rudder and tiller

A rudder on a boat is a flat piece of wood or other material attached to the boat’s stern (back end). It is positioned vertically in the water and is moved to the left or right in order to steer the boat through the water.

A tiller is used instead of a steering wheel on small boats; the tiller is a stick or pole attached directly to the top of the rudder so that the helmsman can turn the rudder easily.

So, the tiller is the stick that controls the rudder.

2 thoughts on “rudder and tiller”

  1. So -Titanic’s order, ‘hard-a-starboard’ WAS correct. c.1912

    Up until 1933, orders were determined by the Tiller.
    Hard-a-starboard turns ships to the LEFT.

    AFTER 1933, orders were determined by the Rudder.
    Hard-a starboard turns ship to the RIGHT.

    Pre 1933 direction order you follow the Bottom of the wheel.
    Post 1933 direction order you follow the Top of the wheel.

  2. Yes, I think that’s right. That first order turned the bow of the ship left and away from the iceberg. The second order, ‘Hard-a-port’ was to prevent the stern from slamming into it. Had the iceberg been seen just a little earlier, these orders would have taken the Titanic safely around the hazard. Unfortunately, it was too late, and the iceberg scraped along her starboard side.

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