TYPES OF TUG AND TOWS



MOST OF MY CAREER HAS BEEN TOWING IN THE PINS WITH HEAVY OCEAN SURGE GEAR. THIS GEAR PROVIDES EXCEPTIONAL SURGE IN BAD WEATHER. AS LONG AS YOU CHECK THE HEART SHACKLE AND THE MAIN SHACKLE THAT CONNECTS IT TO THE TUGS TOW WIRE REGULARLY, THIS GEAR SHOULD PROVIDE YEARS OF CONFIDENT USE. THE ONLY DRAWBACK OF THIS GEAR IS IN SHALLOW WATER, SHE MAY SNAG OR WEAR OUT FROM DRAGGING ON THE BOTTOM. ALSO, COMING ALONGSIDE A BARGE REQUIRES SOME FINESSE FROM THE TUG MASTER. THE OTHER TOW GEAR IS THE T-BAR WITH WIRE PENNANT. THIS GEAR PROVIDES LESS SURGE THEN THE CHAIN GEAR. SOMETIMES WE USE A NYLON HAWSER PIECE TO ACT AS SURGE. THE BENEFIT OF THIS GEAR IS IN SHALLOW WATER SHE RIDES ON THE WATER SURFACE. COMING ALONGSIDE IS EASIER BECAUSE THE TUG IS NOT RESTRICTED IN THE PINS. SHE PIVOTS IN FRONT OF THE RUDDERS AND MAKES FOR SIMPLE MANEUVERING. PERHAPS THE ONLY DRAWBACK IS THAT ONCE YOU’RE ALONGSIDE YOU HAVE TO HEAVE UP THE PENNANT SO SHE WON’T GET IN THE WHEELS OF AN OPEN WHEELED BOAT.

THE THREE SSS IN TOWING

WHILE TOWING IN A NARROW CHANNEL, I GET A LOT OF CAPTAINS WHO ASK ME IF THE TOW IS TOO SHORT OR TOO LONG. I ALWAYS PREFER FOR IT TO BE LONG RATHER THAN TOO SHORT, ESPECIALLY IF TOWING IN THE PINS AS CROWLEY ADVOCATES. TOO SHORT, TOO SLOW, TOO SOON IS WHAT I CALL THE THREE SSS. IF YOU ARE IN ANY COMBINATION OF THE THREE SSS YOU WILL BE HAVING A HARD TIME CONTROLLING THE BARGE. EVERY INCH OF YOUR RUDDER ANGLE WILL BE MAGNIFIED TEN TIMES TO THE BARGE THROUGH THE TOW SYSTEM. THIS CREATES MORE CORRECTIONS I HAVE TO MAKE WITH THE ASSIST TUGS JUST TO KEEP THE BARGE IN THE CHANNEL. SO IF IN THE PINS BEWARE OF THE THREE SSS.

PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK TO SEE A CLIP ON THIS MATTER. TYPES OF TUG AND TOWS