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How to remember Port & Starboard


ALWAYS CRUZIN
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12 minutes ago, pacruise804 said:

...on a standard ship port and starboard don't change when the ship is moving in reverse 😉 

Interesting thought: could you clarify by describing the sort of non-standard ship where port and starboard would change? Have you some non-standard shoes which vary from right to left (and vice versa) when you walk backwards?

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9 hours ago, AL3XCruise said:

Here's my question: on a double ended ship, like a ferry, how are port and starboard (as well as bow and stern) defined?  Is one end just treated as the bow, or does it vary with direction of operation?  

 

@navybankerteacher I was responding to the quoted post, which referenced a double ended ship like a ferry.  When they mentioned a double ended ship, I was picturing something like a train with an engine at both end or a canoe with two people facing each other but the "ends" being the same.  Even the old railway flat beds from cartoons that had two people operating without a determined "front" except by the direction it was going.

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10 hours ago, AL3XCruise said:

Here's my question: on a double ended ship, like a ferry, how are port and starboard (as well as bow and stern) defined?  Is one end just treated as the bow, or does it vary with direction of operation?  

Ferries constructed to operate in two directions (and there are many of them) would have navigation lights installed to provide for correct/conventional lighting depending on which end of the ferry is ‘forward’.  So, I’d say that the notion of port and starboard would change depending on which end of the ferry is the ‘forward’ end when underway.  

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 My earlier post referred to “ship”, which term is rarely, if ever, applied to a ferry.

 

If it is a true “double ender”,  it would be fitted with navigation lights  (port, starboard, masthead, stern, bow, if appropriate ) which would indicate port, starboard, bow, stern as operating. 

 

Staten Island ferries crossing New York harbor, for example, switch ends every time as  they prepare to exit the slip.

 

The principle remains:  the right side of the ship facing forward is starboard, the left is port —- the only thing which changes is which end is forward. Of course, when a vessel is simply backing (presumably giving appropriate light, horn and flag signals), “forward” does not change.  

Edited by navybankerteacher
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13 hours ago, AL3XCruise said:

Here's my question: on a double ended ship, like a ferry, how are port and starboard (as well as bow and stern) defined?  Is one end just treated as the bow, or does it vary with direction of operation?  

 

4 hours ago, pacruise804 said:

As a passenger, I would vary with direction of operation.  Port would be to the left and starboard to the right of forward motion.  I realize there is a flaw in this thought though since on a standard ship port and starboard don't change when the ship is moving in reverse 😉 

 

3 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

Interesting thought: could you clarify by describing the sort of non-standard ship where port and starboard would change? Have you some non-standard shoes which vary from right to left (and vice versa) when you walk backwards?

 

59 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

 

 My earlier post referred to “ship”, which term is rarely, if ever, applied to a ferry.

 

If it is a true “double ender”,  it would be fitted with navigation lights  (port, starboard, masthead, stern, bow, if appropriate ) which would indicate port, starboard, bow, stern as operating. 

 

Staten Island ferries crossing New York harbor, for example, switch ends every time as  they prepare to exit the slip.

 

The principle remains:  the right side of the ship facing forward is starboard, the left is port —- the only thing which changes is which end is forward. Of course, when a vessel is simply backing (presumably giving appropriate light, horn and flag signals), “forward” does not change.  

 

I thought you were questioning my response to the person who questioned a "double-ended ship, like a ferry."  While the term may rarely be applied to a ferry, it was in that instance and why I replied how I did.  I specified that standard (non-double ended) ships don't change port/starboard sides when the stern is moving first rather than the bow. (I also specified my p.o.v. as a passenger, not someone with technical knowledge 😉 )

 

I think your final quoted paragraph gives a clearer explanation than I did 🙂  So "forward" varies on ferries and similar vessels, but port/starboard is still left/right.

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20 minutes ago, pacruise804 said:

While the term may rarely be applied to a ferry, it was in that instance and why I replied how I did.

 

It might not have been the best choice of terms, but I'm surprised people take issue with it.  I don't believe there is any one, universal, formal definition of ship.  I'll admit "vessels" would have been a better term.  Since you understood what I was getting at (and I think everyone did) the attempt at communication was successful, if not ideal.  Making a big deal out of it reminds me of multiple choice questions with three right answers that ask which is the "most correct."  You can be right... but they can still say your wrong!

 

21 minutes ago, pacruise804 said:

So "forward" varies on ferries and similar vessels, but port/starboard is still left/right.

