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    #1

    helm or ship's steering wheels


    When identifying objects in a picture to a child, would you refer to the above as the helm, or the ship's steering wheel?
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    #2

    Re: helm or ship's steering wheels

    It is called the steering wheel or the ship's wheel.
    The area is called the helm. The person operating the wheel is called the helmsman whose job is to "take the helm".
    The information is easily obtainable by searching the internet.
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  1. Skrej's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: helm or ship's steering wheels

    Ted, that's incorrect information. We wouldn't call it a steering wheel when it's on a ship. The correct term is helm. I think the term '(ships) wheel' might be used as well.

    The general area for steering and navigation is called the 'bridge'.
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    #4

    Re: helm or ship's steering wheels

    Quote Originally Posted by Skrej View Post
    Ted, that's incorrect information. We wouldn't call it a steering wheel when it's on a ship. The correct term is helm. I think the term '(ships) wheel' might be used as well.

    The general area for steering and navigation is called the 'bridge'.
    Skrej, please read this: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/i...9181039AAjihP3
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    #5

    Re: helm or ship's steering wheels

    Quote Originally Posted by tedmc View Post
    It is called the steering wheel or the ship's wheel.
    The area is called the helm. The person operating the wheel is called the helmsman whose job is to "take the helm".
    The information is easily obtainable by searching the internet.
    So helm is for the area, but the wheel itself is still called steering wheel. I always thought helm is the wheel itself.
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  2. Skrej's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: helm or ship's steering wheels

    Ted, you realize that anybody can post anything they want on Yahoo answers, right? You'll see conflicting answers on that very page.

    Not that Wikipedia is much more reliable, but it's at least peer reviewed. Here's the relevant page, along with a more reputable source such as Webster's (definition #3).

    Also, look up the relevant entries in these sources:
    Dictionary of Nautical terms
    Sailing terminology
    Daily writing tips
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    #7

    Re: helm or ship's steering wheels

    Here's a bit of bonus trivia: in the film Titanic, the officer on deck calls out Hard a' starboard when he sees the iceberg ahead and to the right. The helmsman desperately spins the wheel to the left, which is port. It looked like the filmmaker made a huge blunder, but in fact, British navigators in 1912 used the terms starboard and port backwards by modern standards when referring to turning the wheel.

    This was a holdover from the days before ships had wheels to operate the rudder. If you want to turn a boat port (left), you push the tiller (the lever attached to the rudder) to starboard (right), so the full command to turn left was something like push the tiller hard to starboard. The transition to the logical modern terminology must have been difficult.
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