mast with booms



Masts are vertical spars usually made of steel. They are stepped on the center line of the ship.

King posts are also known as Sampson posts or stump masts and are vertical spars, usually steel, stepped in pairs, one on each side of the center line of the ship. They may also serve as ventilators.

Pair masts or king posts connected at the head by a rigid structure of steel. This structure is called a mast bridge or span structure and serves as a place on which to step a topmast. (See Liberty Ship illustration.)

The principal function of a mast or king post on a modern steamer is to serve as a support for the cargo booms. Secondary functions are to serve as supports for radio antennae, signal halyards, signal yard, running lights and crow's nests. Topmast or pair mast also serve this purpose.

A hound's band is a band with links located below the crosstree on a ship's mast into which the shrouds and stays are shackled. On steel mast pad eyes usually serve in place of a band.

A spanner stay is the wire stay which runs athwartship from the heads of a pair of king posts. This stay gives transverse support when booms are being used. The spanner stays and the stack stays are the only exceptions to the general definition that stays are the fore-and-aft supports of masts and king posts.

A hatch is an opening in the deck leading down to the 'tween deck and hold. It is rectangular in shape.

  Hatch coamings are raised steel sides of a hatch. They serve the same purpose as a bulwark around a deck. The fore-and-aft ends are the end coamings and the sides are the side coamings. Coamings are usually fitted with angle iron stiffeners all around the outside and with coaming stays from the stiffener to the deck.

Hatch cleats are steel fittings, welded or riveted to the stiffener or the coaming for the purpose of securing the tarpaulin against the coaming.

Hatch wedges are hardwood wedges driven between the cleat and the wedge batten to hold the tarpaulin in place. Always drive the wedge in with the long grain against the cleat and the short grain against the batten. This keeps the wedge from splitting.

Wedge battens are strips of steel that are inserted between the cleats and the tarpaulin and against which the wedge is driven home. This saves the tarpaulin wear and insures uniform watertightness all around the hatch.

Hatch battens are battens used for securing the top of the hatch. They may be of wood or steel. Steel battens are shaped as flat strips or as channel bars and are usually secured with turnbuckles.

A strongback is a heavy girder usually as deep as the coaming itself and extending fore-and-aft in the exact center of the hatch. It is fitted into slots or slides in the end coamings and secured by bolts.

Hatch beams are the steel girders extending


from the strongback to the side coaming, dividing the hatch opening into smaller sections. They also serve to strengthen the hull structure where the deck beams have been cut to provide the hatch opening. The numbers of hatch beams vary with the size of the hatch.

A king beam is a name usually applied to beams in a hatch that is not fitted with a strong-back. They are fitted in thwartship fashion.

Hatch covers are covers made of wood or steel, fitted into recesses or ledges in the strong-back, beams, and coamings. Wooden hatch covers are about three inches thick and of an appropriate length and width to fit the hatch. They are fitted with handholds in opposite corners and two men can place them on the hatch. On smaller hatches one-piece steel hatch covers are sometimes used and they are made watertight by rubber or fiber gaskets and secured by dogs. On other types the hatch covers are moved to one end by a worm and screw attachment.


Tarpaulins are canvas covers placed over the hatch and secured by the hatch wedges and battens against the coaming. The number of tarpaulins on a hatch vary with the ship's run or the season. Usually three or four are used on each hatch-the best one next to the hatch covers. The tarpaulin is always put on the hatch so that the seams fair aft. That prevents ripping by seas. The corners are tucked like a

  sheet. The tucks are alternated thus, leaving room for the batten and wedge.

If a draft of cargo is found to be too heavy for the single runner or fall, the runner may rove off like an inverted whip. The cargo hook is unshackled and the end of the runner rove through a block similar to the head block and the end made fast to the head of the boom. In this manner there will be two parts supporting the weight with a block at the weight giving a two to one mechanical advantage. (See illustration.)

A heel block is a block located below the heel of the boom through which the cargo runner leads.

A slack line block or boom fair-lead is a fitting of some kind, located usually near the middle of the boom, through which the cargo runner leads. It serves to keep the runner from overhauling while being slacked away rapidly and perhaps fouling the winch or winchman. It may or may not be a block.

A head block or cargo block is the block shackled into the head of the boom through which the cargo runner leads.

Masts and king posts are supported by standing rigging called shrouds and stays. Shrouds are defined as being the side support of masts and king posts; stays are the fore-and-aft support of masts and king posts. However, on a modern steamer the only stay that leads directly aft is the triatic stay which is only used for signal halyards. Backstays lead aft and to the side of the ship. The foremast is usually the only mast on a steamer that has forward support in the form of a forestay and fore-topmast stay leading directly down to the stem. (See illustration.)

