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Lay of Ropes and hawsers - Small Stuff descriptions
Defining lay of ropes :The lay of rope is a term used to describe the nature of the twist that produces
the complete rope.The purpose
of alternate twisting of fibres, yarns and strands is to prevent the rope
becoming unlayed when in use.
Fig:Right hand or left hand laid ropes
The majority of ropes are manufactured with a right-hand lay, but lefthand
laid ropes are available. The most common form of rope at sea is
known as ‘hawser laid rope’ comprising three strands laid up right- or lefthanded.
Other types of lay include ‘cable lay’, made of three
or four hawsers laid up left-handed, and sometimes referred to as water
lay, which is strictly incorrect. ‘Water lay’ was a rope designed to be used
when wet, e.g. sounding line. Consequently it was laid up in the course of
manufacture in a wet condition, so allowing for shrinkage in use. Cablelaid
ropes, although generally left-handed lay, may be encountered as
right-hand lay (left-hand hawsers being used) but these are extremely rare.
Eight Strand Plaited
Many mooring ropes used at sea today are ‘eight strand plaited’, constructed
by laying two pairs of strands left-handed, with the other two
pairs right-handed.This type of lay has the advantages that it does not kink
and also, with eight strands, has increased flexibility.However, it is difficult
to splice, and the manufacturers’ instructions should be consulted.
Another type of lay found at sea is ‘shroud lay’ , consisting of
four strands, sometimes being laid about a central heart, right-handed. As
the name implies, it was used for standing rigging (the shrouds to the mast)
until wire ropes came into use.
Often referred to as a long lay, soft-laid is a strong flexible method of laying
up a rope.The angle of the strand to the axis through the centre of the
rope is comparatively small. It will absorb water more easily and will not
be as hard-wearing for example as a hard-laid rope.The ‘jaw’ of the lay is
large with a soft-laid rope.
Sometimes called short lay, when the ‘jaw’ of the lay is small in comparison
to a soft-laid rope, hard-laid is harder wearing than the former, does not
easily absorb water and tends to retain its shape better when under stress.
Being hard in construction, it is not very flexible, and its breaking stress
and subsequent safe working load are inferior to those of soft or standard
Standard or Plain-Laid
Standard lay may be described as a cross between hard- and soft-laid ropes.
It has been found by experience to be the best in providing pliability and
strength, and to be sufficiently hard-wearing and chafe-resistant to suit the
industry for general purpose working.
Alternatively known as plaited, but not as in the way as the ‘eight strand
plaited’ previously mentioned, an example of sennet lay is found with the
patent log line, where the yarns are interwoven, often about a centre heart.
This lay of rope has an effective anti-twist, non-rotational property.
This lay looks like standard lay, but close inspection will reveal that the
yarns are twisted the same way as the strands. Left-handed in construction,
it is usually ordered for a specific job, e.g. gangway falls.The advantage of
this lay is that the tendency for standard lay to kink when passing through
a block is eliminated.
Small stuff is a collective term used at sea with respect to small cordage
usually less than 38 mm (11/2 in.) in circumference and of 12 mm diameter
Hambroline (hamber line)
Also known as codline, this is supplied in hanks of about 30 fathoms. It is
made of soft tarred hemp, three yarn or three-stranded, laid up righthanded.
It is manufactured in two sizes, three or six threads, and is used for
Many natural fibre products such as ‘Ratline’
and ‘Hambroline’ have been phased out of common
use with modern ship designs and have
been superseded by man-made fibre substitutes.
lashings where strength is essential, usually an untarred variety having a
Manufactured from Indian hemp, houseline is made of three yarns laid up
left-handed. It is tarred and sold in balls by weight and often used to secure
bolt rope to sails.
Manufactured in fourteen various sizes, it is made of a high grade dressed
hemp, having a fine finish and being smooth to handle. Before the invention
of man-made fibre, it was used for securing boat covers, awnings etc. It is
sold in hanks weighing from 93 g to 1.8 kg.
Marline is usually supplied in hanks by weight, tarred or untarred. It is made
in two ply, i.e.two yarns laid up left-handed, from better quality fibres than
spunyarn, and produces a much neater, tighter finish to any job. It is used
for seizings, serving and whipping heavy duty ropes.
Made from any cheap fibres and turned into yarns, spunyarn may have
two, three or four yarns, usually laid up left-handed. The yarns are supposed
to be soaked in Stockholm tar, for spunyarn is used for the serving
of wires, and the idea was that in hot climates the lubricant (Stockholm
tar) would not run from the serving. Spunyarn is generally sold in balls of
up to 3.2 kg or in coils of 6.4 kg or 25.6 kg by length or weight.
A three-stranded manilla rope, point line is made and may be ordered in
three sizes, which are determined by the number of threads:
Circumference 13/8 in (35 mm) diameter 11 mm 15 threads.
Circumference 11/2 in (38 mm) diameter 12 mm 18 threads.
Circumference 15/8 in (41 mm) diameter 13 mm 21 threads.
It is used as an all-purpose lashing aboard most present vessels. Sisal very
often replaces manilla in so-called point line.
This is one of the family of tarred cordage, measured the same as point
line, except that the number of threads may be as high as twenty-four (circ.
13/4 in.) (45 mm). It was used in the past for steps between the shrouds of a
Many of the natural fibre ropes have become
obsolete with expansion in the man made rope
sector of the industry. The loss of rigging aboard
the modern vessel has also speeded up its demise.
If seen on a modern vessel, it will probably be encountered as a heaving
line. Supplied in coils of 120 fathoms, it is made of three-stranded soft
hemp, hawser lay.
