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When I look at picture of old Lakers the bridge etc is right up for'ard, nowadays they are of a more normal configuration, why>
 

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Great Lakes ships originally the deck officers and deck unlicensed lived forward with the engine department and galley living back aft. Around the early 1950's ships built/converted had tunnels on both sides of the ship from aft to forward. They were built on top of the ballast tanks in a space previously left empty. Prior to the tunnels everyone living forward had to walk aft on the open deck to eat.

In storm conditions there was a thick wire rope stretched from forward to aft. There was a canvas sack that, one at a time, men had to climb in the sack and pull themselves aft hand over hand. Reversing to get forward. I believe the stern winders came about with the invention of good weather proof camera's that are mounted on the bow with the screens in the aft pilot house.

BTW the reason they are called pilot houses, is that the WHOLE Great Lakes is under pilotage. Great Lakes deck officers licenses are First Class Pilots. While engineers licenses are the same on the Great Lakes and offshore, Great Lakes deck officers licenses are only good on the Great Lakes. Deck officers who may want to sail offshore have to write for new offshore licenses.

I say write because in my era USCG tests required essays to answer test questions. Today most if not all test questions are multiple choice.

Greg Hayden
 
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