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Isr6081.Tmp - US Army

Isr6081.Tmp - US Army

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Published by: rolacola on Dec 30, 2012
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FM 31-71
D-1. Northern Riverine Boats
a. Type of Boats.
Northern riverine boats are
characterized by shallow draft and minimumclearance and good maneuver capability. The
boats may be self-propelled or towed, with or
without cargo carrying capability. In addition tothe types of craft used by engineer units for the
tactical movement of troops and their accompany-
ing supplies in river crossing, and the types of 
craft used by transportation units for the admin-
istrative movement of troops and equipment dur-
ing operations on inland waterways, the move-
ment of troops with supplies requires a differenttype of craft for northern operations. Indigenous
boats of various types can be used for northern
riverine operations. One desirable river boat pres-
ently in operation in Alaska is 950 cm (31’)long
andweighs between 600 and 900 pounds(fig
D-1). It has a minimum height of 70 cm (27½”)
and a loaded draft of 25 cm (10”). The boat is
made of wood covered with fiberglass. It is rug-gedly constructed, quickly and easily repairable,
and can be maneuvered at high speed in swift
water. The boat is capable of carrying an infantrysquad fully equipped (total payload 4,400 pounds)
and includes a mechanical lift to raise the motorover obstructions when in shallow water. With a50 hp motor with a short shaft, these river boats,normally, can navigate any of the typical riversfound in northern regions. Another type of river-
boat(fig D-2)is made of marine aluminum. Thisboat is 792 cm (26’) long, 51 cm (20”) high, has a
loaded draft of 20 cm (8”), and weighs 770
pounds including the motor and motor lift.
b. Boat Selection.
(1) The performance of a small river-type
boat is effected by several factors: the conforma-
tion of the boat; the material from which con-
structed; and the weight. The type of motor, type
of propeller, location of the motor and the distri-bution of weight in the boat should be the deter-
mining factors in choosing a specific type of craft.When considering the characteristics desired in a
boat for military use, the character and velocity
of the rivers on which the boat might be used has
to be considered. The capacity of the boat mustalso be taken into consideration. Where secrecy
and stealth are prime factors, inflatable boats
should be considered.
(2) Nomenclature of boats and parts gener-
ally are standard. The front is the bow and the
rear is the stern. Starboard and port are the rightand left sides, respectively. The bow plate is thepart of the boat to which the anchor and rope areconnected to the craft. The carrying handles are
along the inside of the gunnel at the top of the
boat and are used to lift and carry the boat.
c. Stowage.
(1) Items of boat equipment are stowed
according to approved load plans for rapid inven-
tory and accessibility. Typical items in each boat
Anchor with 914 cm (30’) of line) -- 1
Mooring lines, 300 cm (10’) with eye
on each end ------------------------2Bailing can -------------------------1
Repair parts for motor --------------------1
Five-gallon water can -----------------1
Gas cans ------------------------------2WP and smoke grenades ----------- 4
Emergency rations ----------------------l
First aid kit ----------------------------1
Seizing line (914 cm (30’)) --------1
Flashlight with colored lens inserts - 1Camouflage net -------------------------1
Paddles (6) oars (4) --------------- -Poles (36 cm (12’)) --------------- 2
(2) Individual weapons should be attached topersonnel with a light line so that the weapon can
be recovered if the boat is swamped or over-
turned. The line should be secured to the suspen-ders with a quick release so that it can be dumped
quickly if there is danger of drowning. The line
should be 300 cm (10’) long unless known steam
D-2. Care of Boats and Motors
depth indicates otherwise.
(3) Personnel securely stow and lash other
supplies, equipment and crew-served weapons to
prevent their loss or injury to personnel if the
boat capsizes.
Crew-served weapons and squadand platoon radios have a marker buoy and line
attached to assist in retrieval. The buoy will have
to be improvised locally. It should be about the
size of a softball and can be made of any material
that will float. Empty plastic bottles can be used
in the absence of a satisfactory buoy. Each boat in
the formation carries a variety of supplies andequipment so that the loss of one boat does not
result in abortion of the mission.The key to dependable service from boats and mo-
tors is meticulous organizational maintenance and
