Snubbing – Putting On The Brakes

 

snubbing posts

Before engines, posts like these were about the only brakes available. Drivers would loop a rope around a post several times and gradually slow the boats to a stop before they coasted into boats ahead of them or worse – a lock gate. The posts shown in this image though, are there for a different purpose. Here the turn is so sharp that the long tow-rope would soon be pulling the boats directly into the bank. The posts keep the rope’s pressure pulling more or less in the right direction. Postcard image courtesy eriecanal.org

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