Running rigging is gear which actuates over sheaves or through blocks and fair-leads. It is capable of being moved.

A head of a boom is the upper or outer end of the boom.

A heel of a boom is the lower or inner end of the boom.

A gooseneck is the fitting which secures the lower end of the boom to the mast or king post. It gives the boom two planes of movement, up and down and from side to side.

A boom is a cylindrical spar made of wood or steel by which cargo is loaded and discharged. It is supported by masts or king posts.

A topping lift is the rig that supports the boom at any desired angle from the deck.

A multiple topping lift is a topping lift having


more than one part. In other words, it may be rove off in any combination having more than one part. This type of topping lift is also called the overhead topping lift because the major portion of the tackle is overhead and only the hauling part reaches the deck.

A single topping lift consists of a single heavy wire rope, one end of which is shackled into the head of the boom and the other extends down along the masts or king post terminating in an eye. Into this eye is shackled the topping lift chain and the bull rope. The chain and bull rope is long enough to reach the deck when the boom is secured in the cradle.

A span topping lift is a stationary topping lift. It is shackled into the head of the boom and into the head of a king post. The boom remains at one certain angle at all times.

Boom guys are that part of the running rigging which controls the sideway movements of the booms. They are called variously the port and starboard guy; the inboard and the outboard guy, and the forward or after guy.

Boom guys are made up of one, two or three components. The usual method is to have a pendant of wire shackled into the head of the boom and extending about half the length of the boom downward. In the lower end of the pendant a guy purchase is shackled and the lower block of the purchase is shackled to the deck.

A span guy is used on the so-called West Coast rig and takes the place of the two inboard guys. Rigging the inboard boom control in this manner eliminates the fouling of runners and cargo with the inboard guy. The span guy is also called the midship guy and the schooner guy.

A bail is a triangular piece of steel or boiler plate used in connection with the single topping


lift. The lower end of the single topping lift is shackled into the upper corner of the bail; the topping lift chain and the bull rope are shackled into the two lower corners. Instead

  of having the topping lift and bullrope shackled into the topping lift eye, the bail served to separate them.

A spider band or link band is a band fitted around the head of a carp boom into which is shackled the topping lift, head block and boom guys. On steel booms there may be no bands, the gear being shackled into pad eyes welded directly to the boom.

Cargo runners are the runners or the wire rope by which the cargo is actually handled. One end is made fast to the winch and from there it leads through the heel block, slack line block, head block, and to the cargo hook. The cargo runner is also called the cargo fall or cargo whip.

A side whip or side runner is the runner on the boom that is spotted over the side of the ship.

A hatch whip or hatch runner is the runner on the boom that is spotted over the hatch.

By spotting the booms is meant swinging the booms to any desired position by means of the boom guys.

The side or the outboard boom is the boom that is spotted over the side of the ship for handling cargo, etc.

The hatch or inboard boom is the boom spotted over the ship's hatch in cargo work.

A jumbo boom is a heavy lift boom capable of handling weights from 5 to 50 tons and in some cases more. These heavy booms are supported directly from the deck and are located usually abaft the foremast and forward of the mainmast. The location of the jumbo boom is not standard and depends on the location of the largest hatches. On ships having no masts but rigged with king posts and pair masts, the jumbo boom is stepped aft and forward of the pair masts, depending on the location of the largest hatch. A pedestal is located in line with each pair mast so that the jumbo boom may be rigged on whichever side it is to be used. In this case the jumbo boom is normally stowed on deck in cradles provided for it and may be lifted in place by the regular cargo boom. In ships having masts, the jumbo boom is always rigged with heavy gear multiple topping lift, multiple main purchase, and heavy boom.

A pedestal is the fitting which takes the gooseneck of the jumbo boom.

