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Wood and Brass Ship Wheel 24"
The Hampton Nautical Wooden Ship's Wheel is by far the highest quality ship wheels available. Made from rare, high quality Shisham wood imported from India, a hardwood similar to teak that is highly regarded for its ability to resist foul weather and the elements. The ship wheel has six spokes, each skillfully turned and assembled with plugged screw heads. The solid brass center hubs have a standard one-inch diameter hole and machined keyways.
The overall dimensions (including the spokes) of this ship wheel is 24” Long x 24” High with the interior diameter of the ship wheel (excluding the spokes) is 13" Long x 13" High.
- Handcrafted from solid Shisham wood with a solid brass center
- Weather resistant - indoor and outdoor use
- Heavy, sturdy and durable
By the early 1800s the antique ship wheel had become standard aboard ships of all sizes, though the tiller was still often used on small ships as placement for a large ship’s wheel was difficult and, with a smaller ship’s size creating much less force on the rudder, unnecessary. On extremely large ships, however, multiple wheels were often attached to the barrel, especially on ships of war, where rapid direction changes were necessary. Likewise, aboard pirate ships, the pirate ship wheel often had multiple barrels and rims. These multiple wheels allowed teams of sailors to quickly move the rudder, though the massive amount of manpower needed could be problematic. Aside from the physical issues with the antique ship wheel, another problem arose with the intuitive positioning of the rudder. With tillers it is visually possible to determine what angle the rudder is at, with the rope systems of the wooden ship steering wheel however, it was difficult to ascertain the rudder after a several turns. In 1747 the first helm indicators were created, positioned directly above the wheel and linked to the tiller by secondary ropes that moved a pointer over a scale to show the degree of the rudder. By the 1830s these helm indicators had become more sophisticated, as had the wheel system. With the explosion of mechanical knowhow during the Industrial Revolution, the steering system of the antique ship wheel became mechanized. Instead of ropes and pulleys, cogs and gears were now used to manipulate the rudder. In 1863 the British Royal Navy began testing the potential of steam power aboard ships, with a manual wheel operated by 78 men pitted against a steam powered wheel, with one man, to accomplish the same task. Three years later the first steam powered mechanical amplifier was attached to a wheel aboard ship, revolutionizing steering in a way not again encountered until almost a hundred years later.