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Trade bore the expense of appeal in that case or not, but seeing that the Board's leading counsel was employed (and failed) to uphold the Wreck Commissioner's judgment, I can only assume that the Board found the money. The 8.s. Ayton was stranded on the coast of Greece, on the 12th October, 1877, and having been got off, proceeded to London, where, on being examined in dry dock, she was found to have sustained “no damage.” The Board of Trade contended before the Wreck Commissioner that the master's certificate ought to be dealt with ; and the Wreck Commissioner adopted the view of the Board of Trade, and suspended his certificate for six months. One very noticeable point in this case is that, whereas the vessel was not damaged in any way, the Wreck Commissioner's Court reported to the Board of Trade that “the loss of the said vessel Ayton was due to Mark Storey, her master," at least, that is the statement contained in the printed official copy of the report of the Wreck Commissioner furnished to the public. Counsel for the master urged that the Wreck Commissioner's Court was wrong in dealing with the master's certificate, as the vessel having sustained no damage, the Acts of Parliament gave the Court no such power, and the master appealed to the Queen's Bench division of the High Court of Justice, when Mr. Bowen, the counsel for the Board of Trade, took up the case. The Lord Chief Justice declared judgment against the view taken by the Board and adopted by the Wreck Commissioner; and in expressing concurrence in the judgment of the Lord Chief Justice, Mr. Justice Mellor used these words : “He (the Wreck Commissioner) is in the matter, as it appears to me, the servant of the Board of Trade to conduct the inquiry.” And Mr. Justice Manisty said, “I am of the same opinion.” In the circumstances of the case, and seeing that the Board of Trade has attempted to uphold the decision of the Wreck Commissioner on appeal, and that two judges of appeal regard the Wreck Commissioner as the “servant of the Board of Trade,” I trust you will be able to modify your own views that the Wreck Commissioner's Court is not a Board of Trade Court. If you had said it ought not to be, and was not intended to have been such a Court, I should have agreed with you, but when you say it is not, I must ask you to
bear in mind that two judges of the Court of Appeal and the general instinct of the country think otherwise. I must apologize for the length of this letter, but the subject is of so much importance that I hope you will be able to find room for it in your very useful magazine.
PATER. Athenæum, December, 1878.
(We are glad to receive and to insert our correspondent's able letter. We are in no way apologists of, or advocates for, the Board of Trade views, or for anybody's views but our own; and we certainly think that the “withdrawing from survey” of the steamers referred to in the first part of our correspondent's letter, is wise. We should, of course, if we were about to make a voyage, select a surveyed and certified steamship in preference to another. That is, however, a matter of discretion, which may be exercised by every member of the public, but is beside the question. As regards the second point, we have only to say that if our correspondent will refer to the public press of the 25th November, he will find a letter signed by Mr. Talbot, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade, in which that gentleman states that the “ Court is entirely independent of the Board of Trade, and to call it a Board of Trade Court is a misnomer and is calculated to mislead. The function of the Board of Trade is to act as promoter of the inquiry, and to produce evidence and to raise the requisite issues." We can only say Mr. Talbot must know what are the functions and practice of the Board of Trade, and what is a misnomer as regards Courts of Inquiry better than ourselves, and this being the case we are content to quote Mr. Talbot's specific and public statement thereupon, by way of answer to our learned Correspondent.—Ed.]
A CREW FOR 1500 TON SHIP IN WINTER.
To the Editor of the “ Nautical Magazine." SIR-I am an old shipmaster and believing in having a ship well manned especially in the winter months in the English Channel of all parts of the world where you never know how
soon you may want to put out all the strength of my crew especially if the ship is on a lee shore but what is my astonishment to find the Wreck Commissioner in his Court is of a contrary opinion where he decided that a crew of seventeen hands all told is sufficient crew for the full-rigged Enterprise making a voyage down channel in the month of equinoctial gales and blowing a gale in the night W.S.W. and S.W. by S. and her tonnage being just 1500 with 595 tons of ballast and I should like to be told how the Captains who set with the Commissioner would like to be put in command of a ship in the winter to make that same passage with only them runners the sails blowing to ribbands and not enough men to think to cut away a hauser from the bows so keep her head to wind but shipowners in these hard times ought not to be told by a Court one man to the 100 tons is a compliment for such a ship as a tow line in a gale at sea is unsafe to be trusted to in winter and many steamships on the east coast is immediately bringing down their crews according to decision so I am told by my son Yours A. DROGGER Ipswich 20th December 1878.
