Soft shackle on tugs?

I know that these are not a new idea. Has anyone seen a soft shackle on a tug or a ship in the US?

I routinely push a small barge, a few times a year I have to tow it astern because of rough weather. We usually pass and recover our hawser by hand. One of these would make things much safer and easier, as the biggest problem is getting the jewelry back on board.

I would like some first hand testimony before I ask the office for this.

I’d say if the barge is small enough you can get by w/ them in certain scenarios.
I’ve only worked on a boat with them on one occasion and it was a very small 8k BBL barge we were pulling. We had them on the push cables on the shoulders of the tug winches and also used them on the soft bridle which we used for shorter voyages in good weather.
I wouldn’t attempt to use them to replace a tow shackle, though.
Samson iirc custom made those Amsteel soft shackles for that vessel, but they aren’t that hard to make either.

I would think your question could be directed to the insurance underwriter.

It’s so new, that the insurance carrier probably wouldn’t know anything about it.

I can see where soft shackles may have a few advantageous applications.

Have used them in a push gear set up. Can be very practicable for the right application. A lot of variables here but would recommend talking with Samson rep.

We use them pretty regularly for making up push. They are really nice in the deckhands due to the decrease in weight, and the lack of edges to snag when paying out. They also make changing out face a breeze. I wouldn’t use them for towing astern. The whole premise of a soft shackle is constant tension to keep them seated. The surging of a stern tow and hawser might not fair well on the soft shackle.

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