A cleat is a device consisting of a double-ended pair
of projecting horns used for belaying a line or wire.
Bitts are heavy vertical cylinders, usually arranged
in pairs, used for making fast lines that have been led
through chocks. The upper end of a bitt is either larger
than the lower end or is fitted with a lip to keep lines
from slipping off accidentally. As bitts are required to
take very heavy loads, extra frames are worked into
their foundations to distribute the strain. Usually there
is a set of bitts forward and aft of each chock When
constructed in pairs, each bitt is sometimes called a
A chock is a heavy fitting with smooth surfaces
through which mooring lines are led. Mooring lines are
run from bitts on deck through chocks to bollards on a
pier when the ship is moored. There are three types of
chocks: An open chock is a mooring chock that is open
at the top. A closed chock is a mooring chock, closed by
an arch of metal across the top. A roller chock is a
mooring chock that contains a roller for reducing
A pad eye is a plate with an eye attached, welded to
the deck to distribute the strain over a large area and to
which a block can be hooked or shackled. A pad eye is
also used in towing operations.
A bollard is a strong cylindrical upright on a pier,
over which the eye (or bight) of a ships mooring line is
LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Define accommo-
dation ladder. Identify the construction and use
of the accommodation ladder.
Ships are fitted with accommodation ladders that
can be rigged and lowered over the side. These ladders
provide a convenient means for boarding or leaving an
anchored vessel. Some accommodation ladders can be
modified for use on a pier or barge.
Large Navy ships have forward and after
accommodation ladders, two on the starboard side and
two on the port. If more than one ladder is rigged, the
forward accommodation ladder is the quarterdeck and
reserved for officers and ceremonies. The after ladder is
used by work details and crew liberty parties. Some
aircraft carriers are fitted with an accommodation
ladder in their transom (on the stern of the ship).
The accommodation ladder, figure 4-18, has an
upper and lower platform that is connected by the ladder
and supported by either a chain or wire bridle and bail
hanging by a pendant. Another method is the use of a
metal bail shaped like an elongated upside down letter
U which holds the ladder by a pendant rigged to the side
of the ship or from a J-Bar davit.
The lower platform of the accommodation ladder
has additional parts that must be rigged. An H-Frame
equipped with fenders is rigged to the outboard side of
the lower platform. This H-Frame is where boats can
come alongside to pick up or discharge passengers. The
inboard side of the lower platform is fitted with ports
called shoes, that when rigged hold the ladder in the
proper position off the side of the ship. The shoes have
pads attached to their ends to help prevent damage to the
ship or the ladder. The lower platform also has
turnbuckles, and in some cases, pendants to restrict the
fore and aft movement of the ladder.
The upper platform is supported by a brace known
as a wishbone. A single-sheave block is attached to the
underside of the forward outboard comer of the upper
platform. A line is rigged through this block which acts
as a sea painter to keep a boat alongside in position with
the accommodation ladder. A toggle between the
strands of the line prevents the line from running up into
the block and becoming inaccessible to a boat.
There may be some accommodation ladders made
of steel still in service, but for ease of handling, the
Navy has changed to aluminum.
When an accommodation ladder is secured for sea,
everything is rigged in, disassembled in most cases, and
stowed in brackets either on the rail or along a section
of the superstructure. All of the smaller portable parts
are stowed in a gear locker close to where the ladder is
rigged. Care must be taken so that this essential gear is
not carried off for other purposes.
When an accommodation ladder is rigged, the first
you must do is follow the ship's plans. You should make