I've always wondered what purpose the round porthole at the very front of the ship, facing forward, served? Was it simply a porthole or was it a light of some description? I look forward to your ideas,
The steel cable mentioned by Dave Gittins was sometimes called the "insurance wire" as it could be used to pull disabled ships to safety. Legend has it that in some circumstances, a ship offering its own wire could reduce salvage claims and, thereby, lessen the payout by the insurance company. Great theory, but anyone who has dealt with previsional salvors knows they belong to the black flag nation.