Standard wheel orders

from the Standard Marine Phrases of the International Maritime Organisation 

 

All wheel orders should be repeated by the helmsman and the officer of the watch should ensure that they are carried out correctly and immediately. All wheel orders should be held until countermanded. The helmsman should report immediately if the vessel does not answer the wheel. 

When there is concern that the helmsman is inattentive s/he should be questioned: “What is your heading?” And s/he should respond: “My heading is … degrees.” 

Order

Meaning

1. Midships

Rudder to be held in the fore and aft position

2. Port / starboard five

5° of port / starboard rudder to be held

3. Port / starboard ten

10° of port / starboard rudder to be held

4. Port / starboard fifteen

15° of port / starboard rudder to be held

5. Port / starboard twenty

20° of port / starboard rudder to be held

6. Port / starboard twenty-five

25° of port / starboard rudder to be held

7. Hard-a-port / starboard

Rudder to be held fully over to port / starboard

8. Nothing to port / starboard

Avoid the vessel’s head to go to port / starboard

9. Meet her

Check the swing of the vessel’s head in a turn

10. Steady

Reduce swing as rapidly as possible

11. Easy to five / ten / fifteen / twenty

Reduce the amount of rudder to 5°/10°/15°/20° and hold

12. Steady as she goes

Steer a steady course on the compass heading indicated at the time of the order. The helmsman is to repeat the order and call out the compass heading on receiving the order. When the vessel is steady on that heading, the helmsman is to call out: "Steady on …”

13. Keep the buoy /mark / beacon on the port / starboard side

14. Report if she does not answer to the wheel

15. Finished with wheel. No more steering.

 

When the officer of the watch requires a course to be steered, the direction which s/he wants should be stated followed by each numeral being said separately including zero, for example:

Order

Course to be steered

Port, steer one-eight-two

182°

Starboard, steer zero-eight-two

082°

Port, steer three-zero-five

305°

On receipt of an order to steer, for example 182° , the helmsman should repeat it and bring the vessel round steadily to the course ordered. When the vessel is steady on the course the helmsman is to call out: “steady on one-eight-two!” The person giving the order should  acknowledge the helmsman’s reply. 

If it is desired to steer on a selected mark the helmsman should be ordered to “steer on … buoy / … mark / … beacon”. The person giving the order should  acknowledge the helmsman’s reply.

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