Re: Visibility with whaleboats on davits
From: Peter McCracken
Date: 2014 Jun 24, 11:06 -0700
I sailed on the leg from New London to Newport. The whaleboats don't interfere too much with visibility; they're high enough off the deck that you can see under them. I have a number of pictures with the keel of a whaleboat at the top of the image. There are plenty of spots from which one can view the horizon without a whaleboat in the way -- there are only two on each side, so the space in the middle is whaleboat-free.
There's no real reason to climb into the whaleboats when under sail or under tow. When mooring, the shrouds provide a better way of viewing the pier and harbor, and the Chief Mate did climb up the shrouds a bit -- but not much; just high enough so he had clear visibility all around -- as we departed and arrived at the piers.
While I was on board crew did climb into the whaleboats at one point, but only because one of them wasn't sitting properly on its frames -- I cannot remember the proper term for the wooden frames that they sit on. They hoisted the boat up a bit, got it straightened out, and then set it down again. The boats are also well-secured to the ship when underway. As a final note, the two starboard whaleboats are not on the ship when she is at the pier. In New London, crew rowed those two whaleboats out from the New London pier, and when we were away from the pier, they were attached to the falls, and hoisted onto the frames on which they sat during the sail. As we approached Newport, they were lowered into the water and towed away, so they would not be in the way during or after mooring.
Hope this helps.
Peter McCracken, email@example.com