Taking in Tow.

If you are at anchor, prepare your towing hawsers, that is if you are to be ship towed, and have hauling lines on the end of them; the vessel that is to tow you hoists your pendant at the fore, when ready you hoist yours in reply, she takes up her position ahead of you, the hauling lines are sent to her, she hauls them in and secures them; the starboard towing cable must be the strongest and brought to the capstan, so that you may heave in on it, if necessary, to equalize the strain, when she has secured the cables and tautened them, heave up your anchor.

If at sea, get in your jibboom, strike the fore top-gallant mast, let both ships steer an opposite course at a very slow speed, you then close up under the stern of the ship that has to tow you, throw or else pick up hauling lines from her, secure to the hawsers and let her haul them in and secure them as before.

The longer scope that can be given the less chance there is of parting be a jerk, the part of the towing cable in the hawse should be chain -- for instance, shackle the end of the steam or other chain to the cable just outside the hawse. Should parting one of the cables be imminent, direct the towing ship to veer a hauling line attached to a breaker astern, which pick up and bend to another cable kept in readiness and so save delay of the parting occur.

Trapping lines should be passed round the hawsers from the quarters of the towing vessel to save the ends from fouling the screw in case of parting.

G.S. Nares: Seamanship.
Griffin & Co., London & Portsmouth, 1874 (4th). pp 172-173.

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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