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During my time coasting around the Kiwi coast we used to take the lifeboats away for training / excursions usually at weekends or if layed over awaiting cargo.
When we recovered the boats I remember we used to wind the boat up into the chocks, check the triggers and then re-rig the Gripes making them tight, we then used to raise the brake and release the weight off the fall wires and onto the gripes.
Also, whenever we changed the fall wires the weight of the boat was on the gripes and the new fall married onto the old fall and rove through the floating blocks by hand.
I’m certain we didn’t add any further lashings i.e. maintenance pennants as used on Offshore Instsllations.
Can anyone else remember this, or if I’m wrong or confused due to the passage of time please let me know?
 

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Sounds about right and I cannot remember any additional lashings. However, later davit sets had docking/locking pins (although not sure they were there in the early 70s) - effectively the boat was 'secured' by its weight on the davit chocks and lashed in by the gripes. Have to dig out an old Seamanship primer see if there are any further words of wisdom!
 

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Speaking as a man who worked down in the basement I sailed offshore 1966-1976. I sailed several ships that were converted after WW II from troop ships to general cargo. We had four original equipment fifty-man diesel-engine powered steel lifeboats two to a side. We used those boats for training but especially for picking up ship-wreck survivors, once, but also as general transportation in ports especially in Asia.

I cannot speak to the details of what you write. But I have fond memories including the time in Nha Be, Vietnam, when a gaggle of crew tied their lifeboat underneath a local House of Joy built on stilts over the water. While the crew were enjoying themselves upstairs the tide came in, the lifeboat picked up the whole structure, turned it over dumping everyone into the water.

Another time in Kaohsiung our Master spent his days at a waterfront club ashore. He became enamored with the US Navy crewed boats that would pick up their Masters. He wanted us to emulate it and pick him up.

He had a boat crew of deck officers and deck unlicensed crew. They managed to screw up the whole thing including hitting the dock hard. So the next day a mixed crew with me onboard to operate the engine did it again. While we were not as spiffy as the US Navy we managed to emulate their actions pleasing our Master.

Greg Hayden
 

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During my time coasting around the Kiwi coast we used to take the lifeboats away for training / excursions usually at weekends or if layed over awaiting cargo.
When we recovered the boats I remember we used to wind the boat up into the chocks, check the triggers and then re-rig the Gripes making them tight, we then used to raise the brake and release the weight off the fall wires and onto the gripes.
Also, whenever we changed the fall wires the weight of the boat was on the gripes and the new fall married onto the old fall and rove through the floating blocks by hand.
I’m certain we didn’t add any further lashings i.e. maintenance pennants as used on Offshore Instsllations.
Can anyone else remember this, or if I’m wrong or confused due to the passage of time please let me know?
memoey? Offsbore except for floating platforms-and some jack up installations and semi submersib!es/installations which could in Theory tilt and heel at the same instant to[design spec for lifeboats to 15 degrees ] when in transit mode or in some cases on station { these davits were not of the fixed-figid frame design as for a fixed offshore platform , but as a ship wkth davits working under gravity for heel and tilt,
Hence the fixed offshore platform with fixed davjts reqired the makntenance penents when renewing the falls..
Also a fixed platform had a minimum above sea height at high tide clearance for the 60 year wave and the lifeboat had to be lashed to prevent damage for a surge 60 year wave coming up under the platform and crushing the lifeboat. Memory? Please forgive?
 

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During my time on the Kiwi coast we used to spend most of our time either actively participating in wine women and song (not much song) or fending them off because we were tired or broke.. We left mundane things like playing around with lifeboats to apprentices and married junior mates.
 

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I’m certain we didn’t add any further lashings i.e. maintenance pennants as used on Offshore Instsllations.
Can anyone else remember this, or if I’m wrong or confused due to the passage of time please let me know?
That sounds right and you would indeed ease off on the brake so that the boat sat securely held by the gripes and did not move at sea. Later sets of twin fall davits had a big steel pin for each davit which you could slide in and lock the davit safely in position whilst you were doing maintenance etc.
Regards, Mike
 

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The steel locking pins, to give them their correct name were called harbour pins and should only be be used in harbour.
 

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All of the above sounds right.

To allow the suspension of any boat in her davits to rely on the gripes sounds highly risky. The gripes were intended simply to prevent the boat from swinging free in the davits and not to prevent any gravitational fall.

When rope falls and radial davits were used, the practice for renewing falls was to swing the boat inboard and to lower her onto the chocks - and then renew the falls at leisure, as it were. In the Liverpool Pilot Service, this was done once a month. I remember it well.
 

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The boats weren't held by the weight of the gripes, but rather the fall blocks sat on (what we called) stags horns at the davit head, that is the weight of the boat was held by the davit and not by the fall wires.
See attached picture showing the horns protruding through the blocks.
 

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In the days of whaling Barques the boats were hoisted and lowered with falls but when in position they rested on "cranes". These are wooden supports on a hinge from the vessel sides. The boats were kept empty to avoid wracking of the keel. In heavy weather and often not able to bring them onboard they were turned on their sides to allow the water to drain out.
 

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I joined one ship in dry dock which had the "stags" described by Jim, only in this case they were more like hinged jaws and were designed to take the weight of the boat when it was stowed. As the boat was swing out to embarkation level the jaws were designed to drop down (open) and thus the boat could be p
lowered into the water. As this ship had been in dry dock for an extended period, it was obviously good practice to exercise a boat drill before leaving harbour. Everything worked fine until the point where the jaws should have opened to allow the boat to be lowered, but in this case the jaws were solid and no amount of effort would open them. The problem was resolved by the dockyard but I still consider myself lucky that the problem was discovered before we needed the boats for real!
 
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