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Thread: Wahine

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    Default Wahine

    I found this on Youtube yesterday. I'm sure many of you have already seen it. It confirmed that the Wahine had only a magnetic compass and no radar. The Train ferries had Gyro and 2 radars.
    Anyhow the Captain, Mate, Union Co and the Harbour board don't come out of it very well.

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    Default Re: Wahine

    Hi Allan.
    A lot of circumstances that were out of the control of the crew, except that had I been helmsman I would have reported to the skipper the fact that she wasn't answering the helm to good much sooner; before she had gone ten degrees off course, especially in a confined area. Many of the crews of the Ferries were on them a long time, I know I tried many times to get a job on them but to no avail, and as you know over confidence is a dangerous thing at any time deadly at sea. Owing to the storm changing course; and the speed that it came down over the North Island they were lucky that so many people were saved.
    Cheers Des

    redc.gif

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    Default Re: Wahine

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Hill View Post
    Anyhow the Captain, Mate, Union Co and the Harbour board don't come out of it very well.
    Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and unless onboard and aware of all the facts and experiencing the fact it is hard to judge, and apart from narrating the episode who was the narrator and what was his motive? sell a book?

    In the situation as described, whether or not you had one or two radars, one or two gyros or neither of them would have made not one iota of difference, as the navigators would have known those waters and leading marks well and they certainly wouldn't have time or been taking azimuths or radar bearings, in my humble opinion
    Last edited by Ivan Cloherty; 20th July 2015 at 08:10 AM. Reason: missed out the word 'not'

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    Default Re: Wahine

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Hill View Post
    I found this on Youtube yesterday. I'm sure many of you have already seen it. It confirmed that the Wahine had only a magnetic compass and no radar. The Train ferries had Gyro and 2 radars.
    Anyhow the Captain, Mate, Union Co and the Harbour board don't come out of it very well.
    Wahine had a radar when she left Lyttleton, I remember someone on our ship remarking about the scanner being on the foremast. I do not believe she did not have a gyro compass, as to whether or not the gyroscope was working is a different matter.
    Bob Hollis

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    Default Re: Wahine

    Yes, It was amazing that there weren't more casualties.
    I wondered about the compass when I heard Mr McLeod the helmsman talking about the ship swinging 10˚ either side of the course. I reckoned it must be the compass swinging as well as the ship yawing. Union Co were really cheapskate when it came to nav equipment although they spent a fortune on deck equipment...hydraulic cranes, hatches etc.
    I was amazed on my first USSCo ship Ngahere when I saw that she just had a periscope to the standard(?) compass on the monkey island.
    Does anyone recall whether the compasses were actually standard compasses or liquid damped steering compasses.
    If they weren't damped that would account for the swinging.
    I went on the Hawea later and blimey she only had a periscope compass which used to swing all over the place. The Captain (forget name) attempted to correct this with the vertical magnets, but to no avail. Never mind the steering, it was a bugger trying to take bearings with.
    Great days.
    Last edited by Alan Hill; 20th July 2015 at 09:28 AM.

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    Default Re: Wahine

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Cloherty View Post
    Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and unless onboard and aware of all the facts and experiencing the fact it is hard to judge, and apart from narrating the episode who was the narrator and what was his motive? sell a book?

    In the situation as described, whether or not you had one or two radars, one or two gyros or neither of them would have made not one iota of difference, as the navigators would have known those waters and leading marks well and they certainly wouldn't have time or been taking azimuths or radar bearings, in my humble opinion
    I have to disagree. A working gyro compass and radar would have made a huge difference. As it was they were drifting around with unreliable heading info and unsure of their position and once power was lost it was game over.

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    Default Re: Wahine

    Sailed on Deep sea trawlers with the periscope compasses, a bugger to steer by, as only ever saw one quadrant at a time, sailed on coasters and deep sea ships with only magnetic compasses (no radars either), when in waters like those in the video we always steered by landmarks (including somebody's house) or leading lights as the magnetic compass was always slow to settle down on any heading especially if the vessel was yawing. I also found that whether the compass was damped or not it was a bluddy awful thing to steer by or take bearings with, but we still managed to get around the world with it

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    Default Re: Wahine

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Cloherty View Post
    Sailed on Deep sea trawlers with the periscope compasses, a bugger to steer by, as only ever saw one quadrant at a time, sailed on coasters and deep sea ships with only magnetic compasses (no radars either), when in waters like those in the video we always steered by landmarks (including somebody's house) or leading lights as the magnetic compass was always slow to settle down on any heading especially if the vessel was yawing. I also found that whether the compass was damped or not it was a bluddy awful thing to steer by or take bearings with, but we still managed to get around the world with it
    Dead right.

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    Default Re: Wahine

    If the Wahine had lost power and drifting, then even if she had been fitted with radar and a gyro compass, these would have been inoperative due to loss of electrical supply. At that time it was not a requirement for the emergency generator to supply power to gyro and radar, only emergency lighting and life saving appliances.
    rgds
    JA

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