Captain of the Queens
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Captain of the Queens- The Queen Mary 2 
 
 
The new Queen Mary 2 with her revolutionary propulsion system can be quite a challenge to control. 
Instead of mounting her propellers on fixed shafts, they are placed on pods beneath the ship and driven by electric motors within the pods. Instead of changing the pitch of the propellers as in the QE2, the speed and direction of rotation is changed.  
The two outboard-most pair of pods on the QM2 are fixed in position with the propellers facing forward. A second pair of more aft and amidships pods are rotating to both drive and steer the ship and make rudders and stern thrusters unnecessary. In Sea Mode steering mode used in the open ocean and pictured below, you steer with a simple toggle and the pods can roatate 35 degrees in either direction. In Azipod mode, they can rotate or azimuth over 360 degrees for maneuverability, especially in port. She gains both maneuverability and speed with great efficiency. 
 
 
 At the same time, as you can see from her bridge controls, she gains complexity. Each of the four pods needs its own thrust control (upper left). The fixed pods are controlled with the smaller outboard throttles, here set to 25% forward thrust. The azimuthing or steering pods, controlled with the central throttle handles here set for 50% forward thrust. The angle of the steering pods, pictured in the center, are rotated slightly clockwise from forward-facing. The "Sea Mode" steering toggle is angled slightly to the left. Since this drives water both aft and to the port side, it will swing the stern to starboard and steer the ship to port. THIS takes some getting used to! 
    To complete her maneuvering package, she boasts powerful bow thrusters that are disabled here since the ship is steaming at 10.1 knots. Like all bow thrusters, they can be used only at very slow speeds.