4. Swinging Out

Swinging out is a simple process on all types of davits. Even so, a seaman should never attempt something he knows nothing about.

BOAT COVER. -- When you remove the boat cover, do not discard it or the spreaders. To get the most use out of the cover in the lifeboat, #7 canvas should be used. The cover should not be painted. Use canvas preserver, which will leave the cover pliable.

STRONGBACK. -- Unless you need the strongback as a skate on the high side, throw it overboard.

PAINTER. -- Lead the painter well forward, outside of everything. Take up all the slack and make fast properly.

RUDDER. -- It is advisable to ship the rudder before the boat is waterborne, but take care that lines are not fouled on it.

PLUG. -- Be sure the plug is in.

OUTBOARD GRIPES. -- The men are inclined to be afraid to release the outboard gripes. Since a lifebelt will hinder you, it is better not to wear it while you are outboard.


STATIONS. -- When they see another boat already swung out, some of the men are liable to leave their stations.

QUADRANTAL DAVITS. -- Be sure the pins are in the handles so that the handles will not come off when the men begin cranking outboard.

GRAVITY DAVITS. -- With gravity davits one man is able to turn out and lower a lifeboat, simply by raising the lever slowly. As the boat rolls down the runway, it should be controlled by frapping lines.

RADIAL DAVITS. -- Release the outboard gripes first, then the inboard gripes. Hoist the boat clear of the chocks. Be sure the falls are in the fairleads and belayed on the cleats. Lower the chocks on the deck.

If the boat is to go out bow first, be sure there is clearance aft. Have two men haul on the after guy as the fore guy is being slacked, and the men at the gunwale walk the boat aft. When the forward davit points directly aft, shove the boat forward and bear out. Slack the after guy and tighten the fore guy.

When the after davit points forward, have the men shove the quarter outboard. Haul on the after guy, square the boat, and make the guys fast.

HIGH SIDE. -- Be sure the boat is secured so it will not go athwartship when the gripes are


slipped. After the gripes were released on two high-side boats of the Vestris -- 30 degree list -- they slid across the deck and rolled overboard.

LOW SIDE. -- Be sure you have frapping lines around the falls before you release the boat from the chocks. Otherwise, if the ship has much of a list, the boat will swing out with tremendous force and remain hanging beyond your reach.

Swing the davits out just enough for the boat to clear the ship's side. Do not let go of the handles of the davits until lashings are put on them. As an additional precaution, put wedges in the gears of the davits.

SWUNG OUT. -- Remove the boat cover, make it up snugly, and place it in the boat's bottom.

Remove the outboard and inboard gripes.

Lead the sea painter, toggled at the thwart, from the inboard side of the boat well forward, outside of everything.

Do not put the plug in while the boat is hung.

Hoist the boat clear of the chocks until the falls are not quite two-blocked, and swing out. This will two-block the falls.

Fit a stout spar or a strongback to the davits temporarily, so that it may be shifted if necessary.

Chafing pads of good size are fitted to the strongback, so that they are between it and the


boat. Shift them to conform with the boat's shape.

Use a handy-billy to haul the boat to the strongback, meanwhile easing the falls gently until snug up.

Keep shifting the strongback and the chafing pads or ease the falls until the boat takes up a satisfactory position.

The boat should then be griped in and the handy-billy removed. The gripes should be fitted with a toggle, if they are not already fitted with pelican or slip hooks.

The slack on the gripes should be taken up from time to time. Thus swung out and griped, the boats require watch-to-watch inspection, especially during heavy wether.

HALF CHOCK. -- A safer method of securing the boat ready for quick lowering is to have the boat resting on a half chock, the inboard side. Remove the outboard gripes and lower the outboard half of the chocks. When ready to swing out, trip the releasing gear on the chock and let go the inboard gripes.


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