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Steering the Ship, Continued - 14220_344
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Quartermaster 1 & C - Military manual for the Quartermaster rate
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Steering the Ship, Continued - 14220_346
Steering the Ship, Continued Techniques The  helmsman  must  repeat  distinctly,  word  for  word,  every  order  he  or she  receives.  This  is  done  so  the  conning  officer  knows  the  helmsman understands  his  or  her  command.  To  respond  to  an  order  such  as STEADY  AS  YOU  GO,  follow  the  repeating  of  the  order  with  the reply  STEADY  ON  110,  or  whatever  the  course  was  you  marked  when you  received  the  order.  Do  this  once  the  ship  steadies  up. As  a  master  helmsman,  you  must  know  more  about  how  your  ship  steers than  anyone  else.  Every  ship  handles  differently.  Many  hours  on  the helm  will  allow  you  to  anticipate  how  the  ship  will  react.  Here  are some  tips,  which  were  gathered  from  senior  Quartermasters  concerning steering  the  ship. General  Techniques:  The  first  rule  that  you  must  follow  is  to  pay attention  at  all  times!  Many  helmsmen  have  found  themselves  in  a world  of  trouble  because  they  lost  focus,  and  then  chased  the  helm. This  is  how  ships  become  damaged  (which  the  U.S.  Navy  frowns  upon). Never  oversteer.  Steering  a  ship  is  often  a  situation  where  less  is  more. Always  use  the  least  amount  of  rudder  necessary  to  maintain  course.  Be patient,  the  ship  will  respond.  A  common  mistake  is  to  use  more  rudder than  needed  to  maintain  course,  which  results  in  a  snaking  effect. On  the  other  hand,  use  the  rudder  when  needed.  Commands  like MEET  HER  and  STEADY  AS  YOU  GO  warrant  the  use  of  rudder  up to  30°,  if  necessary.  Other  ships  in  formation  judge  another  ship  by  the way  she  makes  her  turns.  Make  sure  your  ship  turns  smartly.  Quick and  precise  maneuvers  are  the  name  of  the  game! Find  the  weather  helm:  If  you  were  to  leave  the  rudder  amidships  (0°), the  wind,  current,  and  even  the  ship’s  list  would  put  you  off  course. Before  relieving  the  helm,  make  a  habit  of  observing  the  swell  and  wind waves.  Then,  always  ask  what  rudder  combinations  are  currently  being used  to  maintain  course.  For  example,  if  the  wind  and  swell  is  hitting the  ship  on  the  port  bow  at  45°,  the  stem  will  be  pushed  to  the  right. This  action  could  cause  the  ship  to  fall  off  course  to  the  left.  Knowing this,  you  could  imagine  that  some  amount  of  right  rudder  will  be required  to  maintain  course.  When  finding  the  weather  helm,  you  are actually  looking  for  the  amount  of  rudder  that  is  a  real  time  0°. The  weather  helm  varies  with  the  weather  and  currents.  If  it  takes  a constant  2°  of  right  rudder,  then  the  weather  helm  equals  2°  right,  which is  the  same  as  0°  with  no  wind  or  current. 11-13

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