A mast platform or mast table is a table or

platform usually rectangular in shape, built around a mast 6 to 10 feet above the deck and supported from the deck by stanchions or angle




Guys control sideway movements.
Topping lift supports boom.
Gooseneck is a joint which gives boom freedom up and down and from side to side.
Spider band is fitted around head of boom. Topping lift, head cargo block and guys are shackled to it.
Hatch is opening in deck leading to the 'tween deck and hold.
Hatch coamings are raised steel sides of a hatch.
Wake of hatch is directly beneath the opening.

irons or bars. The purpose of this table or platform is to raise the booms above the deck and to space them a little distance outboard from the mast to obtain a better working radius. The distance the heel of the boom is   removed from the mast is duplicated aloft where the topping lift block is shackled into a pad eye in the extreme end of the crosstree instead of being shackled into the mast proper. Keeping these two distances even result in an even



Frequently cargo is worked from lighters or barges moored alongside.


distribution of the thrust along the boom. In some of the newer ships this idea has been carried into effect in a rather startling manner. Instead of regular masts or king posts, the ship is equipped with short polemasts, having long crosstrees. (Liberty Ships.) These crosstrees are very strong and sturdy in construction and may almost be considered mast bridges. At the extreme end of these crosstrees are fittings for the topping lift blocks. The heel of the boom is stepped on a mast table a corresponding distance away from the mast. In this manner a favorable working radius, comparable to a king-post rig, is obtained.

A tabernacle is a watertight structure built around masts or between king posts, in which gear may be stowed or perhaps winches are housed.

A preventer is any piece of gear rigged in addition to the regular gear to prevent it from carrying away. The best known preventer on board ship is the preventer guy which is simply a single wire shackled into the head of the boom and led down to the deck and made fast.

A stopper is a piece of line or chain used to stop off a hauling part while it is being belayed (made fast).

A chain stopper is used on wire rope. It is safe and will not slip on a greasy wire. Three half hitches - six inches apart - are recommended. On durable wire rope a manila stopper is used. It will not cut the hemp covering.

There are two different bull ropes in use in cargo gear. One has already been mentioned in connection with the single topping lift. It is simply a piece of wire of an appropriate size, shackled into the eye of the topping lift or into one side of the bail as the case may be. This bull rope is taken to the niggerhead on the winch and the boom is topped up. When the boom is as high as required the topping lift chain is shackled to a pad eye in the deck and thus supports the boom under working conditions. The bull rope is belayed to a cleat on or near the mast or king post. The other bull rope is used in the hold for snaking out cargo from the ends or wings of the 'tween decks or hold. It is simply a piece of wire with an eye and hook or other appropriate fitting. It saves wear and tear on cargo runner.

Hatch covers come in various sizes and materials. On older ships they were of wood cut to fit between the king beams. On the later ships they are of metal extending right across the hatch on top of the beams thwartships.

  Beams are metal supports for the hatch covers. They strengthen the hatch coaming and at thwartships inside the combings and rest in heavy cleats. They are of two kinds; the flat beams which can be changed around, and the king beams which must be put in their proper places.


Cross Battens are heavy metal strips which are fastened on the underside of the extension of the coamings. They extend thwartships across the hatch. They are of two parts, joined in the center of the hatch by turnbuckles or bolts.



Breakwater: Some ships are provided with breakwaters. They are upright plates about 3 feet high at the peak and sloping down to about 1 foot on either side. They extend across the deck in front of #1 hatch to take some of the weight of the seas breaking over the bows.

Hatch Coamings are bulwarks built around the hatch opening in the deck. They extend about three feet from the deck and have a horizontal channel iron about one foot from the top.

Cleats or Combing Cleats are four by six metal uprights welded to the channel iron on the combing. They must be strong, as canvas is folded into these cleats and secured by means of battens and wedges.

Battens are long strips of steel which extend the length and width of the hatch. They fit into the cleats to secure the canvas.

Wedges are just what the name implies. Wooden wedges are driven in tight between the batten and the cleat to hold the canvas. They must be tight.


Booms-Wooden or steel are the same on a ship as a derrick is to a landlubber. They are secured at one end to the mast table by a goose neck. They extend across the hatch to a boom rest which is generally supported by angle iron uprights.

The Topping Lift is generally composed of a four-part tackle or two, two-sheave blocks, the fifth part being the hauling part by which the boom is raised or lowered.

The lower end of the fall is secured to the head of the boom. The upper end to a link or pad eye or on the crosstrees.

Sometimes when the boom is secured, the hauling part leads down from the crosstree to a foot block and then to the cleat but most times a snatch block is used.

Topping Lifts

1. A two block fall composed of two sheave blocks.

2. A single wire fall with a bail heavy chain and bull rope.

Using the first, the hauling part comes down from the crosstree to a foot-block, generally a snatch block, and then to the niggerhead of the winch.

Using the second type a single wire pennant or fall comes down from the crosstree part way

  where a bail is shackled; in the other two holes of the bail are shackled a heavy chain and a bull rope. Some ships instead of the bail have a manila fall which leads to the foot block. This type is very handy but not popular. Using the second type the bull rope leads to the foot block and then to the niggerhead. When the boom is at the desired height, the link which reaches the deck pad eye is shackled in and the boom is secure.

