An anchor carried at the bow of a ship. There are two: one called the best bower, and the other the small bower. (To rhyme with flower.)
“Starboard being the best bower, and port the small bower.” —Smyth: Sailor's Word-book.
“`This maiden,' replied Eveline, `is my bower-woman, and acquainted with my most inward thoughts. I beseech you to permit her presence at our conference.”' —Sir W. Scott: The Betrothed, chap. xi.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894