captainjack

Member
Nov 19, 2020
8
1
3
Was there a reason the crows nests weren't sheltered on the Olympic class ships, and other ships from that era?

The cold sea air would obviously help keep the look outs alert, but surely exposure to extreme elements like wind, rain and freezing conditions etc. would greatly impact on the lookouts concentration. There's even a passing reference to this in the 1997 Titanic movie.

Later ships seem to have addressed this.
 

Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
6,582
1,357
323
NewtonMearns, Glasgow, Scotland.
These were the end of the days of wooden ships and iron men.
However, long after that they did away with Crow's Nests, the Lookout was stationed up in the bows. Now that is cold, and dangerous.
That situation was the norm in most ships up to and after the 1970's You haven't lived until you have been "Farmer" in the middle watch on a trip through Belle Isle Straight or round the Nord Cap in winter.
Fail to spot a light - even then - and you might just get your "head in your hands to play with." :D :D :D
 

captainjack

Member
Nov 19, 2020
8
1
3
Hard to believe they didn't add shelter just to prove the men had iron balls. Even the bridge was sheltered.
Why not the crows nest? Such a simple addition.
If Fleet and Lee were not freezing in the north Atlantic air, could they have done a better job?
 

Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
6,582
1,357
323
NewtonMearns, Glasgow, Scotland.
Hard to believe they didn't add shelter just to prove the men had iron balls. Even the bridge was sheltered.
Why not the crows nest? Such a simple addition.
If Fleet and Lee were not freezing in the north Atlantic air, could they have done a better job?
No, and they would not be freezing. In fact, they would be wearing heavy nap coats, scarves gloves and caps and be quite sheltered from the ship-genefrated wind. The big problem was rain and spray. For that, they would have brought up their Sou'westers and oilskins. by the way, there wa snot much shelter on the bridge wings... just the cabs and woe betide any OOW that was caught snuggled down into one of these. THe OOW was not allowed to spend his Watch under cover... no spinning windows in those days.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

captainjack

Member
Nov 19, 2020
8
1
3
Fair enough.

Yeah, the bridge wings were not too sheltered either. That's more understandable though as they need to be out in the open to maneuver the ship for docking etc.

It still seems a bit ludicrous that a ship so advanced for it's time that H&W couldn't just add a simple roof cover to the crows nest. The costs would have been minuscule. The distraction of the elements is hardly something a lookout should have to think about.
Maybe it was a conscious decision to keep them from relaxing...
 

Attachments

  • lookout.gif
    lookout.gif
    27.8 KB · Views: 45
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Cam Houseman

Member
Jul 14, 2020
2,128
483
158
16
Maryland, USA
Fair enough.

Yeah, the bridge wings were not too sheltered either. That's more understandable though as they need to be out in the open to maneuver the ship for docking etc.

It still seems a bit ludicrous that a ship so advanced for it's time that H&W couldn't just add a simple roof cover to the crows nest. The costs would have been minuscule. The distraction of the elements is hardly something a lookout should have to think about.
Maybe it was a conscious decision to keep them from relaxing...
Fun fact, the guy who played Fredrick Fleet in ANTR also is Captain Smith in the ‘97 movie.
anyway, why were the crow’s nest so high, Jim? I thought that Fleet and Lee couldn’t see the iceberg until too late, read that somewhere here or something.
 

george harris

Member
May 11, 2018
101
39
73
Fun fact, the guy who played Fredrick Fleet in ANTR also is Captain Smith in the ‘97 movie.
anyway, why were the crow’s nest so high, Jim? I thought that Fleet and Lee couldn’t see the iceberg until too late, read that somewhere here or something.
Cam -

Bernard Hill played Captain Smith in the 1997 “Titanic” film. Bernard Fox played Fleet in “A Night to Remember”.

George
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

Ken Ziemski

Member
Jul 2, 2020
20
17
13
67
New Jersey, USA
Fun fact, the guy who played Fredrick Fleet in ANTR also is Captain Smith in the ‘97 movie.
anyway, why were the crow’s nest so high, Jim? I thought that Fleet and Lee couldn’t see the iceberg until too late, read that somewhere here or something.
Don't forget the geometry,(which I haven't done): the crowd's best was some 90+ feet above the water line...besides the larger bergs, they had to keep an eye out for the smaller things that go bump in the night. No binoculars for short range visual... I ' ll have to check the angle of sight from the crow's nest over the bow.. to 'see what they could see'... besides the blackness of both night and sea. When they did see the Berg, it appeared as something darker than the night itself!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

Ken Ziemski

Member
Jul 2, 2020
20
17
13
67
New Jersey, USA
Don't forget the geometry,(which I haven't done): the crowd's best was some 90+ feet above the water line...besides the larger bergs, they had to keep an eye out for the smaller things that go bump in the night. No binoculars for short range visual... I ' ll have to check the angle of sight from the crow's nest over the bow.. to 'see what they could see'... besides the blackness of both night and sea. When they did see the Berg, it appeared as something darker than the night itself!
Sorry for the typos... darn autocorrect!!!
 
  • Haha
Reactions: 1 user

Cam Houseman

Member
Jul 14, 2020
2,128
483
158
16
Maryland, USA
Don't forget the geometry,(which I haven't done): the crowd's best was some 90+ feet above the water line...besides the larger bergs, they had to keep an eye out for the smaller things that go bump in the night. No binoculars for short range visual... I ' ll have to check the angle of sight from the crow's nest over the bow.. to 'see what they could see'... besides the blackness of both night and sea. When they did see the Berg, it appeared as something darker than the night itself!
Ah ok, brilliant Ken, thanks!
 

Similar threads

Similar threads