Guys, used to control the sideward movement of the boom, consist of a wire pennant and rope fall. Some booms have two guys or four guys to a set of booms. Some booms have three guys to a set of booms using a schooner or mid-ship guy which runs between the two boom heads. Preventer guys of wire or manila are required as a safety measure, in addition to the regular outboard boom guy.

Fair-leads are located in various places. Fair-leads are nothing more than guides which insure a good and true lead to the niggerheads. Sometimes when ships are built, for some reason the fair-leads are placed a little out of place. This necessitates taking back turns. (See niggerheads.)

Chocks are leads from the ships to the dock or barges, towboats, etc. These prevent chafing and in so doing relieve some of the strain on the line.

Bitts are a pair of heavy uprights made of steel or cast iron securely bolted to the deck. Mooring lines are made fast to them.


The average ship has nine men and a Bos'n, 6 A.B.'s, 3 O.'s. There are quite a few jobs to be done at the same time so we will suppose that the ship has just come to anchor and all hands are on deck. First the guys, runners, preventers, are shackled to the booms. Now we start cutting all the lashings and stretching the gear which simply means, taking the outboard guys and clearing them of everything. Stretch them from the head of the boom to the pad eyes on the rails just forward of the mast. Bring the preventers back alongside of them so they can be gotten to in a hurry in case the guy parts. The inboard guys go from the head of the boom to the opposite side of the hatch. In other words cross the inboard guys. Then the runners are taken off the winches. By now the Bos'n has


his men posted something like this; a man on each guy, if possible one man driving two winches, a man standing by each topping lift, every one attentive; the topping lift men lead the wire from the foot blocks to the niggerheads taking plenty of turns around because the steam or electricity is supposed to do the work and not the man's arm. Everything ready, the Bos'n will give the word to "heave way." As the wire comes in to the man at the niggerhead another man should be clearing the slack from him. The men at the guys pay out slack but not too much. When the booms are high enough the Bos'n will give the word "vast heaving" and the men at the guys will make them fast and then come to the aid of the men at the winch promptly. The first thing to do is to stop off the topping lift with a chain stopper. The best method is two half hitches, one right-handed, the other left-handed so they will bind. Chain stoppers always on wire and manila on manila line. When the stopper is on, the man at the niggerhead slacks back into the stopper, then when the stopper has all the weight, take the wire from the foot block around the cleats. Three round turns first


and then figure-eight turns until the boom is secure. Square up the wire and put the runners on the drum and that hatch is ready for the longshoreman. On topping lifts with bull ropes take the bull ropes directly to the nigger-head and heave way, all the other jobs being the same. The chain comes right down to the pad eye on deck. When the boom is high enough take the nearest link to the pad eye and shackle into the chain. The boom is now secure.

To lower the booms with a wire fall topping lift, first take the end of the wire and stretch it out on deck to take the kinks or chinamen out of it then take all the figure-eight turns off the cleats and lower away. Men should be standing by the guys during this operation to guide the boom.

One precaution-make sure the kinks are out of wire before starting to work with it. Never stand in the bight of anything.

When lowering or topping booms, always take the topping lift fall to the niggerhead with at least four turns.

  Runners (cargo falls) should be properly secured to winch drums with clips before working cargo. Rope yarns should never be used.

Runners should always be led from the top of the winch drum to the heel-block in order to prevent fouling.

Topping lift wires should always be properly secured on cleats to prevent them from jumping off.

When not in place, hatch covers should be kept neatly piled, away from the hatch combings, but abreast the section where they belong.

Strongbacks should be stowed as near the bulwark rail as possible, and on their sides.

Steel hatch covers should always be handled with the cargo fall.

Tarpaulins should never be placed over an open hatch, or over one where some of the covers or strongbacks are not in place.

Hatch covers should not be used as skids or discharging platforms. They may be damaged, resulting in subsequent injury to men.

When working a hatch section, all covers and strongbacks should be removed. If this is impossible, those remaining should be carefully secured to prevent unshipping.


Masts are supported and made ridged by means of stays, shrouds, and backstays. Stays are heavy wire ropes that support the mast from forward and run from the hounds to the forecastle deck and are usually shackled to the top of the stem.

Shrouds are heavy wire ropes that support the mast from the sides and run from the hounds to the gunwale. Two, three or four shrouds are used on either side of the mast and are spaced out in a fore-and-aft direction as far as possible without interfering with the swinging of the cargo booms.

