1985.