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Rigging for Self-Lowering
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Seaman - Military manual for the Seaman rate
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Mooring a Ship with Lines
gantline (fig. 4-32). Be sure to pass the part between the half hitches under the plank. If you pass it over, there will be nothing holding you up but the horns. The second method of rigging the stage is by the stage hitch shown in figure 4-33. This method is the better of the two because there are two parts of the gantline under the plank instead of one, and there is no need to eye splice the end. REEVING GANTLINES The best way to reeve your gantline for lowering is over a smooth surface. Never have your gantlines running  over  a  sharp  edge.  Place  chafing  gear  wherever the lines from your shackles cross anything sharp. The   following   safety   precautions   should   be observed while crew members are working over the side: 1.   Lower one end of your partner's stage at a time while your partner keeps the other side secured. 2. Warn your partner before making moves that may jar the stage. 3. Always wear a safety harness and lifeline with dyna-brake when working on a stage. 4. Always wear a life jacket when working over water. 5.   Keep clear of overboard discharges. 6. Do not secure safety lines or gantlines to the stations that hold up the lifelines; secure the line to a bitt or cleat. 7.   Do not allow more than two persons on a stage at the same time. 8. Secure tools to the stage with small stuff to prevent  them  from  dropping. Figure 4-32.–Eye splice rig on a stage. TAKING   SOUNDINGS Soundings (measuring the depth of water) are taken when the ship is going into or out of port or approaching an anchorage. The hand lead is the most accurate means for obtaining soundings. It is used in shallow water and when the speed of the ship is slow. Even though ships today  have  modem  depth-sounding  equipment,  lead- lines are a mandatory piece of equipment and are routinely  inspected  during  inspections  and  refresher training  periods. LEAD  LINE The leadline or hand lead consists of a narrow block of lead weighing from 7 to 14 pounds, which is attached to a marked line (fig. 4-34). With the ship making 12 knots, a good leadsman can get reliable soundings down to 7 fathoms. At slower speeds, of course, the lead has time to sink even deeper before the ship moves up to it. The leadline may also be used for determining the direction in which a ship, practically dead in the water, is moving. Direction of movement is found by placing the lead on the bottom, directly below the leadsman, and noting the direction of the motion of the ship as shown by the change of direction of the leadline from the up and down. Before heaving, the leadsman takes station in the chains, which usually are platforms projecting over each side at the after end of the forecastle. The lead is then lowered over the side and is supported in the heaving hand by a wooden toggle, inserted in the lead line about 2 fathoms from the lead. The spare line is coiled in the other  hand,  free  for  running. To make the heave, start by calling out “WATCH- ON-WATCH” then swing the lead in a fore-and-aft direction outboard of the chains to gain momentum. Then swing the lead in a complete circle. When the force is great enough, let go the lead as it swings for- ward at a point about level with the deck. As the ship moves ahead, heave in the spare line rapidly. The marker should be read when the lead is on the bottom and the line hauled just taut, up and down. The ability to heave the lead can be acquired only by practice. It is necessary to practice with both hands because the right hand is used for heaving from the starboard  chain;  the  left  hand  for  heaving  from  the  port chain. A good heave has no value unless the depth can be read correctly and quickly. Learn the markings of the leadline  identified  in  figure  4-34. Leadlines often are marked at each half fathom over the range of depth used most and may even have foot markings  around  the  more  important  depths.  Some 4-40

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