Backstays support the mast from aft. They are led directly aft if possible but as is usually the case, they are led to the sides as far aft as can be so as not to interfere with the cargo booms. When backstays are led to the sides they also contribute to the sidewise support of the mast.

All stays and shrouds are named according to the section of the mast that they brace, as topmast stays, lowermast shrouds, etc.

Preventer Stays are heavy wire ropes used to supplement the regular stays when a great strain is to be placed on the mast such as occurs when a heavy lift is handled. Preventer stays




Notice battened down hatches, chain topping lifts and trimmed hatch ventilator built into mast housing. The seaman is taking a fire hose and attaching the nozzle so that it may be ready for any possible emergency. From previous study can you distinguish the different parts of the rigging?
Study the large scale Liberty ship model at your station. If you are in doubt about any aspect of it, do not hesitate to ask your instructors.

should be led as nearly as practical directly opposite to the direction of the greatest load on the mast.

Bullropes are heavy manila or wire rope used to heave, haul or lift any load without the benefit of the multiplying power of tackle blocks. For example: An anchor has jammed its shank in the hawse pipe. After slacking the chain a little and setting brake tight we lead a wire bullrope through a bow chock as near above the anchor as possible and send a man over the side in a bosun chair. Then send a messenger of

  heaving line to him down through the hawse pipe which he bends to the bullrope. By this messenger we haul the wire up through the pipe and make well fast to the jewsharp; take the hauling part of the bullrope to a niggerhead or capstan and upon application of power you haul the anchor down and out of the hawse pipe.

Bullropes are a definite part of some cargo boom topping lifts. They are also used to heave heavy and unwieldy objects from inaccessible places, such as afterends of cargo holds well under the hatch trunks and where a tackle will




not serve conveniently without considerable rigging.

Gantlines may be defined as light all round bullropes usually of two-inch manila and from ten fathoms upward in length. A gantline will commonly get its name from the work it is required to do, such as, topmast gantline, stack gantline and staging gantline, and of course the use will decide the length. In most cases a topmast gantline will be used to lower a man in a bosun chair while painting or washing aloft; sending gear aloft; dressing ship with a span of flags and many other jobs. Remember that a topmast gantline is used almost every day for some purpose and for a man to painstakingly climb aloft and reeve the gantline each time would be poor practice, for bear in mind that the topmast block is usually just below the truck and to climb the topmast is a difficult and dangerous task. Therefore a dummy gantline is bent to the working gantline by butting them end-to-end and passing a few turns of yarn back and forth through the strands from one to the other and seizing the throat with half hitches. Lines bent together in this manner will easily overhaul through the swallow of a topmast block.

The dummy gantline is left rove through the topmast block when the working gantline is not in use. In this case it acts as a messenger to send the working gantline back through the block.

Bos'n's Chair-This ever-handy "tool" is a standard piece of gear on all ships. The boatswain generally makes them up and keeps

  several on hand at all times. They are used when painting aloft or over the side, or to lower a man into a hold.

With a man in the chair the bend would close up and lay just below the throat with the hauling part in a vertical line with the standing part.

The standing part is bent to the eye with a single or double sheet or Becket bend. Leave a three or four foot tail; it will be handy as a short frapping line and can be used to advantage in many ways.

Now to make yourself fast aloft: You have been hauled up to the truck on the topmast, you are sitting in the chair facing the mast: reach up above the bend in the bridle eye and seize both the hauling part and the standing part of the gantline together with your left hand; make sure you have a good grip and can hold your weight; now ask the man on deck to slack the hauling part; reach well down with your right hand and get a generous bight of the slack; pull it through the bridle, slip it over your head, avoiding turns, down over your shoulders, under the chair seat and your legs. Now let the slack gradually overhaul itself until it is brought up under the throat of the bridle.

To lower yourself simply lift the hauling part of the gantline up and work it through easily. This rig gives you complete control of your chair and you can work with safety.

Practice this bend on deck several times before going aloft.

Rigging a Stage-A safe working stage is an excellent insurance policy, but if being worked


by a novice or a careless person it becomes a number-one death trap. Learn to rig and work on a stage properly; another thing that is very important; never play jokes on anyone working on or connected with a staging.

A stage is a substantial plank, on which horns are bolted to the under side. Secure stage lines around the plank at the horns with a marlinespike hitch and then bend a bowline in the standing part forming a bridle.


Some bosuns fit their stages with permanent bridles; in which case bend the stage lines to the bridles. If you are rigging a fixed stage, secure the lines to cleats or some other strong support with a round turn and two half hitches. If the stage is to be raised or lowered by the men working upon it secure tail blocks, stage hooks or lizards in a safe manner and reeve the stage lines through them; secure the hauling part to the stage with two or three round turns and -belay around the horns. Drop a manrope about midway between the stage lines and rig a Jacob's ladder at one end of the stage.

