AubreyBass Boat accessories, Bass Boats, Pontoon Boats bass boat accessories, bass boats, helm, ponds boats, pontoon boats, Steering Wheel


What is the proper name for the steering wheel ship? Unless you’re familiar with the various sailing terminology, it can be difficult to know the proper names for each part of a ship or boat. It’s tricky to understand the various terms too because there are the proper names that experienced sailors refer to, as well as slang and common phrases used. Most inexperienced sailors would refer to the steering wheel as the boat wheel; others would say it’s a steering wheel.

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However, the wheel is an important part of the boat because it drives the ship. It steers the boat, changing direction when necessary, and is connected to the rudder. While modern ships have ditched the traditional steering wheel ship, it still uses the same idea. A toggle is used on larger ships that are connected to a remote control. It is that which changes the direction of the rudder. So, what’s the steering wheel called on a boat?


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The Ship’s Steering Wheel

You’ve probably heard of this already but for those who haven’t, the steering wheel is also known as the ship’s wheel. In some cases, it’s known as the boat wheel. While you might believe a ship and boat wheel are two very different things, they’re actually one and the same. Of course, every sailor or sailing enthusiast will have a preference as to what they call the ship’s wheel. Some may refer to the wheel as the helm since it’s where you control the bulk of the boat.

The Helm

Some may also refer to the ship’s wheel as the helm. In modern maritime, the helm is the more common phrase associated with the steering wheel. While some old-timers still refer to the wheel as the boat or ship’s wheel, it’s fairly rare. As said, most will call it the helm and it’s the more modern terminology too. However, the helm can come in many forms, including a toggle or console rather than a traditional or rounded steering wheel.

Of course, a traditional steering wheel ship will maintain the standard boat wheel design but on smaller vessels, they’re less used. Traditional ship wheels were made of strong wood and were round in shape. They were designed to control the ship without having to leave the top deck. Captains would turn the wheel in the direction they wanted to sail, and the boat’s rudder would change course. It was a fairly simple form of sailing and while modern boats differ slightly, the premise remains the same.

Most people think of boat steering wheels like the ones seen in pirate movies. It’s a classic design made entirely out of wood with interior spokes. These types of wheels were big and were sometimes a two-man effort. Traditional ship wheels were advanced for the time; in comparison, they can’t compete with the engineering and hydraulic abilities of today. It’s fascinating and in the years ahead, technology will make boats smarter with fewer controls required.

A Modern Marvel

A steering wheel ship would have had a huge wooden wheel to do most of the legwork but now, it’s all about electronics and easing the workload on captains. Modern boats are pretty advanced and have come a long way since the traditional longboats or pirate ships seen in the 1700 and 1800s. Modern helm steering wheels are fairly small with some being even smaller than steering wheels found in vehicles.

That is pretty surprising because you’d think a boat would need complicated steering systems and oversized wheels to steer them in the right direction. It proves how far boats have come from the early designs. They are faster, stronger, and more technologically advanced than ever. It’s impressive because the scale of a large cruise liner can be controlled with toggles and a console panel rather than a traditional large, rounded steering wheel.

Where is the Steering Wheel Located on a Boat?

Unless you have a totally customized boat, the ship’s steering wheel is almost always on the starboard side. To those who don’t know the maritime term, it means on the right-hand side. The portside is on the justify-hand side and is the side you disembark when docking in the marina. Of course, if you build a body from scratch, you can technically decide how you want the layout; but it’s standard – and smart – to opt for the traditional starboard-side helm.


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Understanding the Steering Gear System

Over the years, there have been several types of gear systems used in vehicles, from boats to cars, and everything in-between. Most modern-day gear systems utilize one of two options; the first is the recirculating ball steering system, the second is the rack and pinion system. While the latter of the two remains the more popular choice, the recirculating ball system still is found in many vehicles. More often than not, a Pitman arm is used with the recirculating ball gear system to transfer movement to the steering system.

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You should ensure the power steering and steering gear systems are inspected once a year by an ASE certified technician. This is an important aspect of owning any vehicle, whether it’s a yacht, SUV, or motorbike. Checking the components of the vehicle helps to ensure everything is working as it should and safe to use. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t consider this and put themselves in unnecessary danger. Always take the time to have your vehicle properly inspected so that you get peace of mi.