the helmsman and their corresponding meaning are as
RIGHT (LEFT) FULL RUDDER usually means 30
degrees on the rudder angle indicator.
HARD RIGHT (LEFT) RUDDER means put the
rudder over to the right the maximum degrees allowed
by that class of ship.
RIGHT (LEFT) STANDARD RUDDER varies on
different ship classes. It is the designated number of
degrees of rudder angle that causes the ships of that
class to turn within a prescribed distance, called the
ship's standard tactical diameter. You must find out
what standard rudder is on your ship.
COME RIGHT (LEFT) TO 148 means to swing the
ship's head in the direction stated and steady it on the
course given; in this example, 148 degrees.
STEER 190 is the order usually given for only a
minor change of heading to the number of degrees
STEADY ON 225 states the course on which the
ship's head is to be steadied. It normally is given while
INCREASE YOUR RUDDER means to increase the
rudder angle; it is usually ordered when the conning
officer wants the ship to move more rapidly.
EASE YOUR RUDDER means to reduce the rudder
angle. It may be given as EASE TO 15 DEGREES (10
DEGREES, 20 DEGREES) RUDDER.
RUDDER AMIDSHIPS means to put the rudder on
the centerline; no rudder angle. As a rule, this order is
MEET HER means to check but not stop the swing
by putting on opposite rudder. This order may he given
when the ship is nearing the desired course.
STEADY means to steady the ship on the course it
is heading at the time the order is given. If the ship is
swinging at the time, the heading must he noted and the
lubber's line brought back to and steadied on it as soon
as possible. The order is also stated STEADY AS YOU
GO, and STEADY AS SHE GOES.
SHIFT YOUR RUDDER commands you to change
to the same number of degrees of opposite rudder angle.
In other words, if your rudder angle is 15 degrees right
and the order is given, you change to 15 degrees left
rudder. This order is given most often when a
single-screw ship loses headway and begins to gather
stemway, so as to partially counteract its tendency to
back to port.
MIND YOUR HELM! is a warning that the ship is
swinging off the course because of bad steering.
NOTHING TO THE RIGHT (LEFT) is given when
the presence of some danger on one side or the other
makes it necessary to avoid a set in that direction You
must keep the ship from swinging past the course in the
direction warned against.
HOW IS YOUR RUDDER? is a question to the
helmsman .The helmsman should reply, 5 (10, 15, etc.)
DEGREES RIGHT (LEFT), SIR or FULL
(STANDARD) RIGHT (LEFT) RUDDER, SIR.
HOW DOES SHE HEAD? or MARK YOUR
HEAD? is a question to the helmsman. The helmsman
should give the ship's head at the time, for example,
TWO SEVEN FIVE, SIR.
KEEP HER SO means to continue to steer the
course you are heading. This order is usually given after
you state the course you are steering.
VERY WELL is a reply of the conning officer to the
helmsman, meaning that the situation is understood.
You must repeat distinctly, word for word, every
order you receive so the officer of the deck or pilot may
know that you understood correctly. Also report when
you have carried out an order; for instance, report
immediately when the rudder is right full or the ship is
steady on 257 degrees. Also, when you are making a
swing, report occasionally the compass heading that the
lubber's line is passing so the conning officer can tell
how far the ship has gone through the swing. Thus, if
ordered to take the ship right from 000 degrees to 045
degrees, do not wait until you are heading 045 degrees
to report. As the ship's head goes through the swing,
report about every 10 degrees: PASSING 010, SIR,
Before becoming a qualified helmsman,
you should be given a written test of the orders
and have at least 30 to 50 hours logged.
The lee helmsman, as a qualified standby, regularly
relieves the helmsman. The lee helmsman stands watch
at the engine order telegraph. In this capacity the lee
helmsman rings up the conning officer's orders to the