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TB 55-1900-232-10
Is towing bridle of sufficient size and length? The following restrictions apply:
For service craft up to 500 tons, no less than 1 1/4-inch chain.
For service craft above 500 tons, no less than 1 5/8-inch chain.
For ships, the bridle must be equal in size to the ship's anchor chain, but not less than 1 1/4inch. Large
ships do not need chain larger than 2 1/4 inches when towed by U.S. Navy towing ships More powerful
commercial tugs will require larger chain bridles.
Non-magnetic chain and attaching hardware will not be used for towing bridles.
The length of each leg of the bridle from the towing attachment point to the flounder plate after rigging is
completed must be equal to or greater than the horizontal distance between the attachment points.
A bridle apex angle should be between 30 and 60 degrees, with 60 degrees the optimal angle
On some ships with high bow (e.g., CVA, AD, AOR, AFS, etc.), it may be necessary to rig a one or two-
shot chain pendant between the bridle flounder plate and the towing hawser.
Are all detachable links in the bridle legs and chain pendant locked with a hairpin?
If not, towing bridle is unsatisfactory. See Appendix D of the U S. Navy Towing Manual.
Are the bridle legs of the same size chain and equal in length when rigging is complete?
Link count
(Note: To ensure accuracy, counting links prior to rigging and panting bench marks is the only positive method
Total links per bridle leg should be equal at the attachment point on the tow )
If a wire bridle is used, is there a point of chafe on the tow?
If so, strongly reconsider the decision to use wire. If there is a point of chafe and wire is used, sufficient and
adequate chafing gear must be installed on the wire
If towing pads do not exist and bitts or cleats must be used, are they substantial enough to handle the strain of
See Chapter 6 of the U.S. Navy Towing Manual.


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