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Shipboard Underway Watches
Seaman - Military manual for the Seaman rate
Orders to the Helmsman -Continued
Officer. The Conning Officer stands the watch in the pilot house, but may be stationed on the open bridge during  complex  tactical  operations  or  when  directed  by the OOD for indoctrinational purposes. BOATSWAIN’S  MATE OF THE WATCH The Boatswain's Mate of the watch (BMOW) stands watch on the bridge when underway. His or her primary duty is to assist the OOD in carrying out the ship's routine and ensuring the efficient functioning of the watch team. It is the responsibility of the BMOW to see that all deck watch stations are manned, that all watch standers in previous watch sections are relieved, and that the oncoming enlisted watch team is in the prescribed  watch-standing  uniform.  The  BMOW  will also assist the OOD in supervising and instructing members of the watch in their duties. QUARTERMASTER OF THE WATCH The  Quartermaster  of  the  watch  (QMOW)  is stationed on the bridge, and reports to the OOD all changes  of  weather,  and  temperature  and  barometer readings. He or she must be a qualified helmsman, and assist the OOD in navigational matters. The QMOW is responsible for entering in the Ship's Log all data required by current instructions or as directed by the OOD, and for executing sunset and sunrise procedures. HELMSMAN The  helmsman  must  have  successfully  completed all personnel qualification standards for helmsmen and be qualified by the navigator. The courses the helmsman steers must be ordered by the conning officer. The ability to steer can be attained only by practice. The first fact to bear in mind is that the ship turns under the compass card; the compass card itself remains steady. Thus, when the card appears to be turning to the left of the lubber's line, it really is the line (the ship’s head) that is moving to the right. On all modern ships, the wheel, rudder, and ship's head all move in the same direction.  To  move  the  lubber's  line  and  ship's  head back to the left, then, you must turn the wheel to the left. As a new helmsman, you may use too much rudder. This forcefulness is a natural trait, since when you turn your auto steering wheel, your car immediately turns; yet when you turn the ship's wheel a few degrees, nothing happens, because time is required for the steering  engine  to  operate  and  for  the  ship  to  begin answering  its  rudder. When a ship is conned through a passage, such as the Panama Canal, or up to a berth or anchorage, the helmsman frequently is ordered to steer on a range, landmark, light, or some other object, instead of by the compass. Many helmsmen are so accustomed to the compass   that   they   become   tense   under   these circumstances. The simple truth is that it is always much easier to hold a ship steady on some object ahead than to keep on course by compass. Usually, the compass is located well abaft the bow, and the ship's head can swing quite a bit before the movement registers on the card. However, when the bow or the forestay is lined up with a mark ahead, the helmsman can see the ship go off course the instant it starts to do so. Have  the  ship  steady  on  course  before  you surrender the wheel to your relief. Inform your relief of the course and the compass or repeater you are steering by. If it is a gyro repeater, be sure you designate the correct repeater (if more than one). Also inform your relief of the equivalent course to steer by magnetic compass if the gyro fails and, if you are zigzagging, both the immediate course the ship is on and the base course it will follow when it ceases to zigzag. Tell your relief about any steering peculiarity you discovered, such as ‘Carrying a little right rudder,” or “Carrying mostly left.”   Relay any order you received that still is standing, such as “NOTHING TO THE LEFT,” or “STEADY ON COURSE 091.” If you are steering on a ship, range, landmark, or light, point it out to your relief, making sure it is recognized. Good steering gets the ship to its destination faster by making mileage in the desired direction and by cutting down the drag caused by use of the rudder. It also enhances the reputation of the ship, lessens the possibility of a steering casualty, and is important to the safety  of  the  ship.  Every  Seaman  should,  therefore, make the most of every opportunity to learn to steer. When on the helm, a Seaman should give exclusive attention  to  steering,  regardless  of  previous  experience. Orders  to  the  Helmsman The words port and starboard are never used when giving orders to the helmsman. Years ago, right and left were substituted because they are more distinct. When an order necessitates a change of rudder angle to right or left, the direction of change is always stated first, such as ‘RIGHT FULL RUDDER.” Standard orders to 1-5

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