Binnacle Location

From the battle of Lepanto to the mid-19th century.
AThompson
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Binnacle Location

Post by AThompson »

Hi, all.

Below is a frigate model from around 1741. Looking at it, it v would appear the ship's wheel is on the quarterdeck, but the binnacle is just forward of the capstan one deck below.

What reason would there be for this?
20230418_131346.jpg
20230418_131346.jpg (103.79 KiB) Viewed 2647 times
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Steve Crandell
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Re: Binnacle Location

Post by Steve Crandell »

It would also appear that the capstain is useless, considering how high the spokes would be. I think some liberties were taken with this model.
OpanaPointer
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Re: Binnacle Location

Post by OpanaPointer »

Exactly what are we calling the "binnacle" ?
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marcelo_malara
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Re: Binnacle Location

Post by marcelo_malara »

OpanaPointer wrote: Fri Apr 28, 2023 6:17 pm Exactly what are we calling the "binnacle" ?
That box in front of the capstan that contains the compass.
OpanaPointer
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Re: Binnacle Location

Post by OpanaPointer »

marcelo_malara wrote: Fri Apr 28, 2023 6:25 pm
OpanaPointer wrote: Fri Apr 28, 2023 6:17 pm Exactly what are we calling the "binnacle" ?
That box in front of the capstan that contains the compass.
Thanks. I meant in that picture. My Mk. 1 eyeballs need a good field day. :think:
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marcelo_malara
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Re: Binnacle Location

Post by marcelo_malara »

I looked at the book Armament and fitting of the English Man of War. The binnacle should be in front of the steering wheel, no other site is mentioned. I would agree with Steve, but it is a model in what I would think a respectable book by a respectable author, he would have said something about this rarity in the model.
OpanaPointer
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Re: Binnacle Location

Post by OpanaPointer »

Thanks, I thought I was very lubber there for a while. :clap:
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wadinga
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Re: Binnacle Location

Post by wadinga »

Hi All,

Based on the shape, I would guess this represents a pump rather than a binnacle. Two handles would be inserted from the sides and the pumped water would flood out over the deck and into the scuppers. The helmsman must be able to see the compass if he is going steer a course.

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wadinga
"There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
OpanaPointer
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Re: Binnacle Location

Post by OpanaPointer »

I vaguely remember a secondary helm in the deck below the weather deck on some ships. I never found out if they had a compass repeater in that compartment.
Byron Angel
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Re: Binnacle Location

Post by Byron Angel »

Good site here - referencing compasses and binnacles fitted to USS Constitution

https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/read/ ... nstitution


Byron
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marcelo_malara
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Re: Binnacle Location

Post by marcelo_malara »

OpanaPointer wrote: Sat Apr 29, 2023 2:46 pm I vaguely remember a secondary helm in the deck below the weather deck on some ships. I never found out if they had a compass repeater in that compartment.
I doubt it. These rudders were moved by a tiller, in turn the tiller was moved side to side by tackle and rope, the rope would end wrapped around a drum, which was on the same axis that the helm. A second helming position would need to be disconnected from all this system, and the rope passed by its drum to make in functional. As an emergency measure the tiller could still be moved directly with the tackle from below decks. May be Byron can tell if this was ever used.

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Steve Crandell
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Re: Binnacle Location

Post by Steve Crandell »

A compass "repeater" would require 20th century electrical systems.
Byron Angel
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Re: Binnacle Location

Post by Byron Angel »

marcelo_malara wrote: Mon May 01, 2023 9:15 pm I doubt it. These rudders were moved by a tiller, in turn the tiller was moved side to side by tackle and rope, the rope would end wrapped around a drum, which was on the same axis that the helm. A second helming position would need to be disconnected from all this system, and the rope passed by its drum to make in functional. As an emergency measure the tiller could still be moved directly with the tackle from below decks. May be Byron can tell if this was ever used.
>>>>> I went through my HMS Bellona book and my USS Constitution book and Harland's "Seamanship in the Age of Sail" book. I could only find single steering positions on the spar deck (wheel + compass + binnacle). No evidence of any secondary steering position below deck. Based upon Harland's commentary, proper steering was very much a fine art and required the helmsman to be able to personally observe and react to subtle changes in wind and sea states on a more or less real time basis.

FWIW.

Byron
OpanaPointer
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Re: Binnacle Location

Post by OpanaPointer »

Steve Crandell wrote: Tue May 02, 2023 2:51 am A compass "repeater" would require 20th century electrical systems.
I used the term loosely. A second compass, however situated, would be in that theoretical location.
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