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The  coxswain  must  keep  the  screw  rotating sufficiently to maintain steerageway and then keep the bow facing the seas at an angle on either the port or starboard  bow. A drogue or sea anchor is a cone-shaped canvas bag about 2 feet wide at the mouth and approximately 4 1/2 feet long. It is towed open-end forward so as to offer resistance. The towline is made fast to the open end of a sea anchor, and a tripping line is secured to the pointed end. The drogue fills with water and tends to slow down the forward movement of a boat. The most important use of the drogue is in keeping a boat at right angles to a sea. The bow of a small boat can be kept toward the seas  by  rigging  the  drogue  line  and  allowing  the drogue's resistance to the water to hold the boat in position to the sea. If the drogue is no longer needed, the towline is slacked and the tripping line is heaved on. This action causes the sea anchor to lose its resistance and enables the crew to haul it aboard. SECURING FOR SEA AND READY LIFEBOAT Boats are secured for sea when they are gripped down in the chocks, with plugs out and boat covers stoppered  down  securely. The ready lifeboat, usually a motor whaleboat, is secured for sea in the davits, and, on some ships, swung out ready for lowering. As a safety measure, wire preventers connected to the davit heads may be attached to the boat's hoisting eyes, and the preventers must be cast off before lowering. They are equipped with pelican hooks, which can be tripped to transfer the boat's weight back to the falls. The lifeboat has its sea painter and steadying lines already rigged, and the manropes from the span are coiled down clear for running. To keep it from swinging, the lifeboat is gripped against a pair of soft paddings on a heavy spar called a strongback, securely lashed between the davits. Canvas-covered lines running in a V-shape from the strongback around the boat to the deck are the gripes in this instance. They are brought down hard to the deck by means of a turnbuckle, with a pelican hook for quick releasing. The strongback is not always used. A set of inboard gripes, similar to those outboard, is used instead. At the start of each watch, the Boatswain's Mate of the watch (BMOW) checks the ready lifeboat and reports the ready lifeboat condition to the OOD. It should have a full tank of fuel and fuel oil reservoir. The bilge should be clean and dry with the boat plug in place. Life jackets and safety helmets should be ready nearby or in the boat so the crew may don them before lowering away. BOAT  ETIQUETTE LEARNING  OBJECTIVE:  Explain  proper etiquette procedures for a member of a small boat crew, including saluting, loading and off loading  passengers. Early in this chapter you were told that a ship is often judged by its boats and their crews. Clean boats and sharp crews draw favorable comments from superiors. An  essential  element  for  a  smart  crew  is  proper, seamanlike conduct. Following are a few rules of boat etiquette,  established  by  custom  and  regulations,  to serve as your guide to proper conduct when in boats. Observe them closely, and insist that others in your boat do  likewise. When there is no officer, petty officer, or acting petty officer in a boat lying at a landing, gangway, or boom, the personnel seated in the boat rise and salute all officers passing near. When an officer, a petty officer, or an acting petty officer is in charge, that person alone renders  the  salute. Coxswains in charge of boats rise and salute when officers enter or leave their boats unless the safety of the boat  would  be  imperiled. When boats with embarked officers or officials in view pass each other, hand salutes are rendered by the coxswain and the senior officer embarked. The engine of the junior boat is idled during the salute. After the officer returns the salute, speed is resumed. Coxswains must rise while saluting unless it is dangerous or impractical  to  do  so. When  a  powerboat  salutes  another  boat  in  passing, crew members outside the canopy stand at attention facing the other boat. If a powerboat is carrying an officer or official for whom a gun salute is being fired, the engines are slowed and clutches are disengaged on the first gun, and the boat is headed parallel to the saluting ship. During the salute, only  the  person  honored  rises  and  salutes. Enlisted personnel who are passengers in the stern sheets  of  a  boat  always  rise  and  salute  when  a commissioned officer enters or leaves. 5-11

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