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TB 55-1900-232-10
Good judgment is required in the use of a weak link.  When operational
requirements dictate maximum strength, such as a tow along a lee shore, an
intentional weak link may jeopardize the mission. (Page 5-35)
Batteries should be protected from electrical grounding by mounting them on non-
conductive bases or with non-conductive liners in the box. (Page 5-37)
Great care should be taken when the rope is removed from the shipping package
since it can be permanently damaged by improper unreeling or uncoiling. Kinks
and hockles, see figure B-3, may occur with careless uncoiling. (Page B-3)
Sudden application of a load to wire rope by rapid acceleration causes stress much
greater than the weight or resistance of the tow. Avoid such strain on the rope by
employing gradual acceleration. (Page B-5)
In general, one should wear gloves when handling wire rope except when it is
moving under load. The gloves, if snagged, can drag the hands into dangerous
locations. (Page B-7)
New synthetic hawsers should not be subjected to heavy strain prior to breaking
them in. Limit the towing loads applied to a new hawser until it has been cycled up
to its working load. (Page C-2)
A common method of uncoiling wire rope by rolling the coil along the deck is not
recommended for fiber lines because of the potential for abrading or cutting the
outer fibers, and also because the coil will collapse when the bands are removed.
The potential for catastrophe, resulting from the failure of a heavily-loaded synthetic
line and the sensitivity of the line to damage from rough surfaces, indicates another
major precaution. That is, when towing either alongside or stern-to- bow, with a
synthetic hawser, try to keep your line completely outboard. This can be done by
shackling into a double synthetic line strap of equal size and type as your line or
into a wire rope or chain pendant. This is particularly important on the towed end,
as the conditions of those chocks, bitts, etc. are unknown. Barges usually have
very rough chocks caused by previous repetitive use of wire rope or chain. (Page
Synthetic lines may slip when eased out under heavy loads since their coefficient of
friction is below that of manila. This may cause injury to personnel who have not
been thoroughly instructed in these lines' peculiarities. Take two or three turns on a
bitt before you "figure 8" the line; this provides closer control. Stand well clear of
the bitts. (Page C-6)
Screw-pin shackles, other than the special forged shackles for stoppers, must never
be used for connections in towing rigs. The pin could back out due to the constant
vibration set up by the hydrodynamic actions on the towline. (Page D-5)
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