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Helmsman and helmsman of the car ferry on Lake Koman in Albania

As helmsman (also: helmsman ) one sailor is referred to, in accordance with the instructions of the helmsman , the nautical officer or the captain or skipper and the pilot a ship with the rudder controls.

In the Navy, the best helmsman is called a "combat helmsman". This term has also found its way into merchant shipping. This helmsman is used when very precise steering is required, for example in the area or when maneuvering in port or berthing .

In the recreational boating no special training is required for the helmsman. The skipper must have the driver's license for the corresponding boat category, but unlike in road traffic, he does not have to operate the rudder himself at any time, but can leave this to any capable crew member, provided that they have reached the age of 16. Ultimately, however, he is responsible for the helmsman's actions. The helmsman's workplace is the steering position .


  • Ernst Wagner: Deck work - A manual for seafarers. Verlag Hammerich & Lesser GmbH, Hamburg, 6th edition 1959, p. 198 and series.
  • Hans Pieper, Günther Rathenow: The sailor abc - A textbook for ship boy students at seaman schools . Verlagsanstalt Courier GmbH, Stuttgart, 4th edition 1969
  • Meyer's Encyclopedic Lexicon: helmsman (helmsman). Lexikonverlag Bibliographisches Institut, Mannheim - Vienna - Zurich, Volume 20, 1977, p. 427.

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Wiktionary: helmsman  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations