Francis Liardet: Professional Recollections on Points of Seamanship, Discipline, &c., 1849.

Page 218:

Steering with stern-way in making a stern-board.

From the beautiful manner in which a well conducted steamer is managed when under the influence of stern-way, and the considerably decreased time which it takes to turn a steamer round with stern-way, when compared with the same evolution under the influence of head-way; when we see the masterly manner in which steamers thread their way stern-fore-most amongst vessels, &c., we cannot help thinking that this manoeuvre is not sufficiently understood, or practised by sailing vessels, even when placed in situations where it would be most useful. Steamers have thus shewn to us the full usefulness of the rudder when applied to stern-way. The reason why a vessel with stern-way goes round so much quicker, arises from the full force of the water acting much more directly upon the rudder, when she is thus propelled stern-foremost. Sailing vessels would often escape danger, if their management with stern-way were more generally practised as a point of seamanship, which would make it be better understood, and practised with more coolness in the time of need, if often done, previous to the hour of danger. A ship might practised this manoeuvre through two lines of her own boats at sea in moderate weather. A ship from unavoidable circumstances may not be able to waether a shoal or a line of vessels, and at the same time not have room to tack or wear, still she may with judgment be brought head to wind with everything aback, the head sails run down, braces well manned on both sides, great attention to the helm, with an increased number of men at the wheel, she may be steered stern-fore-most past, or through the danger, until she gets sufficiently to leeward for filling her sails. If a ship should have to back astern, the sails on the main-mast, from their central position, would be the best for that purpose, by running the foresail up, and lowering the sails on the foremast. We are aware how much more directly steamers can apply their power for propelleing their sterns foremost, still we think that steamers show us plainly that more can be done by sailing vessels in steering-foremost to avoid danger, and this can only be obtained by practice.
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.

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

Sjöhistoriska Samfundet | The Maritime History Virtual Archives.

Copyright © 1998 Lars Bruzelius.