cable stoppers

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Usually known as slips, are used to hold the cable when a ship lies to an anchor, either as a preventer, or stand-by, when the cable is held by the brake of the cable-holder, or to hold the cable temporarily so that the inboard part of it can be handled. There are four types of stopper normally used for cable work in larger ships, all tested to half the proof load of the cable.

Blake slip, a general purpose slip, in which the tongue passes over a link of the cable. It consists of a short length of studded chain shackled to a deck bolt close to the line of the cable between the cable-holder and the hawsehole, with the slip attached to the end of the chain. Its main use is as a preventer when the ship lies to its anchor but it is also used to hold the cable if work is necessary on its inboard end.

Screw slip, a Blake slip with a bottlescrew incorporated in the length of chain. It is used when securing an anchor for sea, the bottlescrew being turned to bring the flukes of the anchor hard home in the hawsepipe.

Riding slip, again a Blake slip, usually shackled to a deck bolt immediately above each cable locker, though occasionally on the upper deck between the cable-holder and the navel pipe. When a ship is lying to an anchor is riding to the brake on the cable-holder, the riding slip is put on as a preventer in case the brake renders.

Senhouse slip, a slip designed to secure the end of a cable. In this slip the tongue passes through the end link of the cable, which is studless, and not across a link as in the other slips. Its normal place in a ship used to be in the cable lockers where the inboard end of the cable is secured, but in modern ships the end of the cable is shackled on to a deck bolt in the locker, no Senhouse slip being used. Smaller Senhouse slips are used in many smaller vessels and yachts to hold the ends of the guardrails to the stanchions. In these cases the tongue passes through an eye in the end of the guardrail.

In many merchant vessels the cable is stoppered with a devil's claw in place of a slip. Here there is no tongue, its place being taken by a fitting in the shape of two claws, the gap between them being the diameter of a cable link. The claws are passed across a link that lies horizontally on the deck and hold the link next to it, which must lie vertically.

[a] Blake slip [b] Screw slip [c] Senhouse slip [d] Devil claw

Subjects: Maritime History.

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