What are requirements of Auxiliary Steering Gear on Ships as per SOLAS ?

The auxiliary steering gear shall

  1. Be of strength capable of being brought speedily into action in an emergency.
  2. Be capable of putting the rudder over from 15 degrees on one side to 15 degrees on the other side in not more than 60 seconds with the ship at its deepest seagoing draught and running ahead a one half of the maximum ahead service speed or 7 knots, whichever is more, and
  3. Be operated by power, if necessary to meet the requirements of clause (b) and in any case when the diameter of the rudder stock in way of the tiller is required to be greater than 230 millimeters excluding additional strengthening for navigation in ice.

 An auxiliary steering gear need not be provided in a ship if 

  1. Two or more identical steering gear power units are fitted which when operating simultaneously are capable of operating the rudder in accordance with the requirements of steering gear ,  
  2. The main steering gear is so arranged that after a single failure in its piping system or in one of the power units the defect can be isolated so that steering capability can be maintained or speedily regained.

You may also know:

Every main and auxiliary steering gear control system shall,-

  1. If electric, be served by its own separate circuit supplied from a steering gear compartment or directly from switchboard bus bars supplying that steering gear power circuit at a point on the switchboard adjacent to the supply to the steering gear power circuit ;
  2. Be provided in the steering gear compartment with means for disconnecting the control system from the steering gear it services ;
  3. Be capable of being brought into operation from a position on the navigating bridge ;
  4. Be provided with an audible and visual alarm on the navigating bridge that will operate in the event of a failure of the electric power supply to the control system, and
  5. Be provided only with short circuit protection for the electric supply circuits.


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