If working a stage low over the bow or stern and it hangs too far outboard, pass heaving lines from the deck to both ends of the stage and heave into desired position. You could also breast the stage in with frapping lines and hooks placed in porthole rims.

Boat Rope or Line is commonly two and a half to three-inch manila put over the side forward of accommodation ladders, pilot ladders or side-

  ports, and hangs in a long bight close to the water and is made fast well aft of such ladders. This line is used by pilot boats and small launches to take holding turns with while taking on or discharging persons, and is particularly handy when there is a seaway such as is found off pilot stations.

Pendants are short lines or wires having an eye spliced in both ends. Pendants are used in many ways about a ship and are usually named according to their use, such as guy pendants, clear hawse pendants, etc.

Guy pendants are pendants that connect the head of a boom with a guy tackle and serve to shorten the length of the guy tackle.

Some guy pendants are fitted with swivels at each end for the purpose of keeping the guy tackle free of turns.

Bridles may be described as wire, steel or manila hangers that resemble an inverted "V." They are used to sling an object by two or more points to keep in trim when handling. Examples: Accommodation ladders and automobile slings have bridles, and the rope part of a bos'n's chair is also a bridle.

Preventer Guy and Stays, as the names imply, are used as precautionary measures when handling heavy cargo.

Preventer guys supplement the regular guys and consist usually of a single part of wire or rope. The wire or rope should be of sufficient strength to hold the boom if the regular guy carries away.

Bails may also be called yokes and are commonly of steel though sometimes referred to as spreaders when made of wood. Example: A bail is used to span or bracket two bridles on the accommodation ladder. Another use is when a topping lift is attached to a triangular bail and to it is bent the bullrope for topping booms and the open link chain which shackles to a pad eye on the deck to hold the boom at the desired height.

Accommodation Ladder-Swung in but not secured for sea: The gangway rests on blocks in a recess of ship's side. Ladders of this type are usually turned out in the following steps: First. -Rig a handy billy from the top of the platform to the fish plate directly above it. Second.-Set tight the bullrope on the breasting arm and make it fast. Third.-Clear bridle falls and remove lashings from ladder. Fourth.-Push out the ladder and slack the handy billy and breasting arm bullrope together until the ladder is in a horizontal position. Fifth.-Remove the


handy billy as the forward or platform end is now resting on its wishbone support. Sixth.-Pick up the ladder with the bridle falls until the weight is off the breasting arm, and take the   pin out of the breasting arm, allowing the arm to drop flat against the side of the ship, clear of the ladder. Seventh.-Put handrails in place and the gangway is ready to lower.

ship at dawn



ship with tug


Men engaged in tiering chain in chain lockers should be clear of the locker before the windlass is unlocked. Some ships however have specially designed, self-stowing chain lockers.

Men at windlass brakes should always wear goggles when dropping anchor, to avoid eye injury due to flying particles. Goggles should be worn at all other times when any work is being done which might be injurious to the eyes.

Riding pawls or devil claws should always be kept in place on cables while a vessel is at pier to prevent injury to persons in the vicinity.

Chains should never be used with links knotted or kinked. They should never be shortened by wiring, tying, or bolting two links together.

The wildcat is a part of the windlass used for heaving the anchor. The anchor chain leads up through the hawse pipes and through the pawls over the wildcat which is shaped with stoppers or compartments, which fit one link of the chain. The weight of the anchor and the chain itself hold the links in place. The wildcat is secured by the break or compressor. When the anchor is secured with the break the windlass is taken out of gear or unlocked. The anchor is now ready for letting go and the windlass can be used for heaving, that is, the nigger-heads are free and can be turned in either direction.


The purpose of anchoring is to keep the ship in a limited area.

The anchor is seldom dropped in water deeper

  than 30 fathoms. At that depth there is no need to anchor as you can drift without damage.

The anchor is frequently used to hold a ship while waiting quarantine, orders, or change of tide.

The anchor is also used to maneuver ship by dropping a little over the amount of chain required to reach and drag along the bottom.

A ship is never anchored at a dock. She is made fast or tied up or moored to a dock.

ANCHOR CHAIN LINKS, stud, close and detachable


Bower-The large anchor carried in the bow of a vessel. Three are usually carried aboard ship, one on each side of the bow and a spare lashed on deck (usually forward).

