My issue with the movie makers has been answered. Hard a starboard was indeed the correct order on the bridge of Titanic. My old shipmate (smarter than me)has provided the most likely answer. I have pasted it below for you to read while I go have a slice of humble pie.!!!

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 is probably how it worked aboard HMS Victory, but my excuse is I’m not old enough to have served in Nelson’s Navy
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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1 Response to Hard-A-Starboard-Answered

  1. Pingback: A Review of: Report Into the Loss of the SS Titanic – A Centennial Reappraisal | joeccombs2nd

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