What's the deal with cable lube?

Is there a regulation regarding cable lube and tow wires?


33 CFR 164.74

They refer to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance and inspections. If you don’t lube and inspect and keep a record and you take out a railroad bridge or something that makes the news because your rusty old wire broke then you will probably get nailed for not following the “incorporated by reference” part of the equation.

Yeah, they want you to lube the cables but just do not leave a sheen in the water afterwards. My last company (Maritrans/OSG) had us running out the wire on the tow winch once a month to lube it. We were a ATB and never used the winch. They finally decided that the salt was worse for the wire and told us to stop the lubing. The biggest problem was now the Tow Winch slowly turned into a large block of rust.

Your wire lube left a sheen? The stuff we use is fish oil it’s environmentally safe. When I was at TECO we used an orange based lube it smelled at lot better than the fish oil.

We used the Fish oil also, and Yes it did leave a sheen if you had to put the wire back out before it dried.

I have used Fluid Film for lubing various cables and it works really well. No sheen if it dries and negligible, but environmentally OK if it is still wet.