Lessons From David's JCOC Trip: When Is an Anchor Not an Anchor?

When it's on an aircraft carrier. Allow us to explain.

Motley Fool Staff
Motley Fool Staff
Oct 7, 2016 at 3:43PM
Financials
The Joint Civilian Orientation Conference is a Department of Defense program designed to give a few dozen non-military members a deeper understanding of the U.S. Armed Forces. In this week's Rule Breaker Investing podcast, David Gardner is ready to reflect on the lessons of his trip. Among the things he noticed was the anchor on the USS George Washington. It's not small. But it's also not what's going to hold a ship that size in place. 
 
A transcript follows the video.

This video was recorded on Aug. 31, 2016.

David Gardner: 

The next one I have for you is a horse of a completely different color. This was an insight. As it turns out, aboard the USS George Washington aircraft carrier, I learned that the anchor is not really an anchor. If you ever tour an aircraft carrier, you'll maybe get to go to the forecastle, or the fo'c'sle in Naval parlance (the abbreviation of the word that has been used by sailors for a few centuries). You go to the fo'c'sle and you'll see the anchor.

And in the case of an aircraft carrier, you'll see the huge, huge links (each one the size of your torso and weighing well more than your torso, I hope, because they each weigh about 250 pounds). So when you really think about it -- when you think about that chain being about 1,000 feet long in the case of the aircraft carrier -- you'll realize that the real anchor is the chain links itself. The little thing on the end doesn't hold down an aircraft carrier as well, so the anchor isn't an anchor. It's the chain. Just an interesting, fun fact.