Francis Liardet: Professional Recollections on Points of Seamanship, Discipline, &c., 1849.
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.
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Copyright © 1998 Lars Bruzelius.