Kedge-A small anchor weighing from 900 to 1,200 pounds used for kedging a ship, that is moving a ship by carrying out the anchor in a



details of a ground tackle showing patent anchor







small boat, dropping the anchor and then heaving the ship out to the anchor.

Sea-A conical-shaped canvas bag used to keep a boat's head into the sea.


In mooring a ship you must first consider the chocks for passing the lines. Chocks are of three main types, open chocks, cover chocks (closed), and roller chocks. Roller chocks minimize the friction on a hawser. Chocks are always served by a set of bits. A hawser should lead from the chock to the bitts and then to the nigger-head. Occasionally when loading, lines are left on the niggerhead. This facilitates keeping the lines taut as in the case of a tanker loading rapidly.

Mooring lines are divided into bowlines, breast lines, spring lines, and stern lines.

Bowlines-There may be inshore and offshore bowlines. An inshore line pays out of the inshore bow chocks and is belayed on inshore bitts. Stern lines are considered in the same manner as bow or head lines, except that offshore stern lines actually lead from offshore chocks.

Breast Lines lead from bow chocks as well as their own and sometimes from springs. They lead as near to right angles of the ship as possible. Breast lines may be used both fore and aft. Sometimes they are doubled by putting the bight out. In putting out a bight put the eye of the hawser around the bitt.

Spring Lines are most useful lines for handling vessels along docks, whether it be mooring, warping, shifting ship, undocking or "springing" a ship from a dock. It is one of the first two lines sent out on mooring and very often the first. As its name implies it "springs in" and "springs out" a vessel, and for purposes of warping may lead from any of the chocks. It is the bow spring that gets the brunt of the work in docking any ship.

Stern Lines-While mooring the ship forward, an identical process takes place aft; about the

  time a bowline is out and the spring is beginning to warp the vessel in, a stern line is sent ashore. As the ship is hauled up to her final mooring, this line leads aft as a stern line.

Until a ship is secured in her berth you must keep close watch on mooring lines and be ready to render them to prevent parting. A taut line will generally give warning by creaking, however it is well to kick it to test the strain and if it appears that it is going to part and you are unable to render it, stand clear quickly as the end will whip and you may be injured.

Fair-leads-Fair-leads usually come into use when the object being hauled is not in direct line with the hauling apparatus. Fair-leads may be chocks, bollards, cleats, snatch blocks or any device used to lead a hauling line fair and true to the mechanical hauling power. Fair-leads decrease power by friction loss but also protect the line.

bitts with line showing bight over side of ship.

Place chafing gear at all wearing points of mooring lines. Old canvas or burlap may be wrapped around the lines and seized.

Place rat guards on all lines of ships moored to docks. Rat guards are two-piece metal discs which are lashed to the lines to prevent rats from coming aboard or going ashore.

Keep lines clear of water if possible.

Never step on a line that is running out rapidly. Never stand in the bight of a line that may be paid out. Always keep clear of any working line.

Stoppers-Stoppers are commonly made of three-inch manila three or four fathoms long




with an eye spliced in one end large enough to pass its own end through, the other end being whipped with twine. Mooring line stoppers are about three fathoms.

Chain Stoppers are used to "stop off" wire hawsers preparatory to belaying on the bitts.

Usually a line is stopped off by the same bitt it is to be belayed upon but this is not a set rule as a stopper may be used anywhere a line passes through or around a fair-lead.

Heaving Line is a light flexible line with a weight in one end which helps get distance and accuracy in the heave. Its most common use is in passing a hawser to the dock when tying up.

  In heaving, coil about one-third of the knotted end loosely in the right or heaving hand with knot hanging at outside turn of the coil and below the same level. Coil balance of line loosely over palm of left hand arranged so that the outside turns will run out and not tangle the following turns. The heave should be made with a sweeping side-arm movement keeping the casting arm straight and bringing the body into play. When you learn to arrange the coils so they will run out freely, distance and accuracy will come with practice.

Bend the working end of the heaving line to hawser with a bowline.


ship underway


Handfuls of clean rope yarns make excellent soogee rags and will remove the most stubborn dirt from paintwork.

A few turns of rags around a paintbrush just above the bristles will stop the paint working onto the handle. Try this the next time you have to paint the overhead.

Unused portions of a keg of red or white lead or zinc paste may be kept soft and free from skins by pouring water over the surface to the depth of an inch or more and keeping the lid on the keg, first scraping surplus paste down from the sides of the keg. If to be used frequently, a disk of stiff paper cut out to fit the inside of the keg may be placed on the lead.

