Down aft on the Trader, taken in Lake Charles, Louisiana on the 3rd of July 2003.
Note that all the ropes are on winches - none on bitts. This is of course the norm for all new ships built today, and simplifies mooring operations greatly.
All the ropes were 'Steelites', that meaning they were essentially a single, thick, high tensile core made from Nylon, surrounded by smaller stranded Nylon which protected the core. The rope was only a few inches thick, but had a breaking strain of circa 60 tonnes, basically the same as a wire (as used on most other ships of this size and above). However there are of course advantages over wires in that they do not require constant greasing and are a lot easier to stow.
Neither do they damage the deck when dragged across. However, the Steelite isn't flexible enough to use on bollards, so a small eye is made in the end, and then a standard mulitplatt polyprop tail (15-20 ft) is shackled to the end, this is then placed on the bollard.
All the winches were controlled from a control box, with the boxes sited on either side, indeed one can be see just forward of the lifebuoy at the top of the picture.
In practice, this means the Officer is in overall charge, with the Pumpman/Senior AB/Fitter on the control box, and the rest of the lads feeding them through the leads or stowing them on the drums.
Today, E/R crews are used for mooring alongside their deck counterparts, and on BP Ships that meant the 4 E/R Ratings, with 2 forward and 2 aft. So it would look something like this:
2 x Oilers
2/O or 3/O
Pumpman (if carried)
The Red box houses the ships Emergency towing gear. Basically it's a long length of nylon towing line secured to the ship by a chain, which is in turn secured to the deck (as can be see). The other end is attached to a lit buoy, which is dropped through the panama lead and picked up by an attendant tug, who then heaves up and makes fast the towing line.
The system is designed for one man operation, all you have to do is throw the buoy over the side with the tug doing the rest. This came in as a result of several Tanker groundings, e.g. Braer, Sea Empress etc.
Being an LNG tanker, we took tugs at each port, normally a minimum of 3, despite having a powerful bowthruster. However we didn't take the tugs lines onboard and secure them to bits, there were in fact small bits inset to the hull just above waterline level, which the Tugmen made fast to themselves. Incredibly helpful to both sides given the high freeboard of these ships.