chapter  9
26 Pages

Automatic steering

It has already been implied that a modern merchant vessel must be cost-effective in order to survive the ever-increasing pressure of a financially orientated industry. A good automatic pilot, often called an Autohelm, although a registered trade name, can improve the profit margin of a vessel in two ways. First, it enables a reduction to be made in the number of ships’ personnel, and second, a considerable saving in fuel can be achieved if the vessel makes good its course with little deviation. This chapter, dealing with the principles of automatic pilots, enables the reader to understand fully the electronic systems and the entire operator control functions.