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-   -   Lifeboat - Sheering Off Technique (https://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=294795)

jbo 8th September 2019 12:32

Lifeboat - Sheering Off Technique
 
Sheering Off is a recognised technique for a Lifeboat (TEMPSC) to leave a ships side .........
A question I would like to ask - is this method as successful when the mother ship is stopped in the water and has anyone ever tried it?
If you have could you post your thoughts.
Thanks

Basil 8th September 2019 14:24

I've watched a RIB scrape along the side of an anchored ship as they attempted to turn away from the ship's side. They could also have pushed the RIB bow off.
I mentioned to the CE that they could have gone astern to get clear but it was suggested that I didn't point this out to the deck department :rolleyes:

Dartskipper 8th September 2019 15:50

The handling characteristics of a small, single screw boat, depend on a couple of factors.

1) The rotation of the propeller.
2) The size of the propeller.

Usually, when leaving a landing stage or steps, and quite possibly a ship at anchor or stationary, the best and quickest method is to put the helm hard over to the side which is alongside and give a short burst ahead. Then centre the helm and proceed astern. Trying to sheer off only causes the quarter to drag along the ship or landing stage, as Basil describes.

The rotation of the propeller will dictate how the small boat manoeuvres as it will have a greater turning circle when turning against the rotation of the prop. especially if the prop. is relatively large such as in a small trawler or tug.

Barrie Youde 8th September 2019 17:00

I agree with all of the above, but would add that by far the best method is for a hand at the bow to shove off first.

In the case of a boat alongside a ship which is making headway, at low speed, the normal principles of steering apply.

If, however, the speed of the ship is excessive, a problem can arise. When I was in training as a pilot I was aboard a VLCC Shell tanker, outward bound from Tranmere. We had been lying ebb-way, starboard-side-to, at the oil-stage. Leaving on the flood-tide, we let go all aft, letting the tide shove the stern off the stage. At about 90 degrees, we backed off the stage, using a tug pushing on the port side to help the swing. Once we had completed the 180 degree swing, we also had substantial headway, heading down-river, and we could see that the pushing-tug was having difficulty in sheering off. "Stop her", called Pilot John Megginson, as we looked over the port side and our own speed through the water dropped. "Now she'll go", said Meggo:- and sure enough she did, allowing normal steering principles to apply.

Full ahead.

Basil 8th September 2019 18:24

What was happening there, Barrie? Was it reduced hydrodynamic pressure between the hulls?

Barrie Youde 8th September 2019 22:11

#5

That is probably right, Basil, but whatever might be the correct scientific explanation it all seemed, at the time, to be a matter of common sense. It still does.

Stephen J. Card 8th September 2019 23:48

Use your boat hook.

or

If you don't have a boatline out, put it out. Made it fast to the inner side of your boat. If there is any tideway, you bow will go out. Let go and give her Full Ahead!

Varley 9th September 2019 01:06

Are we not talking lifeboat? If we had time to do a Royal Tournament Top Team display of rowboat handling might we not better have stayed aboard and obviated the need for abandoning ship? Especially as you buggers would still have had us alongside while she sank!

Stephen J. Card 9th September 2019 06:18

JBO is not actually giving us a lot of information on what he wants.

Is the ship stopped in the water? Well, probably or why is he trying to leave a ship while it is underway? Weather? Swell and waves? Flat calm?

Clearing the Suez Canal boats? Ship making 10 knots, painter out, the boat lowered from the crane. He boatman slipped the painter and he shot out like a rocket!

Robert Hilton 9th September 2019 06:59

I think sheering off a lifeboat refers to the use of the toggle painter made fast to the lifeboat's stern and led forward. As long as the ship had some headway the lifeboat's head rope would be let go and the toggle painter heaving the boat ahead would cause the bow to swing out. Once oars could be shipped on both sides of the boat the crew would give way and as she cleared the dhip the toggle could be polled out and the painter thus slipped to free the boat.

