Boat handling skills

I think that quote is from Grand Admiral King USN.

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You and me both. While I do miss 1996 to 2010ish, and the premium anchor handling days, I saw the writing on the wall with new generation DP drill ships taking over moored rigs, I had to make the jump.
I’m not sure if the mooring water depth record still stands of setting out the Nautilas in AC857, Greatwhite prospect. Well center was about 9800’, but I set one suction pile on SE corner 9998’. Maybe 2002, or 2003. I suppose that’s where Perdido is now.


Wrong, I was in a lot of these situations and it was a part of the job.

Shiphandling is easy with pilots and tugs going down deep well charted and marked channels into berths that are designed and setup for handling such ships.

When some, or all, of that infrastructure is missing, it becomes a lot more difficult.

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I don’t think anchor handling had been invented when that quote was first uttered.

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You are correct. The quote by Admiral King was in an instruction to US naval officers before the Second World War.
Before the introduction of bow thrusters some roll on roll off ferries were equipped with a bow rudder to assist them making a stern board to he berth. The development of the AHTS was driven by the development of North Sea oil and the design has been so refined as to be capable of manoeuvres that in the past would have been unimaginable.

I agree in absolute terms. Mariners that move ships frequently in tough situations will most likely have a higher level of skill then someone working in a more benign environment.

But in relative terms, even working in a benign environment there will be a significant difference between someone paying attention or not. If something unexpected happens then the mariner who has been watching, analyzing, asking, studying, listening etc is going to have an advantage.

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Very true !

Hurtigruten “Nord Norge” arriving Bodo in gale:

They do this year around, in all weather and several times a day. (68 port calls per 11 days round trip)

12 posts were split to a new topic: Trawlers

That’s quite a set.

Given her windage, I would be interested to see how they got off.

They set an anchor on approach for that purpose. A technique used by Hurtigruten since the days of single screw ships w/o bow thruster.
Still one left:

In fact it is still used regularly even by the modern ships with all the latest and best of equipment and plenty of power.

I watched the local ferry come into Kalymnos last night, and was struck by how perfectly the crew worked together. There was not a single person involved who was the least bit unsure what to do next, and it all came together effortlessly. It reminded me of this video:

While you might call that maneuver dangerously irresponsible, there is also something deeply admirable about the sheer level of mastery on display.


All well and good until it goes horribly wrong.

An even older lady (Blt. 1956) leaving Bergen bound for Svalbard:

Her special “bow thruster” is worthy a study as well.

Same ship leaving Bergen after a “Veteran Boat Meet”:

Now assisted by a even older veteran tug.

Nordstjernen coming alongside in Rorvik using an anchor for control:

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I was a deck crew on a lot of those manoeuvres when I worked at Hurtigruten. A lot of times they would push the aft end of the vessel against the qauy and pull the bow out with a combination of anchor and bow thruster. The Deck Officer’s on Hurtigruten is maniacs.

After getting the certificates myself, I often wonder if I’m crazy enough to work at that company. Some of the manoeuvres i witness as a deck crew I would never dare pull myself.

To be fair they had a high tolerance for fuckups, if I pulled some of the stunts on a Offshore vessel like I experienced at Hurtigruten, I would be gone in a flash.

Did you ever serve on any of the old vessels (Nordstjernen and Lofoten) with single screw and no bow thruster??

Technique you could possibly learn from a book (or simulator) but I would say that performing a manoeuvre like the one in the last video take both technique, experience and skill. Some have it and some don’t (or will ever learn)
The Hurtigruten Masters and Officers gets plenty of opportunities to gain experience in very varied weather and different ports.

One thing for sure, it beats operating modern offshore vessels with Bow and Stern thrusters, plenty of power and DP.

I go back long enough to remember taking OSV with twin fixed pitch screw and w/o bow thruster alongside Drillships, Tenders, and DLBs by “walking the boat”. Sometime the distance between breast anchors where not much more than the length of the boat.
That took skill that some of the Coonass Skippers had, others never mastered.

BTW; The idea of using a spring apparently never occurred to them.