[QUOTE=Dawn patrol;159402]most of my time is on single screw harbor tugs as an AB. you had to be good with line work because you usually only had one chance to make it while landing a barge. I also enjoyed watching the skill it took to handle a single screw with a 9 second delay, those captains were some of the best I ever saw.[/QUOTE]
I heard this often coming up on deck; “a good deck hand can make you or break you”. How true!
Until the shipyards closed one by one in Baltimore Harbor, Curtis Bay might have 7 or 8 boats committed daily to shifting dead ships, graving dock caissons or the dry dock itself around the various yards.
No Z-drive boats and the docking pilots thought they had it made with a “Cape” (twin screw) boat or two. Strapping up and making fast (sometimes twice on the same job), long stern lines and playing the bow work was done with single screw boats ranging in power from 1750 to 2400 and the twin screw “Cape” boats of 3300hp.
Baker-Whiteley boats would be used as extras too.
Almost all of these boatmen, from deckhand to docking pilot, highly skilled professionals that made it look easy.