Manhelpers are used to paint inaccessible places, usually a ship's side, when stagings are not practicable. When vessels are berthed alongside a dock, much of the work is done from the dock or from workboats. Manhelpers are rarely used on deck as no part of deck structures should be considered inaccessible to a seaman. Manhelpers are usually ten feet or over in length, the brush being fastened by yarns to a notch cut about three inches from one end, the brush secured at an angle of about 45 degrees to the shank.

Too much time is wasted on board ship in scraping paint off screw threads, gaskets, and other places which should never have been painted over in the beginning. A little attention to the following commonsense rules will prevent this waste of time and improve the appearance of the ship:

Never, under any circumstances, paint rubber gaskets on watertight doors, manholes, hatches, etc.

Never paint screw threads, compartment name plates, louvres, gauze air screens, zinc protectors on the bottom.

Never, without orders, paint anything that has not been kept painted.

Never paint out lettering without special orders to do so. All the various numbers and letters have definite meanings, and they must not be painted out.

As there is a regulation way in which ships must be painted, never paint anything a different color without orders.

In painting use only a little paint on the brush, and never paint crosswise; that is, never

  make the strokes cross; they should always be parallel to each other.

Never put the paint on in a thick coat. It will not dry and become hard, but it is easily rubbed off for days afterward, and catches dirt continually. Put it on in thin coats, and it will dry quickly and form a hard surface.

Never paint over a dirty surface, or a rough unprepared surface. Paint is too frequently used to save scrubbing. The surface to be painted must be cleaned and scrubbed down to a smooth surface before any paint is applied.

Binding a brush is binding the bristles with twine much the same as the straws of a broom are bound, to keep them from spreading.

Generally the brush is held by the handle, but at times the wrist and palm of the hand may get tired and sore, in which case experienced painters have found comfort and ease by changing for a spell and holding the brush by the brindle, or metal band, which allows plenty of play on the brush. Keep the brindle clean.

When painting or washing the forward or after ends of deckhouses always start at the windward side; in this way no paint or dirty water will be blown onto the finished surface.

There is no end of uses for red lead and for structural painting it has no peer. Red lead mixed with a small amount of carbon black makes an excellent hull paint of good body.

A new practice is to use an aluminum pigment mixed with zinc oxide and a varnish vehicle for the second coating. This is a good mixture to cover red lead as it dulls the tint and a fine white finish will take well when applied over it.

When mixing paint in more than one container, remember to box the contents together to get a uniform paint film. This boxing of paint is very necessary when using colors.

Considering the prompt action of driers and turpentine in paint, it is advisable not to put these ingredients into the pigment until just before using. While paints should be mixed about 24 hours previous to their use, they should not be allowed to stand for long periods of time unless they are kept in well-sealed and airtight containers.

When painting the mast or tarring down the rigging a simple way to control the paint or tar when charging the brush is to fit the paint


can inside a water bucket and pack old rags around the paint can to keep it centered. In this way the excess paint that drips from the brush as you wipe it over the edge of the can is taken up by the rags and not splattered on the deck below.

For a quick set and a good thorough drying, it is suggested that about five ounces of powdered litharge be stirred into the finishing coat. Paints containing litharge should be used within two or three days after preparation. If boiled oil or litharge is used, add only half the specified amount of driers.

In cleaning brushes that have been used in shellacs, alcohol will serve better than anything else. After cleaning with alcohol use brown soap and warm water. Shellac brushes should never be allowed to stand long after using, as shellac has a very quick drying point.

In revarnishing a surface a light sandpapering before applying varnish will give an ideal finish. In new varnish work, treating the wood to a little tung or raw oil will give the varnish a good hold. Surfaces must be kept free of dust while varnishing, as this will show up in the

  finished surface. It is not a good idea to varnish in the direct hot sun or damp weather.

Linseed oil is very useful to soften brushes that have become stiff.

It is necessary to have a hard undercoat for permanence in painting and to attain this do not put too much oil in a priming coat.

While the addition of driers to paint is desirable, too much drier will cause too rapid top- drying, resulting in a wrinkled effect.

One gallon of correctly mixed paint will cover approximately 700 square feet.

Running, streaking and sagging may be caused by improper mixing and stirring as well as by applying the paint too thick.

To prepare ready-mixed paint pour off most of the liquid (vehicle) into another can and stir well the pasty pigment which has settled to the bottom. During the stirring process add small amounts of the liquid and continue stirring until all the liquid is used. Box well the mixed paint before using.

Boxing paint means pouring paint, back and forth, from one can to another until the mixture is smooth and free from lumps.

ship underway


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