proper operation. A boat or motor used properlyin normal operations more likely withstands the
abuse it gets under combat conditions. Recom-
mended precautions in the use of boats and motors
a. Proper Operation.
(1) Operate at moderate speeds to slow nor-
mal wear and deterioration of both boat and
(2) Avoid hitting floating objects and sand-
(3) Do not allow the motor to run for long
periods at idle or very slow speed. Carbon builds
up rapidly in slow-running, 2-cycle engines.
(4) Slow the engine before changing fromneutral to forward or reverse. A fast impropershift can cause engine breakdown in a critical
situation.(5) Allow the motor to warm up before oper-
ating at high speed. Accelerate and decelerate
smoothly to avoid straining the engine.
b. Preventive Maintenance.
(1) Keep the boat and motor clean and lubri-cated according to the technical manual (TM) forthe item. Particular emphasis is necessary on boat
fittings, underwater body, and motor lower unit.
(2) When
water, take the
operating in brackish or salt
boat out of the water after use.
Section II. RIVER
D-3. Navigation Techniques
The techniques discussed in succeeding para-
graphs are applicable to all northern area rivers
and streams.
The waterways throughout the northern areaof operations are potential lines of communication
for operations in these areas. Unlike motor high-
ways, where changes in route are made slowly bymen and machines, the route changes in the rivers
are made by nature, sometimes, quickly and in
accordance with nature’s own rules. On the motor
highways, signs are placed by man to indicatedetours, curves, dips, bumps, obstructions, and
safety limits of speed. On the waterways, natureplaces her own signs to indicate the same thing,
but the signs are in nature’s language, and theboat operator, who can cruise successfully and
easily, must learn that language and how to read
the signs.
The changes in current, channels, locations of 
obstructions, and depth of the river may occur
annually, monthly, weekly, daily, and even in a
matter of hours. This is particularly true of the
northern glacial streams. For this reason the boatcommander and boat operator must always be onthe alert. They cannot depend upon their memoryof yesterday’s channels, for today’s channels maybe different. They must know and understand the
basic principles of river reading—of reading the
The waterways of the north are often fed byglacial tributaries which flow rapidly and carry
FM 31-71
Clean the bottom regularly and flush the motor
with clean, freshwater.
(3) Include a set of spare spark plugs with
each motor. Operators remove, inspect, and clean
or replace them according to the TM for the par-
ticular motor.(4) If the boat strikes an object in the water,
the hull and motor lower unit require inspection,both for cracks and for damage, to the propeller,
propeller cap, cotter key, and shearpin.
(5) Handle the fuel line with care to prevent
damage where it joins the connectors.
c. Motor Modification.
Motors for use on thesilty shallow waters prevalent in northern areas
should be modified by the addition of a heavy-duty
water pump and the reinforcement of the skeg onthe motor lower unit.
with them a great amount of silt. Much of the
riverbank and much of the riverbed is made up of 
deposited silt that is easily cut and reformed bythe current. In the forming process, sandbars are
formed. The fast current at certain periods moves
small stones to form gravel bars. Banks are un-
dercut causing trees to topple completely into the
river where they float until caught on sandbars,
starting log jams. Some topple only partially into
the water and are still held to the bank by the
roots. During high water, these trees, still con-
nected to the bank, may be just on or under the
surface (sleepers), or they may be hanging above
the water (sweepers). Such trees must be con-
stantly avoided.
Each of these obstacles–sandbars, gravel
bars, sleepers, sweepers–may be avoided because
they have a sign, made by nature, either on the
bank or in the water that points to their presence.
The boat commander and the operator must
watch the surface of the water ahead. Certain
general rules are as follows: A lightly rippled sur-
face usually indicates shallow water. If there is a
wind blowing, of course, the surface of even deep
water may be rippled, but lightly rippled water
where no wind is blowing indicates shallow water,
sandbars, or gravel bars. A long, undulating
wave, however, indicates deep water and fast cur-rent. The “deep water wave” is formed by a com-bination of deep water and fast current. A smooth
surface usually indicates deep water and slightly
less velocity.

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