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Thread: Heeling as promoting weather helm

  1. #36
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    Default Re: Heeling as promoting weather helm

    Intentional heeling of long skinny hulls for purpose of steering is not best practice of seamanship, whether in Roman or Viking times IMHO.

    Beamy round ships might have made use of CE in yawing to windward, because the windward quarter rudder becomes less effective as it lifts out of the water as the craft heels and immerses the lee rudder, which then creates a moment compared to weather helm on contemporary craft not equipped with a pair of quarter rudders.
    The artemon (Roman foremast) and Viking beitas are sail trimming devices rather than being rig items connected to steering sails, at least when it comes to weather helm, although, for lee helm it is a different matter...... regardless of what the army guy thinks and says
    Last edited by Lugalong; 11-04-2017 at 06:51 PM.

  2. #37
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    Default Re: Heeling as promoting weather helm

    Quote Originally Posted by Lugalong View Post
    Intentional heeling of long skinny hulls for purpose of steering is not best practice of seamanship, whether in Roman or Viking times IMHO.

    Beamy round ships might have made use of CE in yawing to windward, because the windward quarter rudder becomes less effective as it lifts out of the water as the craft heels and immerses the lee rudder, which then creates a moment compared to weather helm on contemporary craft not equipped with a pair of quarter rudders.
    The artemon (Roman foremast) and Viking beitass are sail trimming devices rather than steering sails, at least when it comes to weather helm, although, for lee helm it is a different matter...... regardless of what the army guy thinks and says
    I don't think heeling was an issue for these long, slim hulls. It wouldn't have made much change in whether they had lee or weather helm, and they couldn't heel far without getting oar holes under water. As to the rudders becoming less effective as the boat heels, the Roman and Greek vessels had two rudders, so that was not a major factor.

  3. #38
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    Default Re: Heeling as promoting weather helm

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    I don't think heeling was an issue for these long, slim hulls. It wouldn't have made much change in whether they had lee or weather helm, and they couldn't heel far without getting oar holes under water. As to the rudders becoming less effective as the boat heels, the Roman and Greek vessels had two rudders, so that was not a major factor.
    So we seem to agree that for long skinny craft like triremes and longships, heeling is not used for steering purpose.....these are hulls which track so well that heeling is virtually ineffective, especially since the forefoot remains symmetric at permitted angles of heel -- within the craft's limits of staying afloat.

    For round ships, tracking is not the same, and of course the lee quarter rudder will be more effective than the windward one when heeled.

  4. #39
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    Default Re: Heeling as promoting weather helm

    Quote Originally Posted by Lugalong View Post
    So we seem to agree that for long skinny craft like triremes and longships, heeling is not used for steering purpose.....these are hulls which track so well that heeling is virtually ineffective, especially since the forefoot remains symmetric at permitted angles of heel -- within the craft's limits of staying afloat.

    For round ships, tracking is not the same, and of course the lee quarter rudder will be more effective than the windward one when heeled.
    And heeling a trireme much is a terrible idea in any case, because it would have ports for the oars not terribly far above the waterline.

  5. #40
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    Default Re: Heeling as promoting weather helm

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    I don't think the Med had much fighting under sail until the development of cannon.
    Good point...I think in the Med most ship-to-ship combat was under oar. As I recall, even well after cannon development. Before commanding the Constitution didn't Isaac Hull encounter Galleys in the Med during the Barbary Wars?

  6. #41
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    Default Re: Heeling as promoting weather helm

    I've been trying to stay out of this one..... but couple of points. Galleys were used in the Med all during the age of sail as well as in the Baltic. They proved to be great gun platforms with heavy guns aimed over the bow. A good fictional account of same would be Hornblower in the Baltic. Not sure if they were used at Navarino (1827), but need to check it out; somewhere I have a book on galley warfare. They needed to be kept flat and had plenty of oar power to get to windward so the sails were passage devices.

    In virtually all sailing vessels, sails overpower the rudder. So in the days before jibs, spritsails under the bowsprit were steering sails as well as the lateen mizzens were primarily steering sails. In single sail square riggers ( norse style) ballast placement was important and there are many accounts of shifting cargo/ guns to trim a vessel. So it is easiest to think of rudder as a trim tab, able to effect relatively small course changes. I am sure that heeling did effect steering so you would set sails accordingly. Think about all the paintings that you see, full rigged ships in a blow with nothing set aft, a reefed main course or some such and reefed fore top with maybe a staysail.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  7. #42
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    Default Re: Heeling as promoting weather helm

    Thanks Ben....I like the notion of the "steerboard" as a trim tab. Probably much more analogous to what we think of as rudder functionality today. I'd love to get the title o your history on galley warfare. I've been looking at the evolution of the rudder in European ship development and noticed that a central, stern mounted, sometimes balanced rudder was used in the Orient long before ti came to the fore in Europe, but the concept didn't seem to diffuse across the Arabian Peninsula. A friend of mine sent me a link to the thesis listing for Texas A&M sorted by category. Some fun reading in the cold winter months upcoming (assuming you're with us int he Northern Climes). http://nautarch.tamu.edu/academic/alum.htm

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