Tugboats or towboats and their towing lines come in all different sizes. They’ve changed over the years; the early tugs had steam engines which were later replaced with diesel engines. In the early days tugs had paddle wheels; now propeller-driven tugs are essential in moving gargantuan barges and oil rigs to their final destinations. Many of today’s cargo and oil tanker vessels are of such size and construction that it would be virtually impossible for them to navigate into place along coastlines or in harbors without the help of tugboats. Vital to the whole tugboat operation is the hawser, the thick cable or rope used in mooring or towing a ship. Wire rope seems to be the hawser of choice for the larger tugs. Polypropylene ropes are used extensively by the smaller tugboats and nylon shock lines show up aboard the big and the small.
Read more on Page 4 in SlingMakers Magazine.