1st mate and 2nd mate.

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Re: 1st mate and 2nd mate.

Postby shipbuilder » Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:20 pm

Aly,

In later years they called them by different names. In Union-Castle from captain down they were:

Master (Captain) Titanic equivalent Master (Captain)
Staff Commander Titanic equivalent Chief officer
Chief officer Titanic equivalent 1st officer
Senior 2nd officer Titanic equivalent 2nd officer
Extra 2nd officer Titanic equivalent 3rd officer
3rd officer Titanic equivalent 4th officer
Senior 4th officer Titanic equivalnet 5th officer
Junior 4th officer Titanic equivalent 6th officer

Some passenger ship companies (Cunard included) had a staff captain rather than a staff commander.

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Re: 1st mate and 2nd mate.

Postby Aly Jones » Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:05 am

Thank you Bob, makes sense now' where 5th and sixth officer had went too, however, it was more simple and simplified the other way. What were the reasons why they had change it?
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Re: 1st mate and 2nd mate.

Postby shipbuilder » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:17 am

Well, in my humble opinion (although a lot would not agree), it was to make more gold braid visible to the passengers. In TITANIC, for instance, the 2nd officer only had one gold stripe. In later years, the staff commander or staff captain had 3 1/2 (the half being thinner than the others), the chief officer, 3, both 2nd officers 2 etc. Same with the engineering officers, but it was really piled on there. i.e. Union-Castle engineers:

Chief - 4 stripes
1st 3 1/2 stripes
Senior 2nd 3 stripes
Inter 2nd 2 1/2 stripes
Senior junior 2nd - 2 1/2 stripes
Intermediate junior 2nd - 2 1/2 stripes
Junior junior 2nd, 2 1/2 stripes
Senior 3rd - 2 stripes
Intermediate 3rd - 2 stripes
junior 3rd - 2 stripes

How about that? :o

In my department, radio, it was just straightforward
chief - 3 stripes
2nd - 2 stripes
3rd - 1 stripe
4th - half stripe
5th - half stripe

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Re: 1st mate and 2nd mate.

Postby VW1956 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:22 pm

Hello. Thanks for all this infomation. There was I thinking that a "mate" was a basic deckhand. How wrong was I. Bob. I find that quite funny " but it was really piled on there ". I believe that you are correct when you say that " it was to make more gold braid visible to the passengers ". Ken.
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Re: 1st mate and 2nd mate.

Postby Gail » Sat May 18, 2013 11:56 pm

ardtornish wrote:I read recently that the Norwegians are doing away with sextants on the bridges of ships


Ard, do you have a link?
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Re: 1st mate and 2nd mate.

Postby Aly Jones » Sat May 25, 2013 5:23 am

Hi, what are 'Sextants'? :?
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Re: 1st mate and 2nd mate.

Postby Dave Gittins » Sat May 25, 2013 7:37 am

A sextant is a gadget for measuring the angular height of a celestial body above the horizon.

There are pictures and explanations here.

http://www.google.com.au/search?safe=of ... 600%3B1200

In 1912 they used a vernier sextant. Later the micrometer sextant became usual.

Sorry about the URL. It defeated TinyURL.
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Re: 1st mate and 2nd mate.

Postby Gail » Sat May 25, 2013 4:59 pm

Dave, do you think it would be difficult for a beginner to learn celestial navigation in absence of the ocean or any body of water for that matter?
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Re: 1st mate and 2nd mate.

Postby Dave Gittins » Sat May 25, 2013 9:29 pm

It can be done. You can set up an artificial horizon, using a pan of oil to reflect the sun. In the old days explorers used a pan of mercury. I've never done it myself but the method is in older textbooks. It used to be possible to get special sextant attachments containing a bubble. You line the sun up with the bubble and pray. They work passably on dry land but tests at sea showed poor results. After WW II a flood of special bubble sextants hit the market. They'd been made for aircraft but those who tried them at sea were disappointed. I believe something similar is still around for emergency use in aircraft.

I get a laugh out of documentaries that show explorers in the Australia outback using sextants with no artificial horizon. Some of the scenes in Dava Sobel's Longitude were equally funny.
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Re: 1st mate and 2nd mate.

Postby shipbuilder » Sun May 26, 2013 7:50 am

Here are two officers taking the noon sights (with sextants) aboard the passenger liner RMS St. Helena (3,150 gross tons) somewhere in the South Atlantic, 1981.
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Re: 1st mate and 2nd mate.

Postby Gail » Sun May 26, 2013 4:18 pm

Thanks for the information. I may look into learning, in that case.
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Re: 1st mate and 2nd mate.

Postby Aly Jones » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:10 pm

shipbuilder wrote:Here are two officers taking the noon sights (with sextants) aboard the passenger liner RMS St. Helena (3,150 gross tons) somewhere in the South Atlantic, 1981.
Bob

Fine looking men in uniforms.

No radar in 1981?
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Re: 1st mate and 2nd mate.

Postby shipbuilder » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:37 pm

Yes, we did have radar in 1981. But radar is only any use as a navigational aid if land lies within its range and the range of our radar was about 60 miles!. They took sights with sextants at noon each day and worked out the position from them. Often, in the evening, they would take star sights as well.
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