If the water be tolerably smooth, and the wind moderate, a vessel may be taken in tow without shortening sail or altering the course. For this purpose, let the tower situate herself half a cable, or more, a-head of the tow, adapting her sail to preserve that position; the tow at the same time just steering to windward of her wake. Thus situated, the tow is in readiness to receive under her lee either a buoy or boat, with a small rope to haul the hawser or tow-line on board. A boat is certainly preferable, if it can be hoisted in without detention; but should it blow fresh, the ships must haul the wind, and place themselves in the above position; thus they can reduce their head-way, and back and fill at pleasure. If the ship to be towed is disabled in her rigging, it may be found necessary to heave-to. If so, the tower [p 70] must heave-to upon the weather-bow of the tow, otherwise, the hauling the tow-line on board will cause both ships to fall off from the wind before it be properly fast. The size of the tow-line should be adapted to the weather; -- ships had better be asunder than tow with a heavy hawser in light winds. A small rope is sufficient at those times, being careful to haul or heave a larger on board as the breeze freshens, which can be done without detention.
Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius
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Copyright © 1997 Lars Bruzelius.