Hard-A-Starboard



Is it just me that sees this???Another Titanic made for TV four part series, began last night on Global TV, Maritimes. Guess what?? the Ice Berg is sighted and the Officer of the Watch gives the order, Hard-A-Starboard. In this version you don’t actually see the ship turning to Port. However, as the hull plates on the starboard side sustain the critical damage the ship had to be turning left away from the berg. I can’t believe the directors continue to make this obvious mistake, or is it me????
Am I missing something here. Twenty four years in the Navy and turning to starboard was turning right. If the Titanic actually turned right (starboard) she would have been turning into the berg not trying to avoid it???
Grrrrr!!!! get it right.
Cheers and keep reading.

About irishroverpei

Author of "Lily & Me", "The Royal Navy & Me" and Chapter XXl Armageddon. Writer, blogger and RN Submariner, antique automobile enthusiast.
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5 Responses to Hard-A-Starboard

  1. Tony Miles says:

    Hi Ben, Isn’t this something to do with the real old days before we joined the Navy? I believe that when you turned the ships wheel to Starboard the ropes connecting the Rudder on wooden ships tightened to the left pulling the rudder around to Port, hence the ship turned to port when putting Starboard wheel on. Perhaps the orders for Starboard wheel applied in 1912 to turn the ship to Port. The Navy was never quick to change tradition.

  2. irishroverpei says:

    hi Tony, you are right about the old wooden ships and I have had this same thing mentioned before. Yet I have trouble believing the Titanic would not have had the very latest technology aboard. Surely the steering gear would have been hydraulic. I have to find out because this is driving me crazy!!!!Oops I’m already crazy!!

  3. Tony Miles says:

    The other alternative explanation is that turning to Starboard would swing the stern away from the iceburg, that perhaps was the intention of the OOW. That is assuming it was not a directors error.
    We may never know!

    • Tony Miles says:

      Sorry to labour this one Ben but found this, it might stop you from going crazy.
      copyright ‘National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
      “In the film Titanic, the Second Officer gives the order ‘hard a starboard’ when the iceberg is sighted: the helmsman then turns the wheel and the ship to port. The reason is that in the British Merchant Navy steering orders used to be given as helm orders; as though the helmsman at the wheel was actually holding a tiller. So ‘hard to starboard’ would mean ‘put your helm or tiller hard a starboard’. This would turn the ship’s rudder to port and so the ship would turn to port. This all changed with the Merchant Shipping (Safety and Load Line Conventions) Act, 1932, which came into effect on 1st January 1933. This brought the British Merchant Navy into line with the rest of the world, so that from that date all steering orders were given as wheel orders and ‘hard a starboard’ did in fact mean ‘turn right’ That should clear this topic up. Tony.

      • irishroverpei says:

        Thanks Tony, that would certainly address in which direction the helm was ordered. Guess they didn’t train Merchant seaman at Ganges in those days Eh!! Well, I should be able to sleep tonight now that you have solved the mystery. Yours Aye Ben

        ************* My Books Lily & Me, and The Royal Navy & Me, are now available as E-Books. Go to http://www.smashwords.com Interested in Submarines,Antique cars,VW Westfalia’s, Dogs, HMS Ganges, Royal Navy? then Visit our website and blog at http://www.irishroversbooks.com

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