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DON'S LOG: stories, experience and advice

Towboat Hitches

(Tow boat and lighterman hitches)

 

A Tobo hitch is the proper way to secure a line around a Samson Post. A Clove hitch is not the way to secure a line around a Samson Post. If there is great strain on the clove hitch it will bind up tight and the only way to get it loose is to relieve the strain on the line to the Samson Post or, use the Universal Knot Opener - a sharp knife.
In contrast the Tobo Hitch can be untied under load and more line can be veered. A Tobo Hitch is not only useful for securing a line around a Samson Post but works perfectly on winches.


On Iolaire there is very little space for winches and cleats, so we dispensed with the cleats. All lines leading to winches are secured with Tobo hitches. 

 

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LAYING UP ON A HURRICANE MOORING DURING HURRICANE SEASON OR SURVIVING A HURRICANE AT ANCHOR

Effects of wind on 50ft monohull with a 60ft mast laying head to wind
Effects of wind on the achorline load of  50' monohull with a 60' mast laying head to wind. Note loads increase drasticallywith larger boats.

This is not a good idea as is illustrated by my loss of L’ll Iolaire in hurricane Ivan in Grenada in 2004. Iike most sailors felt that Grenada that had only been hit by two hurricanes, one in 1856 and in 1955 Grenada was basically south of the hurricane area. Every summer starting in 1996 we laid up L’ll Iolaire on a good heavy mooring, chain to a rope attached to a buoy. From the buoy to L’ll Iolaire two separate lines lead thru two separate chocks to two separate cleat bolted to big backing blocks. Lines were carefully cover with chaffing gear.

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