Sea stories wanted!

Greetings all,

I’m writing a piece titled [I]Human Factors and Ergonomics in Pilothouse Design[/I], and I am seeking real-life examples of the horrors you might have experienced at the hands of “designers” who don’t bother to ask operators what they need. Pictures, videos, drawings, descriptions. Tugs, OSVs, Anchor boats, Workboats. The target audience is not in the deep draft sector. The more ridiculous the better. You’ll receive credit for your submission if you wish, your anonymity will be protected.

If you have examples of good pilothouse design pass 'em along too. But I’m gonna focus on the bad, to make a point. Or several points.

Please PM me for contact info.

I served as crew on dredges since child hood, biggest issue are leavers and toe killers.

[QUOTE=rustyjack;52514]I served as crew on dredges since child hood, biggest issue are leavers and toe killers.[/QUOTE]

These are pilothouse issues? Not sure what a leaver is. Lever? As in “dammit I ran into that lever again”?

[QUOTE=dougpine;52515]These are pilothouse issues? Not sure what a leaver is.[/QUOTE]

That’s the guy who walked off the boat with your steel-toe boots.

This is in the deep draft sector but I’ll share it for laughs. Lewis and Clark class (T-AKE) dry cargo and ammunition ships, NASSCO built, MSC operated. So many problems but I’ll give you one.

On both bridge wings the gyro repeaters are set so that a steel support is lined up exactly on the beam making a beam sight impossible. The repeaters were once a bit more aft where they were more useful but were cut off the deck and moved into the current position.

NASSCO keeps building those AKEs with the repeaters in the same place. I would have thought that after the first few ships they would have learned.

No pictures. I never thought to record the stupidity.

I’ll put this in the human factors category.

On a recent trip down the coast from NY to VA the autopilot suddenly goes haywire. Boat will not stay anywhere the set course. As soon as the mate gets her back on course and reengages the autopilot she takes off again. After a check of the system, she looks OK otherwise and a shoreside call to the port engineer and a technician offer no solutions. The “problem” becomes self correcting when the mate picks up his e-reader and moves it away from the autopilot.

We had an autopilot that would freak out if the chair would spin around if someone got out of it in rough weather.

We had an autopilot that used a fluxgate sensor for heading input. Sensor was close to pump that activated whenever someone flushed the head. End result was a hard starboard turn whenever the head was flushed. :confused:

On one vessel, even with sat-tv dome mounted 50 ft aft and 10 ft below the radar scanners, on certain headings, there would be interference on the radars. After numerous techs not finding any problems with the radars, we stumbled on the cause while re-booting the sat-tv antenna.

“Float Free” life rafts mounted to the deck… Underneath a set of stairs! It lasted all of one year until the next USCG inspection; it was so blatant even they noticed!

Steering controls that override others mounted on the face of the console. Twice a pilot has reached for a radio and engaged this steering control and the boat goes hard to starboard. Once without incident, the other time wasn’t so lucky.