|U.S.S. TEXAS - BB35|
Click on one of the colored areas shown on the following diagram to go to that space and a description of its equipment.
There were two basic ways steer the ship. One of them was to vary the power between the two engines and use the propellers to change direction. This was obviously slow and inefficient, but may have been helpful when the ship was moving too slow for the rudder to be effective. The other methods utilize a single rudder that is approximately 16 feet tall and 28 feet long. It was a balanced design, meaning that its leading edge sat well forward of the rudder post. Because of this, when the rudder was turned, water pushing against the portion ahead of the rudder post actually helped push the rudder in the desired direction. This dramatically reduced the strength of materials and power required to operate it.
There were three ways in which the rudder could be operated:
The method intended for primary use by the builder was the steam steering system. The engine is in a room adjoining the starboard main engine room and turned a shaft that lead back to and through Aft Steering to the Steering Gear Room. It was remotely controlled through a hydraulic system actuated by wheels located in the Navigation Bridge, the Armored Conning Tower and Central Station. It could also be controlled by a wheel attached directly to the engine.
The second method was preferred by the crew and most commonly used. A large electric motor located in Aft Steering could be engaged to the large drive shaft coupled to the rudder's steering gear. The motor was controlled by "electric tillers" that were multi-stage drum switches located in the Navigation Bridge, the Armored Conning Tower and Aft Steering.
The last steering method was strictly for emergency used in the event that the steam steering engine and electrical power was lost. Four large wheels ganged together were located in Aft Steering. These could be turned by a crew of sixteen men.
When looking at the following diagram, the solid green line between the steering engine and Steering Room represents the drive shaft location. The dotted line represents the hydraulic lines that connected the hydraulic telemotor to the steering engine.