The time element is such an important factor in maneuvering ships, both from the standpoint of the officer of the deck and from that of the officer directing the maneuver, that the following study of changing front, or course, of a division of ships in line (abreast) has been made in the hope that the data may prove instructive.
Diagram 1 shows the number of yards that have to be steamed on the first change of course (one-half the total change of course) of a division of four ships at 500 yards distance.
Example: for a 30° change of course, or front, the second ship should change course 15° and steam 260 yards, then change course 15° and take up the new course. The fourth ship has to steam 776 yards before the second change of course.
Diagram I also shows, for each change of course, or front, the number of yards that each ship must steam in excess of the distance steamed by the guide.
Example: for a change of course, or front, of 45° the second ship must cover 383 yards more than the guide, the fourth ship 1148 yards.