The procedure will differ from equipment to equipment, but the common generic points are
- Set the auto-steering controls as required for the given weather and loading conditions. Turn the auto-course setting pointer to the course to be steered.
- Steer the vessel by hand until she is dead steady on the course to be steered.
- Keep the rudder exactly amidship. Ensure this by observing the ruder indicator.
- At this instant, the ship’s course should be dead steady and swinging off the course at all.
- Turn the Auto-manual switch to Auto.
- Switch on the ‘Off-Course Alarm’ and set it as desired.
- Observe the steering to confirm that the rudder is being applied correctly when the ship goes off course.
- Compare the Gyro and Magnetic compass and record the readings.
How steering is changed/switch from auto to manual?
- A simple operation which can be done any time by putting the switch form ‘Auto’ to ‘Manual’.
- The steering must be changed from ‘Auto’ to ‘Manual’ once every watch and ship hand steered for some time before retuning to ‘Auto’.