History of ATR-7  -  Page 15

   While the ATR-7 was in Charleston Navy Yard for periodic maintenance work, a small but important feature was added to the ship. A steel roller was installed on the top of the rail at the stern where the towing wire passed over the side from the winch to the distant tow.
    Before, in towing a target, barge or ship with a wire, the constant strain and motion where the wire passed over the counter into the water to the tow caused serious wear to both cable and the iron bead running along the top of the rail. The point of wear had to be lubricated constantly or the wire had to be moved to a new point of contact on the rail to avoid a break in the wire cable.    A horizontal steel roller approximately two feet long with a diameter of about one foot was installed in the center of the rail at the fantail where the towing wire rested between the towing reel and the object towed.
     On either side of the steel roller drum was placed a vertical roller pin about a foot high. The two vertical roller pins kept the wire cable in position over the steel drum should the tow suddenly veer to one side.    The roller could take the great strain of the tow wire when underway and exert a slight movement in either direction as the tow wire moved.
This saved chafing and wear on the steel beading on the top of the rail and cut down wear on the wire cable too.

    When ATR-7 had a ship or target in tow, the strain on the wire was enormous. should the wire suddenly break, the broken end of the wire would whip around and could seriously injure a man. One time a cable did brake on the fantail but the men on deck ducked for cover and fortunately no one got hurt.

   The point of this little story is to show that the sea is a powerful mass and must be treated with respect.


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