 

That is more or less what I thought, but wasn't sure.  I'd assume that in a case like that they'd need a method of differentiating locations on the ship that are unambiguous (you can't say the restaurant is on the starboard side, deck 4, or that in an emergency you'll be overseeing the port liferafts).

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5 minutes ago, AL3XCruise said:

 

It might not have been the best choice of terms, but I'm surprised people take issue with it.  I don't believe there is any one, universal, formal definition of ship.  I'll admit "vessels" would have been a better term.  Since you understood what I was getting at (and I think everyone did) the attempt at communication was successful, if not ideal.  Making a big deal out of it reminds me of multiple choice questions with three right answers that ask which is the "most correct."  You can be right... but they can still say your wrong!

 

 

...you can't say the restaurant is on the starboard side, deck 4, ...

A tangent— I have found that on most ferries it is good to avoid the food served in the  “restaurant” — regardless of its location.

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5 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

A tangent— I have found that on most ferries it is good to avoid the food served in the  “restaurant” — regardless of its location.

I have found it is generally best to avoid the life rafts as well, but sometimes you don't have a choice!

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6 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

A tangent— I have found that on most ferries it is good to avoid the food served in the  “restaurant” — regardless of its location.

Although we brought our own meats, cheeses, etc. the food that was cooked on the Greek islands ferries looked tasty.

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40 minutes ago, clo said:

Although we brought our own meats, cheeses, etc. the food that was cooked on the Greek islands ferries looked tasty.

Right - Blue Star, from Piraeus to Mykonos - was pretty good.  I was thinking of US east coast - Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven,    cross-Sound ferries from New London and Bridgeport, NYC Battery to Staten Island , Cape May to Lewes —- all pretty dismal

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15 hours ago, AL3XCruise said:

Here's my question: on a double ended ship, like a ferry, how are port and starboard (as well as bow and stern) defined?  Is one end just treated as the bow, or does it vary with direction of operation?  

Have commanded many classes of double-ended Ro/Pax, they were all designated as #1 and # 2 end, rather than bow & stern respectively. Although the navigation lights change depending on direction of travel, we did not change the port/stbd designation, as it was based on # 1 end being the bow.

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1 hour ago, AL3XCruise said:

I have found it is generally best to avoid the life rafts as well, but sometimes you don't have a choice!

Avoiding any survival craft is definitely my preference, but if it is a choice between liferafts or lifeboats, my preference is always a large capacity raft that is part of a marine evacuation system (MES) - Marin-Ark, Viking or LSA. Wouldn't catch me in a 25-man davit launched, but the bigger rafts are more comfortable and more spacious than the lifeboats.

 

Unfortunately, as passengers we generally get herded to the boats, but my preference is an MES.

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3 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

Have commanded many classes of double-ended Ro/Pax, they were all designated as #1 and # 2 end, rather than bow & stern respectively. Although the navigation lights change depending on direction of travel, we did not change the port/stbd designation, as it was based on # 1 end being the bow.

If you’re proceeding ahead with the #2 end in front, which way do you turn when you alter course to starboard and how would you phrase the course alteration to the helmsman?

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3 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

Right - Blue Star, from Piraeus to Mykonos - was pretty good.  I was thinking of US east coast - Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven,    cross-Sound ferries from New London and Bridgeport, NYC Battery to Staten Island , Cape May to Lewes —- all pretty dismal

The Seattle ones that I've noticed just have vending machines for food and beverages.  If there's anything else I'd be surprised,  The trips seems to be pretty short.

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5 minutes ago, d9704011 said:

If you’re proceeding ahead with the #2 end in front, which way do you turn when you alter course to starboard and how would you phrase the course alteration to the helmsman?

Issuing helm orders telling the QM which direction to turn the wheel - Stbd is clockwise & Port is anti-clockwise and has no relevance to the port or stbd side of the ship.

 

On a single ended ship, whether the ship is moving ahead or astern will dictate which direction the bow turns. On double ended ships, which have a rudder at both ends, it depends which rudder the QM is controlling and how the controls are set up.

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8 minutes ago, clo said:

The Seattle ones that I've noticed just have vending machines for food and beverages.  If there's anything else I'd be surprised,  The trips seems to be pretty short.

Affirmative, WA ferries have minimal catering. On some of the BC ferries we have buffets with reasonable food.