TEMSC (totally enclosed motorised survival craft). What a pointless attempt at pedantry. What would be wrong with 'Covered Motor Lifeboat?' The 'totally enclosed' bit would be amply taken care of by regulations.

Varley 9th September 2019 10:37

A good point Robert. I wonder if Covered Motor Lifeboat had already been described in an existing regulation with different specification to a TEMSC

Stephen J. Card 9th September 2019 11:24

TEMSC on large passenger ship do not put out painters. On older passenger ships with open boats, only one painter is run out, one on each side for the most forward boat, usually the 'emergency boat'. The rest of the boats have to fend for themselves. Very unlikely any passenger ship would be trying to evacuate passengers would make any headway.

Robert Hilton 9th September 2019 19:52

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stephen J. Card (Post 3002753)
TEMSC on large passenger ship do not put out painters. On older passenger ships with open boats, only one painter is run out, one on each side for the most forward boat, usually the 'emergency boat'. The rest of the boats have to fend for themselves. Very unlikely any passenger ship would be trying to evacuate passengers would make any headway.

Quite right. However I forgot to add that the toggle painter could still be used in a vessel dead in the water. The oaersmen on the off side would backwater and the boat's head would sheer as needed.

TEMSC = Nausea.

Pat Kennedy 9th September 2019 21:58

Quote:

Originally Posted by Barrie Youde (Post 3002661)
I agree with all of the above, but would add that by far the best method is for a hand at the bow to shove off first.

In the case of a boat alongside a ship which is making headway, at low speed, the normal principles of steering apply.

If, however, the speed of the ship is excessive, a problem can arise. When I was in training as a pilot I was aboard a VLCC Shell tanker, outward bound from Tranmere. We had been lying ebb-way, starboard-side-to, at the oil-stage. Leaving on the flood-tide, we let go all aft, letting the tide shove the stern off the stage. At about 90 degrees, we backed off the stage, using a tug pushing on the port side to help the swing. Once we had completed the 180 degree swing, we also had substantial headway, heading down-river, and we could see that the pushing-tug was having difficulty in sheering off. "Stop her", called Pilot John Megginson, as we looked over the port side and our own speed through the water dropped. "Now she'll go", said Meggo:- and sure enough she did, allowing normal steering principles to apply.

Full ahead.

Barrie

At what point during this manoeuvre did you let go forar'd? I think there may have been one or two hairy moments on the focsle.

Werent there two Meggisons, both appropriated Shell pilots?

I had a VHF receiver in my crane cab and used to listen to pilots and tugs comms all day long, with a good view of proceedings from the crane which was the biggest of the two at Western Shiprepairers#1 dock adjacent to Woodside landing stage.
Regards.
Pat

Stephen J. Card 9th September 2019 22:32

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robert Hilton (Post 3002795)

TEMSC = Nausea.



LOL.... probably got two propellers too!

Barrie Youde 9th September 2019 22:47

#14

Pat,

The headropes were let go at a very early stage, very shortly after the stern started to swing off. The forespring (or for'd backspring) was let go very soon afterwards, with a stern-tug pulling into mid-stream, well before the ship was at 45 degrees to the stage. Nobody thought in quite such technical terms; as it all seemed quite obvious that the spring also would need to be let go pretty sharpish. As soon as the bow was clear of the berth, the pushing-tug on the port-shoulder began its work. And round she went.

Yes, there were two Megginsons, John and Charles. Only John was a Shell pilot. Chas was pilot for CPR and later for Manchester Liners.

Barrie Youde 10th September 2019 14:14

#14

Hi Pat,

Your question prompts me to reflect further on my own remark that nobody thought in particularly technical terms. For sure, there was no book of "Best Practice" or "Risk Assessment" or even "Passage Plan". Such things were unknown until fairly recently. All knowledge was handed down by word of mouth and common sense.

