The ships in the wooden class group were 197' long, the older steel ships 163' long and the newer steel ships 168' long. They were powered by two Diesel-Electric engines which developed from 800 to 1200 brake horsepower to turn the electric generator which supplied current to operate electric motor connected to propeller shaft. They also had 2 smaller engines to run auxiliary generators. An evaporator converted sea water to fresh water. Ships had a speed of 12 to 14 knots.
As shown on pictures in Figure 1 & Figure 2 there was a double bowsprit (called horns in the net service) on the bow (front) of the ship. Each of these horns handled a safe working lift of up to 22 tons. Between the horns there was a clear, metal sheathed opening through which nets and gear could be discharged or brought on deck. See Figure 4.
The catwalk above the opening between the horns provided what amounted to an auxiliary bridge from which the person controlling the operation could issue orders for handling of engines and winches, while directly observing the work going on under the bow.
The forecastle (forward) deck went clear back to the double electric winch installed against the forward deckhouse bulkhead. The steel cables from the winch drum to the horns were routed through fairleads (openings) which ran along the sides of the deck. The entire deck was then free for working space.
There was also a double winch on after (rear) deck of ship. By means of fairleads, where necessary, cables could be led from the after winch drums, as well as the forward winch drums, giving 4 working lines for any operation. See Figures 3A and 3B.
The electric winches forward and aft each had 2 drums with a capacity of 1800 feet of 1 1/4 inch wire. One person with a clear view of the operation, had complete control of ship and working crew. The gear, often very heavy and under great strain from current, could be brought up well clear of the water where the work could be accomplished.
The horns afforded an easy means of carrying a number of heavy parts of a mooring, anchors, and buoys, while leaving the connecting chain clear for laying. See picture of Net Tender with moorings on horns in Figure 4. In addition to the winches, required in Net Tending duties, there was also a large boom located on the forward deck.
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