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21 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

Issuing helm orders telling the QM which direction to turn the wheel - Stbd is clockwise & Port is anti-clockwise and has no relevance to the port or stbd side of the ship.

 

On a single ended ship, whether the ship is moving ahead or astern will dictate which direction the bow turns. On double ended ships, which have a rudder at both ends, it depends which rudder the QM is controlling and how the controls are set up.

Ah, got it, thanks.  Spent plenty of time on ships but never a ‘double-ended’ one.

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1 hour ago, clo said:

The Seattle ones that I've noticed just have vending machines for food and beverages.  If there's anything else I'd be surprised,  The trips seems to be pretty short.

Vending machines are OK for spitting out a candy bar or a bag of chips - but not how I prefer to buy lunch or dinner.

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22 minutes ago, QueSeraSera said:

I'm just hoping I don't call the cruise ship a boat, had friends tell me that's a dead giveaway for a first time cruiser

Just remember ships carry boats, but not vice versa

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8 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

Right - Blue Star, from Piraeus to Mykonos - was pretty good.  I was thinking of US east coast - Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven,    cross-Sound ferries from New London and Bridgeport, NYC Battery to Staten Island , Cape May to Lewes —- all pretty dismal

We can't remember our final island trip back to Athens but it was mobbed.  And the "ship" - cause it was a freaking ship - was mobbed.  Message to all: Easter Monday in Greece is a national holiday 🙂  And they have airline type seats in areas.  I was pretty blown away.  And, yes, we got a seat at a table "aft" where we had our yummy foods.

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10 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

Issuing helm orders telling the QM which direction to turn the wheel - Stbd is clockwise & Port is anti-clockwise and has no relevance to the port or stbd side of the ship

And on US flag ships it becomes even easier, as helm orders are not "Port 20" or "Stbd 10" but "Left 20" or "Right 10", indicating the direction the helm is turned.

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1 hour ago, chengkp75 said:

And on US flag ships it becomes even easier, as helm orders are not "Port 20" or "Stbd 10" but "Left 20" or "Right 10", indicating the direction the helm is turned.

 

But not if the helmsman is facing the stern and has his back to the wheel :classic_biggrin:.

 

On a more serious note, cap'n cheng - didn't "Port" & "Starboard" become irrelevant 2000 years ago, so aren't they a bit of an anachronism ? 

Shouldn't all seafarers now use "Left" and "Right"?

Are there any disadvantages other than there being one less topic in Cruise Critic ?

 

JB :classic_smile:

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56 minutes ago, John Bull said:

 

But not if the helmsman is facing the stern and has his back to the wheel :classic_biggrin:.

 

On a more serious note, cap'n cheng - didn't "Port" & "Starboard" become irrelevant 2000 years ago, so aren't they a bit of an anachronism ? 

Shouldn't all seafarers now use "Left" and "Right"?

Are there any disadvantages other than there being one less topic in Cruise Critic ?

 

JB :classic_smile:

Going back to the ship shape we generally imagine.... a pointy front end (bow) and a roundish or squared off rear end (stern) with the axis connecting them generally referred to as fore and aft (or the keel if you want to look at something solid) the advantage of defining port and starboard is there is zero ambiguity respecting the sides of the ship structure being referred to; unlike left and right.  So we are pretty much back to post #1.

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20 minutes ago, d9704011 said:

Going back to the ship shape we generally imagine.... a pointy front end (bow) and a roundish or squared off rear end (stern) with the axis connecting them generally referred to as fore and aft (or the keel if you want to look at something solid) the advantage of defining port and starboard is there is zero ambiguity respecting the sides of the ship structure being referred to; unlike left and right.  So we are pretty much back to post #1.

 

But for cars & shoes & other stuff mentioned in various posts left & right are pretty unambiguous, except to nerds, trolls & jokers,  - the presumption is that they're all L or R when looking toward the front, and the same applies to ships.

If I ask an officer whether the tenders will be leaving from the left or right side of the ship,  he knows exactly what I mean.

If the coastguard asks which side of the ship has got a damned big hole in it & is told it's the right-hand side, again he knows which side that is.

 

No, I don't want to look at the keel - if I can see it I reckon the ship is in pretty big trouble (that's the joker in me :classic_wink:)

Which creates another problem - if the ship has capsized, are port & starboard reversed? (that's the troll in me :classic_rolleyes:)

 

JB :classic_smile: 

Yes, you guessed - I've been having a pretty slow & boring day :classic_biggrin:

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