autopilot 2

What are controls & settings of Auto Pilot?

Correct setting of controls essential to avoid overloading of the system with too many steering orders too quickly and excessive yawing of ship about the set course – a case of cure being worse than the disease.

Settings which depend upon ships loading conditions:

Rudder  Setting            

Determines  the rudder to be given for each degree course drift. e.g. 2° degrees rudder for every 1°off course.

Counter rudder

Determines the amount of counter rudder to be given to stop swing as the ship approaches the correct course,

Maximum Rudder

Determines  the maximum rudder angel that can be set. For example, In full load is advisable not to give more than 10° rudder.

Permanent Helm

Use only when a ship tends to veer off towards one side of the course due to strong cross wind or a beam sea.


The effect of weather & sea conditions which causes ship to yaw excessively, can be counteracted by use of this control.

Off Course Alarm

Higher setting in open sea and smaller setting in restricted waters.

Caution:  This alarm will not sound in case of gyro failure. Only indication in this case is a gyro failure alarm.

Solution: Frequent comparison of Gyro and Magnetic Compass.


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