[We have read the report of the case referred to by our correspondent, and find that the tow line parted, and the tug was unable to help. The following is an extract from the judgment of the Wreck Commissioner :-“As regards the first point on which our opinion is asked, namely, whether the Enterprise when she left London for Cardiff was sufficiently manned for the voyage, I am advised by my assessors that in their opinion she was. This vessel we are told when fully manned had a crew of 24 hands all told. She was to be towed from London to Cardiff, during which time the same number of hands will not be required. All the 17 hands too were runners, that is to say, all able seamen, whereas her complement of 24 men would include boys as well as seamen. We think, therefore, that the vessel with 17 hands was sufficiently manned for the voyage on which she was engaged, even considering the time of the year.” We are not a court of appeal, and leave our readers to form their own conclusions. Our correspondent is an old practical seaman, who often gives us good sense in bad English.—ED.]
RULE OF THE ROAD AT SEA.
To the Editor of the “ Nautical Magazine." DEAR SIR,-I beg to forward the accompanying remarks on Rule of the Road questions referred to in your numbers for January and July of this year, and to express a hope that they may be deemed worthy of publication in your useful Magazine at an early date.
Yours faithfully, Auckland, New Zealand, October, 1878.
T. C. T.
REMARKS ON SUPPOSED Case in Nautical Magazine, JANUARY, 1878.
(See Diagram 1.) The wind is W.N.W. fresh. A is close hauled on port tack, heading North, speed 7 knots (... little or no leeway), and sights the red light of B, 11 points on her lee bow or bearing N. by E. } E. To show possible positions at intervals of 2 minutes, A's place is marked for every two minates. From B are drawn lines indicating the various courses she might be steering from close-hauled S.W. to S. by W. } W., when A would only be į point on her lee bow. Dotted lines are also drawn connecting A 2 and B2, to show changes in bearing on different courses of B, A holding on.
From these it will be seen that the danger point (+) will be (theoretically) with B going about 14 points free, when a collision would probably occur in about 6 minutes from time of first sighting the lights at a distance of 1} miles. With B going more than a point and a half free, she would pass to leeward of A, and if, say, only one points free or less, she would pass a-head; the different rates of speed given being such as may be considered equal to effect of keeping away when going 7 points close-hauled. + or the danger point having thus been ascertained to be about the place marked A 6m, shows that B on sighting A's light had her 17 points on her lee bow, therefore showing (i.e., B) side enough to let both her red lights be seen, if on the plan suggested by me; the after one being seen higher and a little separate from the bow light, indicating to A both that B was going free and would have to keep out of her way, and also that from the relative position of these two red lights B is coming so nearly end on to her, that it behoves A to be very watchful of her movements. And again if B's
lights are still more nearly in line, it will cause A to expect to see B's green lights very shortly, or, even supposing B to be so nearly end on (when by yawing she would probably show both bow lights) as to make A doubt if sbe sees one or two red lights; two minutes watching will decide, as if B is close-hauled she would then bear N. by E., if running N. by E. } E. easterly (ships of the class described would of course have a standard compass by which they could get the bearings with sufficient accuracy for practical purposes). And here, as in the other case I have mentioned (Mr. Martin's, in July number, 1878), I think the requirements of your correspondent would be met, viz., to show the length (in this case the converse or absence of it denoting nearly end on), and also what the ship was about, giving no occasion for the candidate to 6 send his ship to the bottom," or for the examiner to “floor him with No. 44."