What is a Pirate Ship Steering Wheel Called?

The steering wheel of a pirate ship is a device used on the water vessel’s board to turn the direction of the rudder to the desired direction of the pirate. The steering wheel with the rest of the mechanism is known as ‘The Helm.’ And the person who operates the steering wheel is known as the Helmsman. But, being too heavy, sometimes it takes more than two persons to operate it. The Steering wheel is also known as the Ship’s Wheel or the Boat’s Wheel, but this is not that common. You can purchase these steering wheels separately on various websites.

What is the history of the boat’s wheel?

Historians are not so sure about the fact when the approach of steering wheels is first used on a boat. But it is assumed that from the beginning of the 18th century, all the ships started using steering wheels to change the boat’s navigation.

In the pre-wheel situation, Helmsman had to rely on Tiller to get the job done. Tiller was a horizontal lever, generally attached to the outboard motor, the rudder post, or the stock. It used to generate a torque that came to action to turn the rudder.

What are the components of the Helm?

The first component of the Helm is the spokes. There are generally 8 spokes in a steering wheel. But the number can be varied from 6 to 8. All the spokes look like the balusters, and there is a king spoke, which the Helmsman uses to steer the boat and the direction of the rudder in the dark. All the spokes remain joined with an axle. And the rim is composed of three ‘felloes,’ viz. the facing ‘felloe,’ the middle ‘felloe,’ and the after ‘felloe.’ All the spokes run through the middle ‘felloe,’ and it comes out as a handle for each spoke on the outer surface of the wheel. And the whole structure might appear even taller than the person who runs it.

How many types of steering wheels are there?

Primarily there are two types of steering gear systems- Hydraulic and electro-hydraulic type. And the entire system is made of some tropical hardwoods like Teak and Mahogany to protect it from salty water. You can apply special gear lube to ensure the proper functioning of this type of gear. In previous times, several steering gears’ wheels had double wheels, connected by a spindle inside the barrel. The spindle was kept in position by using two pedestals resting on a wooden platform.

How does the steering wheel work?

The steering wheel is used to turn the rudder. The rudder is a long metal-like flap, and it remains attached to the tail of the ship or the Stern. And it is generally connected to an electric servomechanism or a hydraulic system to alter the rudder’s vertical angle. The Helmsman of the ship controls this mechanism. Talking about the hydraulic system, if you have a spare hydraulic steering kit with you, it will help in the entire process.

What are the other features of the steering wheel?

A standard steering wheel system must be capable of turning the ship from 35 degrees starboard to 35 degrees port and vice-versa within a time period of maximum 28 seconds. And if one of the units is not capable of working, then also the rudder should be capable of turning from 15 degrees starboard to 15 degrees port and vice-versa within the 1-minute time frame. There should always be a duplicate of the control system to work as a standby when any one of them gets ineffective and an emergency power supply from the emergency generator to come into action when the situation calls for.

References:

Wikipedia

Quora