how is steering of a ship done from the bridge?

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
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    Actually, the bridge gives the Captain an excellent view of his surroundings. There is no better place to steer the vessel (any vessel) then from the bridge. On smaller boats, it is the upper helm station, and called "the fly bridge".

    For big ships, steering is about 98% automatic. Manuel navigation involves a vessel either arriving or departing a dock or one in restricted waters. For the most part however, it is all automatic. The bridge is the main control room (the brain, if you will) of the ship.

    Crew, are always busy checking and verifying the ship's position as precisely as possible at frequent intervals. It takes a lot of proper preparation and attention to detail as well as ship and maritime procedures to keep a ship safely on it's course.

    All of the ships "controls" are a combination of electric and hydrolic. Some controls even work on a remote, although there are back ups even for back ups. A ship's navigation team will always consist of several people. A navigator might have bearing takers stationed at the gyro repeaters on the bridge wings for taking simultaneous bearings, while another navigator will often take and plot them himself.

    While everything is automatic, all ships this day and age have an ECDIS (Electronic Charts Display and Information System) and this makes navigating a ship about as easy as falling off a log. However, there are lots of manual checks, re-checks, and manual entries that the Officers on the bridge will make in a bearing book, and in the ships log. There is someone to record entries for each fix, for each change in heading, and always, someone will be responsible for marking the bearings on a paper chart.

    Most ships are equipped with sophisticated electronic computers and equipment. As officers monitor the progress of the ship along the chosen track on a computer screen, they are also visually ensuring that the ship is proceeding as desired, checking the compass, sounder and other indicators.

    If a harbor pilot is aboard, as is often the case in the most unknown, foreign or restricted of waters, his judgement can generally be relied upon as he has plenty of experience in familiar waters, this further easing the workload of the rest of the crew.

    But should the ECDIS fail, the ship's Captain & navigator will have to rely on thier skill in the manual and time-tested manual procedures. So even though the ship is seldom manually steered, in most cases, it is done to keep those skills sharp.


    Most ships allow passengers to visit or tour the bridge. So, if you get a chance... be sure and take the tour.

  • 1 decade ago

    That's where the helm station is located.Control is electric on the fly.

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