Disabled tug

Your right. The uscg will save your life not your boat

Thing about CG not providing assistance towing is they loose a lot of practical experience. Used to be all boatswains mates were on the job trained. Some stations real busy, Little Creek one year lead the district assistance cases, 649 in one year. Now it’s a Boatswain mate school, useful I guess but school training nice weather not the same as experienced crew bringing new guys along. This coupled with recruiting from places with strong maritime history made for good seamen.

Back to the disabled tug,I don’t blame the cutter for not towing. Policy is no tow, over step & have trouble you will suffer the consequences.


Looks like the two tugs that are trying to salvage
tug & barge are currently guessing over 150
miles offshore with expected gale conditions,
So if towlines are not attached now if conditions
Are deteriorating than they may be following
till conditions allow. Looks like a few miserable
days to me on boats that size.

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Been there, done that.

The Charles James may not be the best boat to be out in that mess though. Its the old Megan McAllister.

the bad weather adds to the degree of risk multiplies in the salvage award. so as long as your dry and warm you ride it out, shadowing the vessels since they are still attached. my concern would be if the barge yanks the shafts out of the coupling but by this time the wire (rope) may be wrapped around the rudders and strut also.

the crew would share in the monetary award so sit back, stay warm and have a good meal. watch TV on the satellite and wait it out.

it would lessen danger to the crew if the line parted. then you would only have to board the tug to make up the tow, that is assuming they have an insurance wire on the barge with the trailing float on poly line

A post was split to a new topic: Towing with Rope Hawser

The term “line” is ambiguous with regards to material.

Here’s a site that uses to terms “chain mooring line” and “wire mooring line”.

I’m a little slow and not to brite
So your confusing me😀

I think we’ve worn the subject out until the recovery is made

Doubt if there is much money in saving that tug, sold foreign probably cheap. Salvors take her owners unlikely to pay they are stuck selling scrap. Barge is not even close to worth what it would cost to get it to safe location. Loose barge offshore case I was on floating upside down abandoned. We shot holes in it with the ancient 3 inch deck gun & WW 1 ammunition . Took it forever to sink.

Every thing takes forever to sink when you shoot at with a deck gun. If you want it to sink in a hurry, use a torpedo. The holes need to be below the waterline. Somehow that seems to get overlooked.

This post brings back flashbacks of hawser boards, and coiling hawsers while trying to get into port. The horror!


I have dealt with a similar case some years ago in the Caribbean. It was a small tug, flagged out and a crew with suspicious credentials, a dubious incident, tailored to the restrictions in the Policy, an owner right out of central casting (complete with white suit and hat). And, yes, the tug and barge left from Florida, towline in the wheel. . . . .

This operation seems a little out of their wheelhouse. Of the few boats they have suitable for this mission, the Charles James isn’t one of them. She has no business being out there.

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I think you can rule out “polypropylene” as they would not have gotten off the dock using that. Never heard of anyone using that on a tug or a barge, securing the canvas on a dump truck maybe but not on a vessel… No strength, no stretch and melts when worked on a bitt or cleat. If it is a soft line, old school would be nylon.

Charles James and Shannon Dann are inbound approaching Cape Henlopen, not making much speed. Hopefully they were successful.

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Polypropylene Rope - is a strong and versatile product. Our polypropylene rope is available in 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24mm diameters in 220 metre coils. Also in selected diameters we offer a full range of colours.
Because polypropylene rope is so light, it is the only rope that floats. For this reason, it is very popular among ropes for pool makers and water sports. It is affected by sunlight deterioration, more so than any other synthetic or natural fibre rope, but this can be overcome by adding an UV stabiliser or by keeping it away from direct sunlight. Also when wet it is flexible and does not shrink. Poly begins to weaken and melt at 150F, the lowest melting point of all synthetic ropes. It is not as strong as nylon or polyester, but 2-3 times stronger than manila. It’s highly resistant to acids, alkalis and oils. Because poly is less expensive than other fibres, it is one of the most popular all-purpose ropes for the average consumer. Has been employed effectively as: mooring or hawser line, anchor line, towing line, utility pull lines for tension stringing, fishing rope, target tow rope, heaving line, barrier rope, life lines for rafts and floats, water/snow ski tows and as industrial slings. It can be used for almost anything and it normally is.

Source: https://www.ropesandtwines.com/products.php?cat=3%20Strand%20Polypropylene%20Rope

Good for towing…water skiers.
Melts at 150 degrees
Not as strong as Nylon or polyester(dacron)
affected by direct sunlight more than others
2-3 times stronger than manilla. Manilla is only used for heaving lines and cheap tie down lines
Most popular all purpose rope for the “average consumer”
Definitely not used as a hawser on a tug.

Only good for attaching the goof ball to the end of the insurance wire

Well my post wasn’t very clear.

Mean to say what are the chances at any given time a tug is towing a barge off-shore in winter with a rope hawser? I’d guess under 1%.

What are the chances that a C.G. spokesman would use a coastie term for a tow hawser rather than the more correct term? I’d guess better than 50% chance they’d get it wrong.

I have never seen a yellow three-strand used to tow anything but a human or a water toy. That stuff is horrible and even the heat of the sun will meld a coil together on a hot day after enough time.
I have seen SOME kind of 4 inch hawser that floats, I found it all over a little island near Oahu once and I have seen it in the Bahamas too.