This leads me now to try to explain more accurately in writing what actually did happen in the manoeuvre mentioned above. The starting point would be the Master's report, "We are ready." The ship is far longer than the relatively small stage alongside which she lies. Head-ropes and stern-ropes are on dolphins. Springs are on bollards on the stage. If the pilot is quite certain that the tugs were also in attendance he advises, "Single up to one and one each end and make fast the stern tug."

When all of that was done the next order would be, "Let go all aft", at which point the stern was bound to shift (by force of tide alone) and the next order would be "Let go the head-rope" (which is now doing nothing). The spring would be held onto for not much more than a few moments, by which time the swing had started and there was no power on the planet which could stop it. (I speak here of a Shell M Class VLCC).

The stern tug would be doing its stuff, standing into mid-stream - and the pusher on the port shoulder would be ordered to start to push as soon as the bow was coming clear and it was practicable to do so.

By those general principles, there should not have been any hairy moments on the foc'sle head.

Many thanks for the invitation to write it down after forty-odd years!!

China hand 10th September 2019 18:35

On the "Emergency boat", I seem to recall we used the toggle painter passed around the 2nd thwart.

Basil 10th September 2019 19:44

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pat Kennedy (Post 3002835)
Barrie

At what point during this manoeuvre did you let go forar'd? I think there may have been one or two hairy moments on the focsle.

Werent there two Meggisons, both appropriated Shell pilots?

I had a VHF receiver in my crane cab and used to listen to pilots and tugs comms all day long, with a good view of proceedings from the crane which was the biggest of the two at Western Shiprepairers#1 dock adjacent to Woodside landing stage.
Regards.
Pat

That sounds like being my wife in the car or a flt eng on the flt deck. They can spot all the little errors the driver makes :)

Pat Kennedy 10th September 2019 19:49

Quote:

Originally Posted by Barrie Youde (Post 3002959)
#14

Hi Pat,

Your question prompts me to reflect further on my own remark that nobody thought in particularly technical terms. For sure, there was no book of "Best Practice" or "Risk Assessment" or even "Passage Plan". Such things were unknown until fairly recently. All knowledge was handed down by word of mouth and common sense.

This leads me now to try to explain more accurately in writing what actually did happen in the manoeuvre mentioned above. The starting point would be the Master's report, "We are ready." The ship is far longer than the relatively small stage alongside which she lies. Head-ropes and stern-ropes are on dolphins. Springs are on bollards on the stage. If the pilot is quite certain that the tugs were also in attendance he advises, "Single up to one and one each end and make fast the stern tug."

When all of that was done the next order would be, "Let go all aft", at which point the stern was bound to shift (by force of tide alone) and the next order would be "Let go the head-rope" (which is now doing nothing). The spring would be held onto for not much more than a few moments, by which time the swing had started and there was no power on the planet which could stop it. (I speak here of a Shell M Class VLCC).

The stern tug would be doing its stuff, standing into mid-stream - and the pusher on the port shoulder would be ordered to start to push as soon as the bow was coming clear and it was practicable to do so.

By those general principles, there should not have been any hairy moments on the foc'sle head.

Many thanks for the invitation to write it down after forty-odd years!!

Thanks for that very clear description of a technique I remembered only from the point of view of an AB on stations. as you can imagine, the AB in charge of the forar'd backspring has no clear overall view of the grand plan. To be honest, I never knew what the hell was going on.
I remember that this was the case on Shell's Pallium leaving Tranmere one windy night, and I was on the spring together with a JOS and a deck boy.
On the order to let go the spring we started paying it out as fast as possible but the bow was leaving the stage fairly rapidly and we only managed to get enough slack out to allow the linemen to cast the eye off before we reached the bitter end.
The backspring was on a reel and we had barely enough of it to take to the drum end to commence heaving it in.
Hairy enough for one night you might think, but we were only bound for Heysham and had more fun and games getting alongside there just a few hours later.
Best Regards,
Pat(Thumb)

Barrie Youde 11th September 2019 10:49

#20

Pat, You speak of not knowing what was supposed to happen.

