A windlass is a device that is used to deploy and retrieve the anchor chain, with the anchor attached. On RV Investigator, the windlass deck, or mooring deck, is at the bow of the ship.

The ship has been designed to house the anchor within the external anchor pockets  and the hawse pipes the anchor chain will travel through, extends from the external anchor pocket into the windlass or mooring deck.

All the machinery for the anchor is enclosed in the windlass deck. The anchor chains are stored in the chain locker just below the windlass. Spurling pipes carry the anchor chain from the windlass deck down into the chain locker.