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Discussion Starter #1
It seems that up until about 1950 a fair number of ships were fitted with bridge wing shelters but then went out of favour - For instance Furness Withy's Pacific Fortune and Pacific Unity had bridge wing shelters when built in 1948 but were removed for some reason in the 1950's.
Can anyone explain the pros and cons of this feature that was once so popular.
 

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Furness Withy's Newfoundland and Nova Scotia and Sycamore together with some of the Prince Line ships also had them. Think the idea was to protect the Old Man from a drop of rain when docking because the lookout was still delegated to the monkey island even in blizzard conditions on the Grand Banks. How we ever saw anything trying to peer forward into a wind chill factor of minus 30 deg C beats me, but at least you could duck down below the bulwark and have a quick ciggie which would never have been permitted in a wing shelter.
 

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re bridge wing shelters

The Bridge Wing Shelters were very popular on most ,if not all of the Union Steam Ship Coy jobs on the New Zealand coast.at least they gave you some protection from the wind and rain while on lookout.When i was on "Australian Explorer"on the Aussie coast,there was a lookout cab on the Monkey Island,with all"mod cons",so a lot more "dignified"than standing on the wing of the Bridge!!!
 

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There was a Master in Ellerman Hall Line that on joining a vessel that had bridge wing shelters,immediately had them removed by the ships carpenter.
 

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Some of the Norwegian tankers which serve the North sea insallations and ports have their bridge wings an integral part of the wheelhouse ,when you are in the wheelhouse it looks huge with it being almost the beam of the vessel in length
 

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The"Aureol" had bridge wing shelters but were used mainly for a quiet smoke away from the wheelhouse and with adequate warning of the arrival on the bridge of the "Old Man"
Norman
 

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Bridge Wing "shelters"

BI ships were so fitted, almost without exception from before 1900 ( according to the photos in Laxon and Perry) until the second of the "N" class ships, the Nowshera appeared in 1955. I would suggest that this coincided with the Nautical Adviser deciding that gyro repeaters in the bridge wings were a desirable fitting and not an extravagence! Some of the earlier ships also later had their bridge wing shelters (and awning permanent awning decks over the bridge wings removed when the latter, (which were no more than felted 2" timber )started to rot. It did not follow that these ships were then provided with wing repeaters.

Many of the post-war built ships with bridge wing shelters, had a "cupola" projecting a couple of feet outboard immediately abaft the wing "houses, giving a good view fore and aft when berthing. Apart from that, one of the principle uses of wing-houses was to shelter the cassab when regularly polishing the copper side-light lanterns, both oil and electric, rain or shine! Oh, and another thing, without exception, in my experience , the wing houses were fitted with a folding table, just right for one's tray on a balmy middle watch tropical night, with all three windows open!

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Tom,
Your view that they were removed to allow the fitting of gyro repeaters seems the most logical to date. When removed from the two Furness ships that I mentioned they would not have reached the state of corroding away.
Some other ships such as a few of the Guinea Gulf Line ships still had them until broken up as did Elders & Fyffes Matina ( the 1946 version).
Looking at the photo I posted some time ago of the 2nd Mate on Fyffes Barranca casually leaning on the repeater on the bridge wing confirms your theory.
 

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Would it be a coincidence that bridge wing shelters appear to have gone out of favour at about the same time that radar was coming into general use?
 
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