berthing hawsers

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Are used for mooring a ship alongside a wall or jetty. The two breast ropes, marked (2) and (5) in Fig. 1, below, are known as the fore and after breast ropes, and are used to breast the ship bodily towards the jetty when coming alongside, and when belayed they limit the ship's distance from the jetty. They can also be used to hold a small ship upright against a jetty when it is resting on the bottom. The hawsers marked (3) and (4) are known respectively as the fore spring and the after spring. Any spring which leads forward is known as a back spring and any which leads aft is known as a head spring. When a ship is secured alongside these prevent it from surging ahead or astern at its berth, and together they assist the breast ropes to keep it close alongside. They also enable the ship's bow or stern to be swung clear when leaving. By going ahead against a fore spring with the helm over, the stern swings outwards while the ship is held from moving ahead by the spring. Similarly, by going astern against a back spring with the helm over, the bow can be swung clear. The head-rope (1) and stern-rope (6) help the springs in preventing the ship from surging and are also employed to move the ship into its correct berth when going alongside.

For a large ship, or one which is berthed near a busy fairway where it is more likely to surge, or for any ship berthed in bad weather, the springs may be duplicated as shown in Fig. 2. These are then called the fore head spring (1), the fore back spring (2), the after head spring (3), and the after back spring (4).

Berthing hawsers

Subjects: Maritime History.

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