Francis Liardet: Professional Recollections on Points of Seamanship, Discipline, &c., 1849.
On keeping a ship's head the right way in light airs, or calms, &c.
So much are the best seamen impressed with an idea of the necessity of keeping
a ship's head the right way, that whenever they have any object to gain, they
are always most particular on this point. See Capt. Brenton's Naval
History, vol. 1, page 379, Lord Bridport's Action off Ushant. "Sir Andrew
Douglas, the captain of the Queen Charlotte, with becoming zeal for the
Service, and that constant attention to his duty by which he had risen in his
profession, used the utmost exertion during the night, to keep the ship's
head directed towards the enemy, well knowing, that with the motion of the
sails, occasioned by the swell of the sea, a ship will forge ahead. In
consequence of this, at daylight, he was one of the nearest ships, when a
breeze springing up, he very soon had the distinguished honour of being again
closely engaged on both sides." Every seaman knows, that even in calm weather,
with the least swell, if you put two ship's heads in opposite directions, they
will soon separate, and continue to do so, until both their heads are put in
the same way. This does not appear to me to arise so much generally from the
flapping of the sails, as Capt. Brenton observes, as it does from the
formation of a ship's bottom. We have often seen ships, with all sail taken in
at sea, in calm weather, with little, if any difference, in their forging
ahead. Even dismasted ships continue to forge in the direction you place their
heads, which we think goes far to prove that much of a ship's forging ahead in
calm weather depends on the formation of her run and counters. We most
perfectly agree with Capt. Brenton, about the sails of the Queen
Charlotte having helped to forge her ahead, but we merely wish to point
out that on many occasions, the formation of the hull of a ship might also be
made most useful by keeping the ship's head the right way after a ship is
dismasted in action, or dispersed from the fleet. For the want of some
precaution of this kind after a general action, ships are much separated. If a
ship's head cannot be got the right way, why not put some kind of drag or
stop-water, overboard, rather than increase her distance in direct opposition
to the body of the fleet. If all dismasted ships, that could not keep their
heads to the body of the fleet after a general action, were obliged to bring
them head to the wind or swell, by a stop-water of some kind or another, the
fleet would sooner be in a position to carry out the Admiral's orders.
Francis Liardet: Professional Recollections on Points
of Seamanship, Discipline, &c.
William Woodward, Portsea, 1849. 8vo, frontisp., (6), x, 319 pp, 1 col. plate of signals.
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Liardet: Professional Recollections on Points
of Seamanship, Discipline.
Copyright © 1998 Lars Bruzelius.