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Discussion Starter #1
I've just watched a short video of two Carnival cruise ships in a 'minor' collision some where in Mexico.
Now, I was a leckie and I know very little of ship handling, but it seems to me that these floating housing estates cannot be easy to control.
My question to you Deckies is what is the best bridge position from which to control a ship, aft, midships or forward?
Roger.
 

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I've just watched a short video of two Carnival cruise ships in a 'minor' collision some where in Mexico.
Now, I was a leckie and I know very little of ship handling, but it seems to me that these floating housing estates cannot be easy to control.
My question to you Deckies is what is the best bridge position from which to control a ship, aft, midships or forward?
Roger.
Many much smaller cargo ships had manouvering station aft of No.4 hatch. Never saw it used tho.
Dannic
 

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Amidships, high up on an open bridge wing giving you an excellent view of proceedings fore and aft is for me the best spot. Plus you're a lot closer to the pivot point when manouvering.
 

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With the advent of azimuth pod variable speed, variable pitch, variable rotation propellers, bow and aft and mid thrusters etc, computer control, cameras, screens and god knows what else the best position is the one where control of same is grouped together. It is probably because of all this technology that more accidents haven't already happened. But wait..there is the weather. A sudden gust of wind on all that freeboard would push a ship for just the small distance it needs to collide with its dockside neighbour.
In June this year the MSC Opera crashed into a smaller vessel in Venice. Captain said the "engine locked"...eh?
 

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ship handling

No matter the whereabouts of the ‘bridge’, - for’ad, midships or aft, such as on a ‘muzzle loader’. The usual sensible position for the master or pilot is to con the lady from the bridge wing where you can best judge the vessels parallel body as you come alongside, particularly if she’s only single screw with a small rudder.
Always have an anchor at the ready.

With variable pitch props and, thrusters etc – its ‘wee buns’.
 

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A very good question but there are many factors to consider. As a previous reply with azipods, CPP, thrusters, etc there is many choices.
On the Great Lakes, I sailed boats with the pilothouse for'd and others with the pilothouse aft, fixed pitch and with and without bow or stern thrusters.
Each had there own challenges but I thought the after end was the best place to handle the boat but others may find it differant.
 

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An exception to an earlier post.

One tour on a ship that differed from the ‘norm’, i.e., - steaming in towards a berth, bow first, on any FG ship. As below.

On a shallow draft heavy lift vessel with the bridge and accommodation right for’ad, twin diesel electric engines and two large rudders, tho’ no thrusters fitted then. Discharging at almost any port, particularly in NW Europe, no matter the wind effect on the deck cargo, it was preferable to turn the lady about and proceed stern first to the berth. A well-behaved girl, a dream, just keep an eye on that parallel body, make any necessary engine adjustments to correct drift and it made the job an absolute pleasure.

Note; in earlier days, if your previous ships were steam powered, as likely as not you’d have developed some bad habits swinging the engine telegraphs, the chief will be quick to advise – ‘slowly now, a notch at a time’- that, was the difficult bit.
 

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I was in Harrison's Tactician, which had the bridge just aft of #2 hatch. Steering was difficult at first but I eventually got used to it, the tall mast on the focsle was a great help,
 

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I too found it difficult to conn a ship when the bridge was well forward. I'd stand on the center line of the ship and sight down the jackstaff, but it was always difficult. You'd have to be constantly aware that the entire length of the ship was wagging her tail at you! Conning from aft or near amidship as on older vessels was much easier.
 

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I was in Harrison's Tactician, which had the bridge just aft of #2 hatch. Steering was difficult at first but I eventually got used to it, the tall mast on the focsle was a great help,
I'm wondering if the Romanians copied this design (Tactician) with some modifications.
 

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On "Lake" boats when the pilothouse was right for'd there was a steering aid right on the bow called a "spearpole". For night time it had a small light.
It had a winch controlled from the pilothouse to raise it up when approaching the lock gates.
 

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With the advent of azimuth pod variable speed, variable pitch, variable rotation propellers, bow and aft and mid thrusters etc, computer control, cameras, screens and god knows what else the best position is the one where control of same is grouped together. It is probably because of all this technology that more accidents haven't already happened. But wait..there is the weather. A sudden gust of wind on all that freeboard would push a ship for just the small distance it needs to collide with its dockside neighbour.
In June this year the MSC Opera crashed into a smaller vessel in Venice. Captain said the "engine locked"...eh?
Ship handling with all these 'extras' can bring you a fresh set of problems. There can simply be too much 'going on' and very easy to forget that you have left a thruster/pod running. This can be mitigated by putting all your assets through an interface and giving you a single joystick control.

Regarding best position, I think its down to what you get used to. I was Master of ships with a forward bridge which initially felt wrong but you soon get used to it. I was a Pilot for 25 years and have no preference, every job is different. The only thing I would ask for is an uninterrupted view , you would be surprised by how many ships arrive with cargo piled so high that visibility be seriously impaired. And who ever designed ships with no bridge wings ie no view at all of the ships side?

regards
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Many thanks for the replies gentlemen.
The video I mentioned is on G Captain.
Surely if a vessel is manoeuvring so close to another moored vessel there should be someone down aft to keep the bridge informed of the situation as it develops.
 

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There is more footage on Marine Insight:
https://www.marineinsight.com/video...campaign=Feed:+MarineInsight+(Marine+Insight)
Also some footage shot from the Oasis of the Seas can be found on YouTube.

It appears that The Carnival Glory was actually heading towards Oasis of the Seas, which was berthed, and some attempt was made to turn away, perhaps hence the stern pivoting into the other ship.. In any event she passed very close across the bows of Oasis.

This seems to bring into context to OP question - The bridge team were maybe concentrating on not hitting what was in front of them to realise what was going on behind.
Carnival Glory does not have Azipods.
 

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I was in Harrison's Tactician, which had the bridge just aft of #2 hatch. Steering was difficult at first but I eventually got used to it, the tall mast on the focsle was a great help,
I think there may be a little difference between 'ship handling' and being a helmsman (Smoke)
 

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I think there may be a little difference between 'ship handling' and being a helmsman (Smoke)
You usual snarky comments not abated I see.(Smoke)
 

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Depends very much on what type of mooring/berthing you are considering. If, for instance, I was berthing a ship 'alongside' it would make very little difference where I was positioned. If mooring at a SPM then midship bridge is handy and reduces the reliance on the second pilot on foc'sle. If a CBM then I prefer being aft which gives a good overview. Orientation is lost in CBMs with midship accommodation.
 

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I think there may be a little difference between 'ship handling' and being a helmsman
Plenty of my time at sea, Master/ship handler had only prop and rudder available for manipulation of his vessel. So in any manoeuvring situation, ship-handler would give verbal (wheel) orders to helmsman and telegraph (engine) orders to engine room.
Some engine orders occasionally a tad more urgent than others. And whilst all senior engineers capable of being at engine controls on standby, some markedly better than others in responding to more unrelenting rings of telegraph. Mainly on account of adept feel for the job and familiarity of response from it.
So I guess probably all same upstairs. Ship handler might well recognise helmsman skillsets and probably not want to exchange places with any of them.
 
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