Autopilot and Steering System
It is a combination of hydraulic, mechanical, and electrical system and is used to control the ship’s steering system from a remote location. In open sea, vessel is normally in auto pilot. It is advisable to change over to hand or manual control to avoid excessive hunting of the rudder. Auto-Pilot system is considered as one of the most advanced and technically sophisticated navigational equipment tools on ships. Auto-Pilot is synchronised with the Gyro Compass to steer manually input courses, with reference to the gyro heading. Auto Pilot steers the manually input course by controlling the steering gear to turn the rudder in the required manner. Furthermore, modern auto-pilot systems are capable of being synchronised with the Electronic Chart system (ECDIS) enabling to follow the courses laid out in the Voyage plan. This feature cuts out the need of manual course changes and alterations as the system will follow the courses and alterations as per the voyage plan.
and others ... : Simrad AP60, AP80; Anschutz pilotstar D, Nauto Pilot D