Logline (Virtually Obsolete)
Logline is made of sennet-laid hemp (plaited), specially for the towing of the
rotator (patent log), and comes in 40, 50, 65, or 70 fathom coils.The size will
vary from about 3/4 in. to 11/2 in. (6–12 mm diameter).The woven line is kink
proof, very durable and sometimes built up about a copper wire core.
Made of high grade cable-laid hemp, it may be obtained in a size of 11/8 in.
(9 mm diameter) for hand lead lines. It is supplied in 30 fathom coils for
the hand lead.
Manufactured from the best flax, this three-ply twine is made up in hanks
of approximately 1 lb weight and 900 fathoms length. It is used extensively
for canvas work.
This five-ply twine is supplied in hanks of similar length and weight to that
of seaming twine. It is used for whipping the ends of ropes,worming etc.
Often spelt halliard, this used to be three- or four-stranded dressed hemp,
but this natural fibre has given way to man-made fibres such as polypropylene.
It may be supplied in a variety of sizes to the customer’s requirements.
Plaited laid halliards are predominant on the modern merchant vessel, being
preferred because the stretch is not as great as, say, hawser lay.The word halyard
was derived from the old-fashioned ‘haul yard’, which was previously
employed on sailing vessels to trim and set the sails to the yard arms.
All Ropes should be inspected internally and externally before use for
signs of deterioration, undue wear or damage.
More on general cargo ship :
- Rope handling safe procedure
Ropes are made of short fibres that are spun into yarns,
which are then made into flat or twisted strands.
And the strands are spun or braided to make the finished
Synthetic man-made ropes and hawsers
Although natural fibre ropes are still widely used throughout the marine industry, they have been superseded by synthetic fibres for a great many
purposes. Not only do the majority of synthetic ropes have greater strength
than their natural fibre counterparts, but they are more easily obtainable
and at present considerably cheaper.
Natural fibre rope
All natural fibre rope is manufactured from manilla, sisal, hemp, coir, cotton
or flax fibres.The process of manufacture consists of twisting the fibres
into yarns and turning the yarns in an opposite direction to establish the
Lay of Ropes and hawsers - Small Stuff descriptions
The lay of rope is a term used to describe the nature of the twist that produces the complete rope .The most common form of rope at sea is known as ‘hawser laid rope’ comprising three strands laid up right- or lefthanded.
- Stresses in ship structures and how to mitigate
Heavy weights tend to cause a downward deflection of the deck area supporting the load .This subsequently produces stresses, with
consequent inward and outward deflections of supporting bulkheads,
depending on the position of initial loading .
- Anchoring safe practice
Prior approaching an area for anchoring ships master should investigate fully a suitable anchoring position and conduct a planned approach including speed reduction in ample time and orienting the ships head prior anchoring to same as similar sized vessels around or stem the tide or wind whichever is stronger . Final decision to be made on method of anchoring to be used , the number of shackles , the depth of water, expected weather and holding ground. .
- MacGregor single-pull weather-deck hatch cover
Hatch covers are used to close off the hatch opening and make it
watertight. Wooden hatch covers, consisting of beams and boards over
the opening and covered with tarpaulins, were once used but are no
longer fitted. Steel hatch covers, comprising a number of linked steel
covers, are now fitted universally. Various designs exist for particular
applications, but most offer simple and quick opening and closing,
which speed up the cargo handling operation..
- Cargo holds access arrangement
The access shall be separate from the hatchway opening, and shall be by a stairway if possible. A fixed ladder, or a line of fixed rungs, shall have no point where they fill a reverse slope
- Prepare cargo holds prior loading
Washing is always carried out after the compartment has been swept. Drying time for washed compartments must be allowed for, before loading the next cargo; this time will vary with the climate, but two to three days must be expected.
- Strength and stability of the Lifting appliances
The vessel's structure, crane, derrick or other lifting device and the supporting structure should be of sufficient strength to withstand the loads
that will be imposed when operating at its maximum load moment .
- Lifting appliances - Maintenance, testing, controls & safety measures
When there is any suspicion that any appliance or item of
equipment may have been subjected to excessive loads, exceeding the Safe
Working Load (SWL), or subjected to treatment likely to cause damage, it
should be taken out of service until it can be subjected to a thorough
examination by a competent person.
- Safe operation of Lifting appliances and gears
All lifting operations must be properly planned, appropriately
supervised and carried out to protect the safety of workers.
- Derricks for lifting cargo on board
Derricks for lifting cargo on board is required to be of adequate strength and stability for each load, having regard in particular to the stress induced at its mounting or fixing points , securely anchored, adequately ballasted or counterbalanced and supported by outriggers
as necessary to ensure its stability when lifting.
- Deck cranes
Deck cranes have a number of advantages, the rigging
time being negligible, and the crane is able to pick up and land permitted
loads anywhere within its working radius. The safe working loads of cranes
is generally of the order of 10 to 15 tonnes and larger cranes are available
capable of lifts from 30 to 40 tonnes..
- Characteristics of Marine paints
Paint consists of pigment dispersed in a liquid referred to as the ‘vehicle’.
When spread out thinly the vehicle changes in time to an adherent dry film.
The drying may take place through one of the following processes..
- Protection by Means of Paints
It is often assumed that all paint coatings prevent attack on the metal
covered simply by excluding the corrosive agency, whether air or water. This
is often the main and sometimes the only form of protection; however there
are many paints which afford protection even though they present a porous
surface or contain various discontinuities. .
- Role classification societies maintaining seaworthiness of vessels
classification societies publish rules and regulations which are principally concerned with the strength of the ship, the provision of adequate equipment, and the reliability of the machinery .
- Periodic survey requirement by classification societies
To maintain the assigned class all steel ships are required to be surveyed and examined by the Society’s
surveyors at regular periods.
The major hull items to be examined at these surveys only are discussed
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