What Is the Steering Wheel of a Ship Called?

Education Images/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

The steering wheel of a ship is called the “helm.” The term “helm” is also used to indicate the area of the ship where the steering wheel is located.

On electronic helms, the wheel takes input from manual steering when a hand mode is engaged. Electronically driven ships often have automatic steering settings like auto pilot.

Old or tall ships have the helm connected to the rudder of a ship and are steered manually. The helm itself is located at the rear of the ship and the person operating the helm is called the helmsman. In commercial settings, an officer usually supervises.