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Steering Appliances and Equipment Regulations (SOR/83-810)

Regulations are current to 2020-10-05 and last amended on 2007-07-01. Previous Versions

Steering Appliances and Equipment Regulations




Registration 1983-10-13

Regulations Respecting Steering Appliances and Equipment

P.C. 1983-3208 1983-10-13

His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Transport, pursuant to section 448 of the Canada Shipping Act, is pleased hereby to revoke the Steering Wheels, Indicators and Telltales Regulations, C.R.C., c. 1493, and, pursuant to sections 400, 448, 635 and 730Footnote * of the Canada Shipping Act and section 12 of the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act, to make the annexed Regulations respecting steering appliances and equipment.

Short Title

 These Regulations may be cited as the Steering Appliances and Equipment Regulations.


  •  (1) These Regulations apply to

    • (a) every self-propelled ship that is

    • (b) every self-propelled Canadian ship that is in any waters.

  • (2) For the purpose of these Regulations, a composite unit consisting of a rigidly connected unit of a pushing ship and associated pushed ship that is designed as a dedicated and integrated ship and barge combination shall be regarded as a single ship.

  • SOR/86-1027, s. 1
  • SOR/2002-426, s. 1


 No ship of any class shall navigate in an area of arctic waters prescribed as a shipping safety control zone in the Shipping Safety Control Zones Order unless it complies with these Regulations.

  • SOR/2002-426, s. 2
  • SOR/2003-86, s. 1

Steering Wheels

 The steering wheel of a ship shall be arranged so that it will move to starboard to turn the head of the ship to starboard and to port to turn the head of the ship to port.

Helm Indicators and Tell-tales

 Where helm indicators or tell-tales are fitted on a ship, they shall be arranged so as to show the direction and amount of helm applied and the corresponding movement of the rudder.

Tankers and Chemical and Gas Carriers

 Every tanker, chemical carrier or gas carrier of 10,000 tons or more shall be fitted with

  • (a) an indicator that shows the exact angular position of the rudder independently of the remote steering gear control system;

  • (b) alarms that sound in the event of the failure of any steering power unit;

  • (c) steering gear power units that can be brought into operation automatically or manually from the navigating bridge; and

  • (d) a means of communication between the navigating bridge and the steering gear compartment that is suitable for use in the normal ambient noise conditions and capable of being operated independently of the ship’s main power supply.


 A ship fitted with a remote steering control mechanism or a steering gear power unit shall have permanently displayed on the navigating bridge and in the steering gear compartment of the ship simple operating instructions and a block diagram showing the change-over procedures for that mechanism or unit.

Use of the Automatic Pilot

 Where the automatic pilot of a ship is used, in an area of high traffic density, under conditions of restricted visibility or in any other hazardous navigational situation, means shall be provided to enable the immediate change-over from automatic to manual steering.

 In any situation described in section 7, the person in charge of the deck watch shall ensure that the services of a qualified helmsman are available at all times to take over steering control.

 The change-over from automatic to manual steering of a ship and vice versa shall be made by or under the supervision of a person qualified to be in charge of a deck watch.

 The manual steering of a ship shall be tested

  • (a) at least once a day after continuous use of the automatic pilot; and

  • (b) before the ship enters any area where navigation demands special caution.

Operation of Steering Gear

 Where a ship is equipped with two or more steering gear power units that are capable of simultaneous operation, the ship shall have at least two of those units in operation in areas where navigation demands special caution.

Steering Gear — Testing and Drills

 Subject to section 13, within 12 hours before the departure of a ship, the steering gear of that ship shall be checked and tested and such checks and tests shall include

  • (a) the operation of

    • (i) the main steering gear,

    • (ii) the auxiliary steering gear, except where such gear includes tackle,

    • (iii) the remote steering gear control systems,

    • (iv) the steering controls located at different positions on the navigating bridge,

    • (v) the emergency power supply,

    • (vi) the rudder angle indicators in relation to the actual position of the rudder,

    • (vii) the remote steering gear control system power failure alarms,

    • (viii) the steering gear power unit failure alarms, and

    • (ix) automatic isolating arrangements and other automatic equipment required for the steering gears;

  • (b) the full movement of the rudder according to the required capabilities of the steering gear;

  • (c) a visual inspection of the steering gear and its connecting linkage; and

  • (d) the operation of the means of communication between the navigating bridge and steering gear compartment.

 For a ship that regularly plies on voyages of less than one week, the checks and tests referred to in section 12 shall be carried out at least once every week.

 All ship’s officers concerned with the operation and maintenance of the steering gear shall be familiar with the operation of the steering systems fitted on the ship and with the procedures for changing from one system to another.

 In addition to the checks and tests referred to in section 12, emergency steering drills that do not include the use of tackle shall be carried out at least once every three months in order to practise emergency steering procedures and shall include direct control from within the steering gear compartment, the communications procedure with the navigating bridge and, where applicable, the operation of alternative power supplies.

 The date on which the checks and tests referred to in section 12 are carried out and the date and details of emergency steering drills carried out pursuant to section 15 shall be recorded in the log book.

Responsibility of Owners and Masters

  •  (1) The owner of every ship to which sections 3 to 7 apply shall ensure that those sections are complied with.

  • (2) The master of every ship to which sections 9 to 16 apply shall ensure that those sections are complied with.


  •  (1) Where, in respect of a ship to which the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea signed at London, England on the first day of November, 1974 applies, the owner of the ship or his authorized representative requests authority to substitute equipment or a method, measure or standard that does not meet the requirements of these Regulations and sets out the reasons therefor and the details of the substitution, the Chairman may, if he considers the equipment, method, measure or standard, as the case may be, at least equivalent to that required by compliance with these Regulations, authorize such substitution.

  • (2) Where an owner or a representative referred to in subsection (1) is authorized to make a substitution pursuant to that subsection, the owner or representative shall be deemed in respect of that substitution to have complied with the provision of these Regulations to which the substitution refers.

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