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Now I might be a little lacking in knowledge in some areas of ship building so I am asking what appears to be a simple question based on the following diagram (poor quality, I know) taken from some ship plans. Viewing the image, forward in the ship is to the right. With the wheel in this position, it seems to me that the helmsman would have to have his back to the bow (?) or was it not uncommon to stand aft of the wheel on one side ? My logic is confusing me so can some sane person explain what is probably a simple answer ? Thanks.





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Hi Pete


Typically the helmsman is watching the luffs of the sails, particularly when beating so I imagine he would stand to the weather side of the wheel to give himself the best view possible, similar to the helmsman on a yacht today is most often seen on the weather side of the helm where they can watch the luff of the genoa. Occasionally you'll see a yachts helmsman to leeward but if you look carefully they're looking under the mainsail to see the luff of the genoa.


Mark D

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The above answers your question but I must comment on the drawing you posted.  You are right, the quality is a bit off.  How can the ends of the line wrapped around the drum both drop from the same side of the drum?  Reminds me of some far out designs in Mad Magazine back in the day like the 2/3 tined fork in the attached picture.



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Like was noted, 'poor quality sketch'. What I find intreaging is how the tiller was rigged in Tadeusz's photos. Rudder post forward with the tiller leading aft. The long hub with the drums aft was another unusual method of rigging. Rigging the stearing gear that way would  save deck space when the rudder post daylights on the main deck where this one does.


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