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which may be the only chance of safety in a small boat; but if the shore be flat and the broken water extend to a great distance from it, this will often be impossible.
(3) The following general rules for .rowing to seaward may therefore be relied on:
(a) If sufficient command can be kept over a boat by the skill of those on board her, avoid the sea if possible, so as not to meet it at the moment of its breaking or curling over.
(b) Against a head gale and a heavy surf, get all possible speed on a boat on the approach of every sea which can not he avoided.
(c) If more speed can be given to a boat than is sufficient to prevent her from being carried back by a surf, her way may be checked on its approach, which will give her an easier passage over it.
II. Runnin', before a broken sea, or surf, to the shore (flat bearh).(1) The one great danger, when running before a broken sea, is that of "broaching to. To that peculiar effert of the sea, so frequently destructive of human life, the utmost attention must be directed. The cause of a boat's broaching to. when running before a broken sea or surf, is that her own motion being in the same direction as that of the sea, she opposes no resistance to it, but is carried before it. Thus, if a boat be running bow on to the shore, and her stern to tne sea, the first effect of a surf or roller, on its overtaking her is to throw up the stern, and, as a consequence, to depress the bow; if she then have sufficient inertia (which will be proportional to weight) to allow the sea to pass her, she will in succession pass through the descending, the horizontal, and the ascending positions, as the crest of the wave passes successively her stern, her midships, and her bow, in the reverse order in which the same positions occur in a boat propelled to seaward against a surf. This may be defined as the same mode of running before a broken sea.
(2) But if a boat, on being overtaken by a heavy surf, has not sufficient inertia to allow it to pass her, the firet of the three positions alone occurs-her stern is raised high in the air, and the wave carries the boat before it, on its front or unsafe side, the bow deeply immersed in the hollow of the sea, where the water, being stationary, or comparatively so, offers a resistance; while the crest of the sea, having the actual motion which causes it to break, forces onward the rear end of the boat. A hoat in this position will sometimes, aided by careful oar steerage, run a considerable distance until the wave has broken and expended itself. But it will often happen that, if the bow he low, it will be driven under water, when, the buoyancy being lost forward, while the sea presses on the stern, the boat will be thrown end over end. Or if the bow be high, or protected by a bow air chamber, so that it does not become submerged, the resistance forward acting on one how will slightly turn the boat's head, and the force of the surf being transferred to the opposite quarter, she will in a moment be turned broadside to the sea, and be thrown by it on her beam ends, or altogether capsized. It is in this manner that most boats are upset in a surf, especially on flat coasts.
(3) Hence it follows that the management of a boat, when landing through a heavy surf, must stop her progress shoreward at the moment of her being overtaken by a heavy sea and enable it to pass her. There are different ways of effecting this object:
First. By turning a boat's head to the sea before entering the broken water, then backing in, stern foremost, pulling a few strokes ahead to meet each heavy sea, and then again backing astern. If a sea be really heavy and a boat small, this plan will be generally safest.
Second. If rowing to shore with the stern to seaward, by backing all the oars on the approach of a heavy sea, and rowing ahead again as soon as it has passed to the bow of the boat, thus rowing in on the back of the wave; or, as is practical in some lifeboats, placing the after oarsmen with their faces forward, and making them row back at each sea on its approach.
Third. If rowed in bow foremost, by towing astern a pig of ballast or large stone, or a large basket, or a canvas bag, termed a drogue.' or drag, made for the purpose, the object of each being to hold the boat's stern back and prevent her being turned broadside to the sea or broaching to.
(4) A boat's sail bent to a yard, loosed and towed astern, the yard being attached to a line capable of being veered, hauled, or let go, will act in some measure as a drag, and will tend much to break the force of the sea immediately astern of the boat.
(5) Heavy weights should be kept out of the extreme ends of a boat, but when rowing before a heavy sea, the best trim is deepest by the stern, which prevents the stern being readily beaten off by the sea.
(6) When running before a sea, a boat should be steered by an oar over the stern or on one quarter.
(7) The following general rules may, therefore, be depended on when running before, or attempting to land through a heavy surf or broken water:
(a) As far as possible avoid each sea by placing the boat where the sea will break ahead of her.
(6) If the sea be very heavy, or if the boat be small, and especially if she have a square stern, bring her bow around to seaward and back her in, rowing ahead against each heavy surf, sufficiently to allow it to pass the boat.
(c) If it be considered safe to proceed to the shore bow foremost, back the oars against each sea on its approach, so as to stop the boat's way through the water as far as possible, and if there is a drag, or any other appliance in the boat which may be used as one, tow it astern to aid in keeping the boat stern-on to the sea, which is the chief object in view.
(d) Bring the principal weight in the boat toward the end that is to seaward, but not to the extreme end.
(e) If a boat worked by both sails and oars be running under sail for the land, through a heavy sea, her crew should, unless the beach be quite steep, take down her masts and sails before entering the broken water, and take her to land under oars alone, as above described. If she have sails only, her sails should be much reduced, a half-lowered foresail or other small headsail being sufficient.
