perfect storm question

why is Billy Tyne constantly turning the wheel to the left? In every shot from the wheel house, he looks like he’s doing all he can to control the ship.

If you’ve ever seen Deadliest Catch, the captains rarely steer at all, and never that hard.

Anyone else notice this, and know why he chose to act in this fashion? He was driving that boat in circles the entire trip.

Same reason the Pentagon War Room always has a giant wall-screen: Reality Is Unrealistic.

Not left. Port.

Thank you for that link!

If Billy Tyne bugs you, try watching any footage of someone driving a car. There are tiny increments of steering left right left right left right. Do you know anyone who drives like that? Anyone sober, that is?

No idea but I’m reading the book right now so I’ll get back to you. :smiley:

Maybe he thought he was in Twister.

I know a lot of older people who drive that way sober. It’s not fun to be a passenger in their vehicle.

Always wondered why left, right, front, and back were not good enough to describe boat directions.


Why a new set of vocabulary to describe the same thing? ( I’m sure there is a reason, but not one that makes sense to me OR Billy Tyne.)

While we are picking on Capt. Billy Tyne’s boat driving skills, why did he put those big metal arms that swung those steel hooks through the wheelhouse window up, instead of tying them down? Beside the obvious reason to give him an opportunity to use a torch holding onto a pole bouncing through 50 foot wave, I mean.

Anyway… I agree with the post regarding someone driving as well. The driver looks like they are trying to avoid a million potholes as they drive down the road.

:smiley: Heh-heh-heh . . .
A trap should never look like a trap . . .

Because left is in regard to the way you or the speaker is facing, port is in regard to the way the boat is pointing. Less possibility for confusion - if someone says the switch is on the left side of the room, you have to figure out whether they meant your left or their left. If they say it’s on the port bulkhead of the compartment, there’s no confusion.

I figured as much. However, the situation could be managed without special terms for boats without too much trouble. Do airplanes also have the same terminology?

Back to the subject… Why is Billy Tyne so crazy with the wheel? Something for his hands to do?

Question 2. Would they have survived if they just let the boat be pushed around by the waves?

Too much NASCAR?

The history behind Port and Starboard comes from way back when boats were steered by hand, with a long rudder or oar. Starboard means ‘steer board’, the board you used to steer the boat/ship. Since most people are right handed the steering board was on the right side of the boat.

The other side was called the Larboard side, don’t know why, but as you can imagine this caused some confusion when commands were shouted out. So it was changed to Port side, because you tied the boat up to the dock/port on the other side from the steering oar, the left side, so your rudder would not get bashed against the dock and damaged.

Anyway…My biggest problem with The Perfect Storm is the New England accents attempted by the cast, which were universally awful, especially Diane Ladd. I am surprised that the story wasn’t rewritten to place it in the Pacific just to accommodate the actor’s inabililty to talk convincingly.

Driving a boat across a sea where the wave motion is striking the boat on the port side would tend to push it to starboard/off course. There’s a name for this kind of sea/wave action, but the nautical terminology escapes me. I guess I need to break out my Patrick O’Brian again for a refresher.

But anyway, to remain on course, the helmsman would have to continually steer somewhat to port to counteract the tendency of the bow to swing to starboard.

I can’t say that that’s what is happening in the movie, but it’s not entirely retarded to be continually steering somewhat to port due to wave action.

We always called it “weather helm” when I was young. I’ve only really steered with a tiller, but constant adjustment in choppy weather was standard.

Ugh - we had a UHaul van recently that we had to drive this way. The thing would just NOT maintain a course without constant steering adjustments. It was queasy-making.

Hmmm, I wonder if pre-power-steering vehicles required this sort of constant adjustment. Who out there has a car without power steering, or remembers pre-power-steering days and could offer their wisdom?

What bothers me is that the driver is constantly turning to look at the person next to him. I want to shout “Keep your eyes on the road!”

Lack of power steering shouldn’t change the stability of a car’s steering. It sounds like the U-Haul in question had an alignment issue. The key is the positive caster designed/adjusted into the front end of modern vehicles. This is what causes the steering wheel to naturally return to neutral after we take a turn. I drove a Model T once. The steering wheel pretty much stayed where you put it. It took effort to stop turning.

Back to the boat.

I donno, I just saw it as a method to show that they needed to point the ship into the incoming waves. Though once pointed in the right direction, I doubt you would need such huge maneuvers. Unless, you got turned toping the last wave or skidding down it’s back side.