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View Full Version : Starboard Steering/Helm


wakeX2wake
10-20-2008, 02:28 PM
ok i know this is odd but i can't seem to conjure up a good answer to my own question so i thought i'd ask you... why are most boat's steering or helm on the starboard side of the boat? i can make up a couple of BS reasons but i haven't found anything overly reasonable... this is the closest explanation i've found that i might by but still... why opposite of American and most European cars?

the origin of term comes from old boating practices. Before boats had rudders on their centerline, boats were steered by use of a specialized oar. This oar was held by a sailor located towards the stern (back) of the boat. However, like most of the rest of society, there were many more right-handed sailors than left-handed sailors. This meant that the right-handed sailors holding the steering oar (which had been broadened to provide better control) used to stand on the right side of the boat. The word starboard is a corruption of steering board, which in turn came from the old Norse language word st�ri, in the language of the vikings.

Similarly, the term for the left side of the boat, port, is derived from the practice of sailors mooring on the left side (i.e., the Portboard side) as to prevent the steering boards from being crushed. Because the words portboard and starboard sounded too similar to be distingued under windy sailing conditions, portboard was shortened to port.

The starboad side of most naval vessels the world over is designated the 'senior' side. The officers' gangway or sea ladder is shipped on this side and this side of the quarterdeck is reserved for the captain. The flag or pennant of the ship's captain or senior officer in command is generally hoist on the starboard yard.

anyone else have a good explanation?

Chicago190
10-20-2008, 02:41 PM
I think its because you need your right hand to drink beer and your left to steer. Its just weird drinking beer with your left hand.

TMCNo1
10-20-2008, 03:01 PM
This Amazon Answer may shed some light, http://askville.amazon.com/boats-steering-wheels-starboard-side/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=2412030

Covi
10-20-2008, 08:01 PM
This Amazon Answer may shed some light, http://askville.amazon.com/boats-steering-wheels-starboard-side/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=2412030

As far as I'm concerned that's over! What's next please?

TMCNo1
10-20-2008, 08:15 PM
As far as I'm concerned that's over! What's next please?

Complete this sentence: Getting a colonoscopy is... (http://askville.amazon.com/Complete-sentence-colonoscopy/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=1764275)

bigmac
10-20-2008, 09:00 PM
Complete this sentence: Getting a colonoscopy is...

...putting my kids through college.

TMCNo1
10-20-2008, 09:48 PM
...putting my kids through college.

That's Funny!http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/4/4_17_209.gif (http://www.smileycentral.com/?partner=_undefined)

sprink
10-20-2008, 11:30 PM
I have noticed most jet boats and flat bottom vdrives are port side drive, but those all use pedals to control the throttle. I say it has to do with the throttle being right hand controlled is more comfortable... who knows.