The World Anchors Reconstruction and Experimentation Project (WAREP) is a project in which anchors of all types and forms throughout history, and throughout the world, are reconstructed at full-scale and experimented with in the sea. This project is a collaboration between Dr. Gregory Votruba (University of Oxford) and Osman Erkurt (360° Research Group), and accomplished at the latter’s workshop in Urla, Turkey.
The first phase of the experimentation took place over two months in 2011, consisting of the production of 26 types of anchors, with emphasis placed on those found within shipwreck assemblages. Most of these are from the Mediterranean basins, however several examples from the Indian Ocean and further east were also reconstructed. Care was taken to employ the materials and construction principles reported or, otherwise, theorized. There was no limit to the materials and design of the anchors produced which include stone, stone and wood, lead and wood, iron, and iron and wood, and care was also taken to employ the correct wood types. The reconstruction process, including the employment of ironsmiths, was fully documented, providing informative illustration.
The reconstructed anchors underwent a number of forms of experimentation. They were weighed both in air as well as submerged. Their behaviour was video recorded when cast into the sea and falling through the water column. Their behaviours and efficiency to cant and set was also observed. Finally, the anchors were pulled from the shore with a dynamometer and organic cable to measure their holding resistance. They were pulled in this way for 15m both upon sand and seagrass seafloors, allowing for the production of holding resistance profiles.
The second phase of the experimentation is scheduled for the fall of 2015 with several objectives. The first phase, while highly successful, resulted in the development of questions and observations that require repeat testing or, otherwise, further examination. Additionally, several new anchors will be produced to create a more comprehensive repertoire of the various designs than had been employed previously. These anchors will be subjected to the same experimentation as in the first phase, however in addition there will be attempt to test all of the anchors on rocky seafloors for the first time. To some extent, practical experimentation will also take place by observing the anchors with different sizes of ships under differing wave conditions. After completion of the second phase the entire project will be published within a full colour bound volume.