On my first trip to sea, I was ordered to go to the docking-bridge on the poop for stand-by on sailing from Liverpool at midnight. From the berth in Gladstone 1 and out through Gladstone Lock, all passed without incident, with the Second Mate supervising all. Unfortunately he was a vey quietly spoken man. We cleared the lock, swung for sea and picked up speed. The Second Mate said something to me which I thought was "You stay here", which I did, as he disappeared down the ladder with no further explanation. I remember passing Crosby light, and reading the name thereon. I also began to think that I was expected to remain on the poop for ever, perhaps until we reached Australia, as no further explanation had been given. I knew of no reason at all why I should be on the poop (and to the present day am unsure why I had been told to stay there). That thought, of course, was absurd. I began to think that I must, surely, have misheard or misunderstood the Second Mate. And so I left the poop and turned in.

A glowing start to a career - as you might imagine!

Stephen J. Card 11th September 2019 11:20

1 Attachment(s)
First Tripper. Joined Antwerp discharging coal. First week was fantastic. Departed and headed round for Amsterdam. The bridge was midships, all of the accommodation was aft. I had been up to the bridge while in Antwerp., every morning and evening for flags and to wash down the wheelhouse deck etc. Anyhow, the way around to Amsterdam, Saturday afternoon was off. I decided to come up to the bridge 'at sea'. Did not come up through from the chartroom... just went up on the outside ladders and out to wing. Enjoying the summer breeze. The Old Man, Ian Wildish, saw me and said something to the 2nd Mate, Neil Morrison. He called me over to the door and said, "Go and play to somewhere else!" Felt like a real twit. By the end of afternoon it had become a laugh. Three weeks later, new Third Mate calls me over and says, "I am the Third. You are the cadet. You call ME Sir and I will call YOU Sir. The difference is, you meant it, I won't!" Still a good friend.

Pat Kennedy 11th September 2019 11:20

Barrie, on my first trip, I was told by one of the ABs to go to the poop and get onto the docking bridge and stand by for the mail arrival by helicopter as we passed Gibralter at midnight.
I woke him up at 02.00 to report that the mail had not arrived, so points even, I think

ian keyl 1st October 2019 16:46

I do'nt know if this qualifies for sheering off in a small boat but I can say the guys in this boat were doing more that sheering ,it started with S.
once in the Suez we noticed that the canal boatmen were getting stuff ready in their boat for being put in the water but they had the the painter which was led through a panama lead on the port side was very short to the barrel end of the hatch winch .
it looked to be less than half its normal length. When we were ready to let them go the second mate said to me and the bosun " do not let any slack out on the painter as you put them over the wall and lower only pay out what I say."
Well as we lifted them over the wall and started to lower on the tri sling ,we kept hold of the painter so the bow of the canal boat was about 5 feet in the air and as it got nearer the water it got worse.
the boatmen had put it round a thwart in a clove hitch and had led their slack end in to a locker to hide it.
We were leaving Suez and the Oldman had seen from the wing of the bridge what were doing and had wound her up a wee bit. So the one guy had his hand on the tiler trying to force her out away from the ships side but because we had held on to the painter they were litterer on the ar-e,the mate was shouting to them we wanted our painter back but they could not undo the knot so they were panicking as we picked up speed and were shouting to the mate to pay out more painter to which he refused, eventually they were almost crying as the other boat had already come round our stern heading for shore .
they got a machete out and hacked to painter rope free and hit the water with a splash and thud into our bow wake which almost capsized them .
So is that what you call sheering . They did get a good lot of rope but we had a laugh .

Stephen J. Card 1st October 2019 17:12

At Suez, the boatman wanted some gloss white paint. I agreed to give him 20 ltrs of best International. In exchange the boatmen handed a couple of stuffed camels, stuffed small chair... a few other items. I asked the bosun to give them the paint... only the 'best'. It was best paint but not exactly white. The drum was full of the dribbles from old drums... all mixed of white, red oxide, blue, yellow etc.


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