Driving the Aegis Cruiser Postscript
Commander Kevin S. J. Eyer, U.S. Navy
A number of experienced ship drivers contacted me after my December 2002 Proceedings professional note on handling the Aegis cruiser (pp. 70-72). At least one of the comments is worth mentioning here, because the writer was right and I was wrong. I reminded conning officers they should not "shift the rudder" when going from an ahead bell to an astern bell (or vice versa) until the ship has passed through a stop while moving to the other direction-otherwise, the rudder would do the opposite of what they intended.
It was pointed out to me that although this is true in going from ahead to astern, it is less true when going from astern to ahead. In the latter case, the propellers create an immediate and dramatic wash over the rudders that far outweighs the relatively trivial amount of flow generated by ship motion astern. Experimentation proved this to be true. While here, I would like to take another opportunity to pass along additional lessons I learned in my years of driving Aegis cruisers.
Poor Man's Tug