III. Beaching, or landing through a surf.—(1) The running before a surf or broken sea, and the beaching, or landing of a boat, are two distinct operations; the management of boats, as above recommended, has exclusive reference to running before a surf where the shore is so flat that the broken water extends to some distance from the beach. On a very steep beach, the first heavy fall of broken water will be on the beach itself, while on some very flat shores there will be broken water extending 4 or 5 miles from the land. The outermost line of broken water on a flat shore, where the waves break in three or four fathoms of water, is the heaviest, and therefore the most dangerous; and when it has been passed through in safety, the danger lessens as the water shoals, until on nearing the land its force is spent and its power is harmless. As the character of the sea is quite different on steep and flat shores, so is the customary management of boats, on landing, different in the two situations.
(2) On the flat shore, whether a boat be run or backed in, she is kept straight before, or end-on to the sea until she is fairly aground, when each surf takes her further in as it overtakes her, aided by the crew, who will then generally jump out to lighten her, and drag her in by her sides. As above stated, sail will in this case have been previously taken in, if set, and the boat will have been rowed or backed in by the oars alone.
(3) On the steep beach, on the other hand, it is the general practice, in a boat of any size, to sail right on to the beach, and in the act of landing, whether under oars or sail, to turn the boat's bow half around, toward the direction in which the surf is running, so that she
may be thrown on her broadside up the beach, where abundance of help is usually at hand to haul her as quickly as possible out of the reach of the sea. In such situations, we believe it is nowhere the practice to back a boat in stern foremost under oars, but to row in under full speed, as above described.
RUNNING A LINE.
82. (1) Coil the greater portion of the line in the stern sheets, but take end enough in the bow to make fast when you reach the landing: Pull away and let the ship pay out more line until you are sure of having enough in the boat to reach, then pay out from the boat. Always have plenty of good seizing stuff for making all secure, and if you are to stand by the line, have an ax ready for cutting in case you are ordered to do so.
(2) If laying out with the tide, take less line in the boat than otherwise. If against the tide, it will save work to take all the line in the boat, pull up and make fast, then bring the end back to the ship. With a long line to be laid out in a strong current it will usually be necessary to have several boats-one to run away with the end, the other to underrun the line at intervals, floating it and pulling upstream with the bight.
(3) If the line is to be secured to a post, put a bowline in the end before starting and throw this over the post. Bend on a heaving line and let the bow oarsman throw this, if hands are standing by to receive it, or jump ashore with it himself if necessary.
TOWING. 83. (1) In ordinary cases of towing-an unladen boat in a smooth sea—the towing boat passes clear of the oars of the tow (oars of tow should preferably be tossed to facilitate this), placing herself in line ahead, receives painter from the tow, secures it to ringbolt in sternpost, and starts ahead immediately she has hold of the painter.
(2) The bowman in the tow must not give the towing boat his painter until she is about ahead. He will then take in the slack of the towline, keeping a strain on it, and gradually pay it out, thus
getting way on the tow gradually. This latter precaution is particularly necessary
if the tow is at all heavy. (3) Though it is frequently impracticable, it is always preferable for the towing boat to give the tow a painter (instead of vice versa), which the tow should tend and keep ready for letting go in an instant. If this is not done and the tow gives the towing vessel her bow painter, which is shackled in the bow, a hatchet from the boat box or sharp knife should be kept at hand in the towed boat for cutting the towline in an emergency. (See art. 70.)
(4) If the tow is heavily laden or the sea rough the above method brings too much strain on the stem and sternposts of the boats. Hence in such a case, the painter should be toggled to a stretcher between the two afterthwarts of the towing boat and to the forward thwart of the tow. To steer a boat that is towing in this manner, bear the towline over on the quarter toward which it is desired to turn, to leave the stern more free to answer the rudder.
(5) Towing of ship’s boats is now usually done by the power boats, which are frequently fitted with a span, the ends of which are secured to either quarter. This facilitates steering and is in all respects · preferable to securing the towline to the shackle in the sternpost.
(6) When being towed astern of a large vessel, use a short scope, 80 as to remain close under the counter, with the bow partly out of water. In casting off, when there are other boats towing astern, be careful before letting go either to drop clear of them all with your towline, or be handy with your oars to avoid getting athwart the hawse of some of them.
(7) Except in the case of unladen boats in smooth water, a number of boats should never be towed tandem by their painters, for in a long tow this brings a considerable strain on stem and stern timbers of the foremost boats. To avoid this strain, the towing vessel should pay out sufficient line to reach the bow of the last boat, the other boats being secured to it by slip lines at bow and stern.
(8) If towing alongside, have the towline from as far forward on the towing vessel as possible; either toggle it to the forward thwart (steadying it over the stem with a bight of the painter), or pass it through the forward rowlock on the side nearest the towing vessel. Pay particular attention to the steering.