Origins of the Nautical term “Hooked Up and Hard Over “!

Origins of the Nautical term “Hooked Up and Hard Over “!

 (Photo courtesy of General Dynamics Bath Iron Works/Released)

Fun fact: Hooked Up is a steam engine term carried to all types of ships and boats. Has to do with triple expansion steam engine. Hooking-up a steam engine is also known as controlling the “cut-off” of the cylinder since “hooking up” a steam engine is effectively controlling when steam is “cut off” from entering the cylinder and pushing against the piston at boiler pressure. When a steam engine is operating “hooked up” it means that the steam is only being admitted to the cylinder for a small amount of time (or more correctly for a short distance of the stroke). Prevents the engine from becoming exhaust restricted in high RPM’s. If you did not have a hook up pressure across the 3 cylinders at high RPM equalizes. The hook (due to the hook shape) when up let the least amount of steam in the cylinder via a push rod spring valve, allowing the least travel of the rod due to the hook shape. When the hook was down it allowed a longer time for steam entry.

Hard Over deals with turning the wheel at an angle where flow across the rudder blade makes turning hard..in the days before power steering.

So today when a vessel is “Hooked up and Hard over”, She is turning and running as fast as she can.

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