Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Francisco in San Francisco City and County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Steering the Ship...

 
 
Steering the Ship... Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 4, 2017
1. Steering the Ship... Marker
Inscription. The helmsman, standing behind the wheel of the a sailing ship seldom looked ahead.
He looked down into the compass, if ordered to steer a compass course.
Or he looked alternately at compass and up at a sail (the mizzen royal) when the yards were "close hauled" and he was ordered to steer "by the wind."
At night he might steady the ship on her course by either one of the other of the above methods, and then steer by alignment of a star* with a mast or rigging.
Entering port or narrow waters the helmsman would turn the wheel as ordered by the captain, or by a pilot with local knowledge who came on board to take charge.
For these reasons it did not matter that a charthouse obscured the view of the man at the wheel when he looked ahead. These circumstances also permitted the steering wheel to located at the extreme after end of the ship and directly over the rudder. A simple worm-screw mechanism joined wheel and rudder and caused on to move the other.

* "... and a star to steer her by. " Masefield
 
Location. 37° 48.6′ N, 122° 25.371′ W. Marker is in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco City and County. Marker can be reached from Hyde Street near Jefferson Street, on the left when traveling
The Helm and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 4, 2017
2. The Helm and Marker
north. Touch for map. The helm is aft of the stern of the ship Balclutha, docked at the Hyde Street Pier. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2950 Hyde Street, San Francisco CA 94109, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Main Fiferail... (a few steps from this marker); Hicks Engine (a few steps from this marker); Scow Schooner Alma (within shouting distance of this marker); Balclutha (within shouting distance of this marker); The Deckhouse (within shouting distance of this marker); The Half-Deck (within shouting distance of this marker); Workin' on the Railroad (within shouting distance of this marker); Towing in the Open Ocean (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Francisco.
 
Categories. Waterways & Vessels
 
The Charthouse and Mizzen Mast image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 4, 2017
3. The Charthouse and Mizzen Mast
"...and A Charthouse For My Wife." image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 4, 2017
4. "...and A Charthouse For My Wife."
Sir William Garthwaite, the London shipowner, was in his office interviewing a captain for a position on one of his sailing ships, when the captain asked if his wife could join them. She asked a string of questions, all brisk, businesslike, and to the point about the ship, tonnage, cargo, port, master's pay, and so on. Finally she asked if she might se the ships plans.
Stabbing a forefinger on the print she demanded: "That charthouse on the poop deck - does she still carry it?' She was told there had been no alteration. "Then we'll take her, '" she said firmly, without even turning to look a the Old Man, "if we can have the papers to sign...." Afterward the owner asked, "and why did you decided the captain should take her?" "The chartreuse," was the prompt replay. "All my life it has been a dream of mine to have a ship with a house I could sit in and work my sewing machine, and keep an eye for'ard on the ship."
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 10, 2017. This page originally submitted on March 10, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 89 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 10, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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