SOLAS Ch V - Regulations
1. Application
2. Definitions
3. Exemptions & Equivalents
4. Navigation Warnings
5. Meteorological Services & Warnings
6. Ice Patrol Services
7. Search & Rescue Services
8. Life-Saving Signals
9. Hydrographic Services
10. Ship's Routeing
11. Ship Reporting Systems
12. Vessel Traffic Services
13. Aids to Navigation
14. Ships' Manning
15. Bridge Design
16. Maintenance of Equipment
17. Electromagnetic Compatibility
18. Navigational Systems & Voyage Data Recorder
19. Shipborne Navigation Systems
20. Voyage Data Recorders
21. International Code of Signals
22. Navigation Bridge Visibility
23. Pilot Transfer Arrangements
24. Use of Heading/Track Control Systems
25. Electrical Power
26. Steering Gear
27. Charts & Nautical Publications
28. Records of Navigational Activities & Daily Reporting
29. Distress Signals
30. Operational Limitations
31. Danger Messages
32. Information Required in Danger Messages:
33. Distress Situations
34. Safe Navigation
34-1 Master's Discretion
35. Misuse of Distress Signals
Regulation Appendix
A1. Categories of Waters & Classes of Ships
A2. Table of Requirements for Ships
A3. Nautical Charts & Publications
A4. WMO Maritime Services
A5. Routeing Systems
A6. Safe Manning
A7. Equipment Manuals
A8. Performance Standards & Type Approval
A9. Performance Standards for Navigational Equipment
A10. Voyage Data Recorders
A11. Navigation Equipment - New Ships
A12. Navigation Equipment - Existing Ships
A13. Magnetic Compass
A14. Electronic Charts
A15. Radar Reflectors
A16. Radar Equipment
A17. Automatic Identification Systems
A18. Steering Gear, Heading & Track Control Systems
A19. High Speed Craft Code
A20. Inspection & Survey of Navigational Equipment
A21. Pilot Transfer Arrangements
A22. Recording of Navigational Events
A23. Passenger Ship Operational Limitations
A24. Voyage Planning
A25. Guidelines for Voyage Planning
Regulation 24 - Use of heading and/or track control systems


  • Immediate change-over from automatic to manual control in given conditions.
  • Requirement for additional helmsperson in such conditions.
  • Changeover to be supervised by officer.
  • Testing of manual steering after prolonged period in autopilot.
Regulation 24
1. In areas of high traffic density, in conditions of restricted visibility and in all other hazardous navigational situations where heading and/or track control systems are in use, it shall be possible to establish manual control of the ship's steering immediately.
2. In circumstances as above, the officer in charge of the navigational watch shall have available without delay the services of a qualified helmsperson who shall be ready at all times to take over steering control.
3. The changeover from automatic to manual steering and vice versa shall be made by or under the supervision of a responsible officer.
4. The manual steering shall be tested after prolonged use of heading and/or track control systems, and before entering areas where navigation demands special caution.
MCA Guidance
1. Reg. 24 applies to all ships which proceed to sea except for UK-flagged pleasure vessels of less than 150 gt.
2. Replaces and revises SOLAS V/74 Regulation 19.
3. Regulations 24, 25 and 26 supersede the Merchant Shipping (Automatic Pilot and Testing of Gear) Regulations 1981 (SI 1981 no. 571) and together with the Guidance Notes supersede MGN 54 Use of Automatic pilots (Heading Control Systems)

See also ANNEX 18 - Steering Gear, Heading & Track Control Systems


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