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-   -   DELTA QUEEN's Pilothouse 1955 (http://www.steamboats.org/forum/river-talk-cruises/2740-delta-queens-pilothouse-1955-a.html)

Jim Reising 12-12-2008 11:16 AM

DELTA QUEEN's Pilothouse 1955
 
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The attached picture is of the DQs pilothouse in 1955. At the sticks is CApt. Paul Underwood. Note the absence of radar, charplotters, GPS, VHF radio, and river charts. These were all in the pilot's head at that time. As George McBride said about those days "You'd better not have a river chart in sight, you were supposed to know the river you were running". Is the river safer today? I can't think of any accidents these old pilots had. I don't think the DQ had any lost time accidents due to navigational errors back then.

Ted Davisson 12-12-2008 12:18 PM

Jim , Point Well Taken !
 
Jim ,
First of all , Thanks so much for posting this picture and your comments and your point was certainly well taken ! I for one believe that the Pilots of today would and could not measure up to the Pilots of yesteryear ! Despite the advent and presence of all of the modern day " gadgets " , they are only
" Aids To Navigation " and nothing will ever replace the earned ability and knowledge of a seasoned Pilot ! Despite the marine industries and Coast Guard's notions and attempts to either down grade and even replace the Pilot , there is just simply no substitute for the presence of an experienced and knowledgeable Pilot ! I certainly cannot speak for the attitudes of the marine industry in other ports and in other countries but I can for the New Orleans and Gulf Coast region . Here , unfortunately , the local marine industry thinks of us and has even told us to our faces , that in essence the local State Pilots are " Over-paid and Glorified Bus Drivers " ! Fortunately , the Ship Masters that we work with on our assignments think otherwise and not only appreciate our service but has testified on our behaf that they would never ever enter the New Prleans-Baton Rouge ports without a Pilot !
Smooth Sailing !
Ted davisson



[QUOTE=Jim Reising;14657]The attached picture is of the DQs pilothouse in 1955. At the sticks is CApt. Paul Underwood. Note the absence of radar, charplotters, GPS, VHF radio, and river charts. These were all in the pilot's head at that time. As George McBride said about those days "You'd better not have a river chart in sight, you were supposed to know the river you were running". Is the river safer today? I can't think of any accidents these old pilots had. I don't think the DQ had any lost time accidents due to navigational errors back then.[/QUOTE]

Bruno Krause 12-12-2008 12:20 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Jim, your picture is very interesting when put next to a picture of an oil painting being offered on eBay right now...

Alan Bates 12-12-2008 01:52 PM

Ted, I beg to differ a bit. Today, as in the past, dispatchers and owners load everything they can find on each towboat. The pilots of today may have the bells and whistles of electronic aids, but I have yet to see a chart or electronic system that shows the sets of currents at all stages or the wind direction and strength. I have the same high regard for today's pilots as I have for the "great" ones of the past.

Jim Reising 12-12-2008 02:38 PM

There is one big difference between todays pilots and yesterdays and that is HORSEPOWER. Todays pilots in many cases have enough horsepower to get themselves out of trouble. In the old days, when they did not have that advantage, they had to know how NOT to get in trouble in the first place.
Years ago when I was dispatching, we would put 15 loads on the TRADEWINDS which was only 1400 hp. Today they put those same 15 loads (a lock can only hold 15 barges plus the boat) on a boat with 5,000 hp. Which would you rather take through the Louisville harbor with 16 ft. on the upper guage and the dam all out?
I'm not deminishing the talent of todays pilots by any means, I know many I would put up against the best of the old timers. I'm just saying that the pilots of yesterday really had it a lot harder.

Steve Huffman 12-12-2008 04:10 PM

Did they remove the pilotwheel at Dravo in '47-'48 or some other time? I never picked-up that bit of trivia.

Ted Davisson 12-12-2008 04:14 PM

Alan , Point Well Taken !
 
Alan ,
Point well taken , but in my humble opinion , with today's Pilots as compared with yesterday's Pilots , for at least the ones that I have observed , there is still a certain something that is missing . What that SOMETHING is , in all honesty , I have yet to put my finger on . Call IT or the certain SOMETHING , or even THE RIGHT STUFF , what you will , I believe for the most part , today's Pilots , are lacking it . Maybe its just intestinal fortitude or the right attitude or just plain ol' intuition , I believe that the Pilots of old that I witnessed and worked with and was mentored by had an inner self confidence and ability that I see missing today . Just food for thougt .
Smooth Sailing !
Ted Davisson




[QUOTE=Alan Bates;14663]Ted, I beg to differ a bit. Today, as in the past, dispatchers and owners load everything they can find on each towboat. The pilots of today may have the bells and whistles of electronic aids, but I have yet to see a chart or electronic system that shows the sets of currents at all stages or the wind direction and strength. I have the same high regard for today's pilots as I have for the "great" ones of the past.[/QUOTE]

Nick-Taylor 12-12-2008 08:24 PM

15 Jumbos on the Tradewinds? really? at 1400HP? I can't believe they could even shove them. AEP's 2800s have a heck of a time as it is now if the river is running a little bit of water.

Bill Judd 12-12-2008 09:47 PM

Nick I think you are thinking of the current Timothy Bo Taylor ex.TRADEWIND. I'm sure Jim is referring to the big TRADEWINDS which was a sistership to the SOLVAY and CHARLESTON. In the 1950's that was big horsepower. It was also real honest horsepower and thrust. Slow speed engines turning big wheels, usually in nozzles. Jim's point is very valid as to the pilots ability to just not get in a bad spot. In those days we were bored stiff 90% of the time and scared stiff the other 10%. Trust me!!

Jim Reising 12-12-2008 10:56 PM

Capt Joe Hughes was in my opinion a real pilot from the old school. At his funeral a few years back his son had one of Joe's chart books on display. My, it was interesting to read the notes Joe made on those charts. One that really struck me was at mile 635...he wrote "large rock on Indiana bank and he drew it in on the chart with the note "when rock is almost under water bad out draft at 44" There were notes like that all through the charts. With knowledge like that he could avoid getting into trouble miles ahead of time.
Harry Hamilton also kept notebooks, but mostly on the lower Miss. Also Harry would turn on the radar on clear days when he was running a bridge or some other obstacle and make a drawing of the radar screen, that way he knew how to shape up for the bridge when he had to run it on radar.


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