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Author Topic: Towing basics- on the hook, and winches?  (Read 3769 times)

Pat Matthews

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Towing basics- on the hook, and winches?
« on: April 21, 2009, 01:24:06 AM »

Greetings from a newbie to towing on the hook... mostly just use the bitt over here! And I'm sure I can find something here within, and I promise I'll look... but a little help would be appreciated anyway!

I'm pondering a Foundation Franklin project (WW1 Dainty)... in looking at the 1984 drawing by David Walker, I'm a bit confused about the towing arrangement, see snippets below.

I could swear that in the book "Grey Seas Under", mention was made of working the towline with a winch... I could be wrong though. But when using a hook, would a winch be employed at all?

The winch shown ahead of the hook appears to be working the cargo derrick... it wouldn't be a tow winch too?

The hook itself is shown mounted upon the engine skylight... could this be correct?

And should I expect that a line from the hook should go horizontal over the bows... and that the bows shouldn't be shown as being higher than the hook?

TIA, Pat M
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galleyboy

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Re: Towing basics- on the hook, and winches?
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2009, 07:46:34 PM »

Hello Pat.. I'm an ex tugman and many years ago from the time of your tug many sea and ocean going tugs just didn't have towing winches and towed directly from the hook. I actually worked on one of these in the North Sea and it used to be a so and so when it came to hauling  in the towing gear on just an electric capstan. On that drawing it does look as if the winch is just for derrick use and it wouldn't surprise me if the towing hook does appear to be mounted on the engine room skylight but it wouldn't have been. As for the towbows which we used to call towing rails, these may have been slightly higher if only to help clear the open engine room skylights but I could be wrong with all of this... As an afterthought what a revelation it was for me when I 1st worked alongside the American tugs that started when the North Sea oil boom began in the mid 60's.. Hope I've been of some help.  Best regards...Tom The Galleyboy
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Pat Matthews

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Re: Towing basics- on the hook, and winches?
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2009, 09:03:09 PM »

Thanks for the help, g/b!

Now one more question... if one is carrying a quarter mile or more of wire tow line on such a tug, where does one wind it up when not in use?
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galleyboy

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Re: Towing basics- on the hook, and winches?
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2009, 10:14:49 PM »

Hello again..you have 2 choices here. Either down the rope hold, most sea/ocean going tugs had them situated aft with access through a non too big hatch or in a 'tray' which was basically a wooden open topped box covered with a tarpaulin to keep the worst of the weather off. As I said before, I worked on this type of tug and believe me it was hard work  especially doing a watch of 5 hours on 5 hours off 7 days a week. Thank heaven those days have gone. I have some personal photos of these old tugs and they show all of the afterdeck lack of room. You also have to remember that a hemp or nylon towrope called a spring was also used attached to the towing wire and they used to be a so and so to feed around a capstan and manhandle...and they called them happy days..If you need some photos I can let you have my email addy and send them....have fun..take care
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Pat Matthews

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Re: Towing basics- on the hook, and winches?
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2009, 11:05:24 PM »

I could never turn down an offer like that!
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Here's what I'm starting with for this project:

Pat, my apologies but I have removed your e-mail address from this message.  Unfortunately there are a lot of clever software programs out there that trawl the internet looking for written e-mail addresses on open sites and you may suddenly find yourself recieving a high number of spam e-mails.  It is far safer to give your e-mail address to another member via a PM

BB
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Martin [Admin]

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Re: Towing basics- on the hook, and winches?
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2009, 11:21:31 PM »

Why is your bath in the living room......  on a coffee table?!?!?   :o
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Pat Matthews

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Re: Towing basics- on the hook, and winches?
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2009, 11:25:02 PM »

Helps me keep a clean lifestyle, it does...

Actually, it's tiny at only 5 feet long, when compared to Ron's 6 and a halfer:
http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=131.0
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Re: Towing basics- on the hook, and winches?
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2009, 11:10:05 AM »

I do not know if it is any use but on harbour tugs we used the aft capston to recover the tow wire and on the larger tugs a messenger could be attached to the end to get it inboard to break the shackle and heave it in. My father on sun tugs told that to get the very long tow wires they used on VLLC.s when on small tugs such as Sun 21, they used a bull wire from the anchor capstan barrel attached to a snatch block. They put the quarter towing guide bar in then using the bull wire heaved it forward outside of the bar, then flipped the bight off the tow wire over the shoulder posts then ran the block aft and repeated the sequence until the tow wire was in, several hundred feet of wire is recovered very quickly this way.
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galleyboy

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Re: Towing basics- on the hook, and winches?
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2009, 10:09:54 PM »

Strewth Pat, you'll need a few house bricks to ballast that down with or plenty of lead from the church roof
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Re: Towing basics- on the hook, and winches?
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2009, 04:49:16 PM »

I do not know if it muddies the water for you, but I do know some tugs where fitted with both a towing winch and a tow hook. The old HMS Wakeful was one and I believe she was on very rare occaisions known to have used both.
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Pat Matthews

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Re: Towing basics- on the hook, and winches?
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2009, 07:41:33 PM »

Well, the attached snippet from Grey Seas Under shows a manila spring just ahead of the steering gear, but no clear sign of where the wire would be stored. The aftermost hatch, ahead of the capstan and dory, goes to the salvage gear hold, but it doesn't seem like something one would open while working the wire in a North Atlantic gale... so I'm still flummoxed...
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Re: Towing basics- on the hook, and winches?
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2009, 09:07:13 AM »

That what was the best with the old wood top hatches, you could just lift the corner hatch board off and expose one corner to pass a wire. Not like a modern steel hatch which could mean opening a larger area or opening as a whole. But yes at times you can and do if necessary open a hatch in bad weather, the old Naval Armanent boats when dumping ammo at sea, when started could not finish until the hold was empty and the bad weather which they carried out this task was legendary.
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Pat Matthews

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Re: Towing basics- on the hook, and winches?
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2009, 11:00:25 PM »

Thanks for the insight!
now I have to get busy and build this thing...
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