Ship Bells

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Ship bells have been in service for over 500 years as sailboats set out from port and sailed upon the deep blue seas. These bells played a very important role in the day-to-day affairs of the ship. They arrived before the use of watches and clocks to keep track of the time and keep the ship operating on a steady schedule.

In those days, there were multiple shifts that took place on the ship, which were rotated every four hours. People would work for four hours and then their shift would end, providing them with a break until they worked for another four hours during that same day. The helmsman used a very important piece of boat hardware, known as an hourglass, to keep track of how much longer the shift would last.

Ship Bells--Announcers of the Time

The ships helmsman had the responsibility of ring the ship bell every half hour during his shift. One ring would signify the half hour and two rings would signify the hour. Thus, two rings followed by a short pause and then anther two rings followed by a short pause and one more ring would tell the passengers that they are two and a half hours into the four hour shift.

In today's world, people have more modern ways of keeping track of the time than an hourglass. Ship bells are still used on passenger and naval vessels to send messages to the passengers and to keep the traditions alive of those sea wanderers of yesteryear. Ship bells come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and make a great addition to any boat.


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