The use of heading and track control- a quick guide

Navsregs>SOLAS>SOLAS V>Heading and Track Control
A cargo ship at sunrise off DawlishAnother SOLAS V Regulation, and another regulation on steering gear. This one covers what used to be called the  ‘Auto Pilot’, before technology gave us many variations to play with.

The importance of the steering gear in safety of navigation is reflected in the fact there are several regulations devoted to it within SOLAS V. So far this blog has covered these two-

And now, it will look at a third.

SOLAS V Regulation 24 – Use of heading and/or track control systems-a quick guide

When must it be possible to immediately establish manual control of a ship’s steering?

  • In areas of high traffic density
  • in conditions of restricted visibility
  • in all other hazardous navigational situations

 “(l) The term “restricted visibility” means any condition in which visibility is restricted by fog, mist, falling snow, heavy rainstorms, sandstorms or any other similar causes.” COLREGS Rule 3

What must the Officer of the watch have immediately available in  areas of high traffic density, in conditions of restricted visibility, and in all other hazardous navigational situations?

The services of a qualified helmsperson who shall be ready at all times to take over steering control.

How should the changeover from automatic to manual steering and vice versa shall be made?

By or under the supervision of a responsible officer.

When at sea should the manual steering be tested?

After prolonged use of heading and/or track control systems, and before entering areas where navigation demands special caution.

What International standard refers to Heading Control standards?

 A Really Handy Guide to Ship Certification Part 3 is now available on Kindle

Cover of the Really handy Guide to Ship Certification, part 3.

The third in the series of revision guides on Ship certification is now available for the Kindle Platform.  SOLAS safety certification and Security are the themes this time, with a bit of HSSC thrown in for good measures.

Click here to see on Amazon>

Click here to find out more about the Really Handy Series of Guides>

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One thought on “The use of heading and track control- a quick guide

  1. […] Regulation 24 -Use of heading and/or track control systems […]


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