Approaching the Tow
When both ships' hawsers are used to increase the
length of the tow to 1,200 feet (fig. 7-15, one ship will
The position the towing ship takes in relation to the
haul in the other's hawser and connect the two hawsers
tow during the approach depends on which vessel drifts
together with a pear-shaped detachable link, then pay
faster. When the towing ship drifts faster than the tow,
out the hawser as the other ship goes ahead, taking up
the towing ship takes position forward and to windward
the slack as it goes, until all the hawser is out. When
When the tow drifts faster, the towing ship takes
only one ship's hawser is, the ship receiving the other's
position ahead and to leeward. The idea is that one ship
hawser connects it to either the anchor chain, broken
drifts past the other, allowing more time for passing and
forward, or the chafing chain, rigged aft.
hooking up the towline. The towing ship always
The messenger is secured to the towing hawser as
ensures there is plenty of room to maneuver. If a normal
close approach cannot be made, because of sea
used, it may be modified as in view B. If desired, a third
conditions, the towline messenger may have to be
method may be used; that is, a strap is eye-spliced, as an
buoyed with life jackets and floated down to the tow.
extension to the messenger, and a shackle used to make
Often, however, the approach is close enough to use
the connection between the messenger and strap, which
heaving lines, so there should be three or four heaving
is secured to the hawser as in view A.
lines on deck, as well as a line-throwing gun and bolos.
Figure 7-15.--Towing hawser arrangement.