Archive for the ‘Ship Wheels’ Category

History Of The Ship Wheel

October 25th, 2010

Wooden Ship Wheel

The ship’s wheel was predated by the use of the whip staff, which proved very insufficient. The ship’s wheel actually did not come about until very late in the development of the ship itself, until then the lackluster whip staff sufficed. The invention of the ship’s wheel is credited to the British Royal Navy, even though there has been no sufficient evidence to support this statement. It was believed to have been created by the workers in the ship docks and the artisans and not commissioned by the central government itself. The National Maritime Museum at Greenwich provides much back story on the history of the ships wheel.

The first ship wheels are thought to have been implemented around 1703, as seen in photographs of models from that period of time. However, this date is highly uncertain as there is not enough evidence short of a singular model ship that shows a fully developed wheel. Even if the ship’s wheel were invented then, it still may have taken some time for it to become commonplace in the use of ships. For instance, there is evidence that the Russel, an 80-gun ship started in 1707 was to be fitted with a whip staff. While in 1711, the 90-gun ship Ossory shows a design of a ship wheel in the proper place. While the 50-gun Gloucester of the same date used a whip staff. This evidence suggests that the ship wheel were probably truly invented closer to 1710 rather than circa 1702-03. By 1715, the ship’s wheel became the new standard for ships.

Early ship wheels were placed behind the mizzen mast, and above the tiller’s end, obstructing the helmsman’s view quite profoundly. Originally, the ship wheel was placed in front of a barrel of cylinder shape. It was to be operated by two men in heavy storm conditions, although the small amount of space caused them to get in the way of each other. Around 1740, many ships included two wheels. This allowed four men to be capable of steering if need be.

Early wheels suffered the problem of not having equal amounts of slack and tightening on both ends of the tiller rope. When the rope became hauled to one side, the angle of the center line of the ship became altered. This caused the rope to either become too tight or too slack. This flaw of design was not improved on for about 70 years until Pollard, Master Boat builder at Portsmouth Dockyard, introduced a new system. Pollard’s system was comprised of “sweeps and rowles” that were tested under Captain Bentinck in 1771. Pollard’s system was a success and became used as the standard by 1775.

The ship’s wheel is shrouded in many mysterious and discrepancies. While no one knows who invented the ship wheel at exactly what point in time, there is a general idea. It is one of the biggest steps taken in nautical navigating and helped to improve the way we view ships in the modern era.

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Types Of Whip Wheels

September 20th, 2010

Ship Wheel Types

The ship’s wheel is a great innovation that replaced the whip staff that dominated ships for many decades. The invention of the ship wheel had a rocky start, but it was still better than the whip staff. Nowadays it is impossible for one to picture a ship without the ship wheel. Also, the ship wheel is a common symbol of the nautical culture, and with good reason. It is no wonder that there exists a lot of model ship’s wheels for the nautical collector. There are many different kinds of ship’s wheels that can be used for nautical enthusiasts collection needs, and this article will examine a few.

The wooden ship wheel is made from the highest quality of woods – shisham. Shisham is a wood that is similar in appearance and quality to teak. This makes it able to weather the toughest of conditions, and ensures a long life for your wooden ship wheel. Featuring six spokes, this fifteen inch ship wheel is manufactured by plugged screw heads, and features a solid brass center. It weighs a light five pounds and makes a great addition to that empty space on your wall.

A smaller, but equality quality iteration of the ship wheel is the wooden ship wheel clock. This type of ship wheel is practical, and makes an excellent clock that exudes a nautical sense of style. This can go anywhere in your home an manage to fit in with the decor, not just in your nautical themed room. Just as the one before it, the wooden ship wheel clock is made from the hardwood shisham. The center of the ship wheel is solid brass which surrounds a working clock which is five inches in diameter. This is a great gift for the nautical lover in your life, or for anyone in general.

There are many different types of ship’s wheels in addition to the ones mentioned here. The ship wheel is a great innovation that went through a few phases to reach the modern day ones that you see now. However, in the beginning the ship’s wheel was a bit different. For instance, originally ship’s wheels were very problematic and even led to many fatal accidents. The earliest ship wheels sat behind the mizzen mast and tended to get in the way of the helmsman’s line of sight. Not a good indication of a quality design. Also, when under brutal conditions, the ships wheel could be operated by two men, but they didn’t have enough room to maneuver properly. Not until several years later were two wheels included to allow for even more men to help steer should the need arise.

What’s more, the early types of ship wheels were plagued by unequal ends of the tiller rope. This made it so when the rope were hauled to one side, the center line of the ship would become distorted. This problem was attempted to be remedied with objects to hold it in place, but nothing was effective. The rope would become either too tight or too slack. These early wheels caused many fatalities and accidents. It wasn’t until Pollard came about with a new innovation that changed the way the ship wheel functioned.

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Wooden Ship Wheels

August 23rd, 2010
Ship Wheel Clock 24"

Ship Wheel Clock 24"

You can satisfy all your wooden ship wheel needs at with our beautifully handcrafted authentic wooden ship wheel replicas! Wooden ship wheels symbolize the important history of nautical navigation, and are a mainstay in nautical culture. The importance of the wooden ship wheel remains just as vital as it did since its invention. Our wooden ship wheels are authenticat replicas made from the finest quality woods, such as Shisham. While the quality of our wooden ship wheels is very high, the prices are not. Wooden ship wheels can be afforded on any budget, and will be welcome additions to your nautical decor room.


The ship wheel dates back to the beginning of when man learned to navigate the open seas. It is a crucial invention that, quite literally, steered the advancement of the nautical culture, and the world as well. The importance of the ship wheel is the reason why it is a popular nautical decor item.


The importance of the ship wheel is in the power that it belies. When behind the helm of a ship, you feel the power of the ocean surging through the ship wheel. Those who have felt this know how intoxicating it can be to have the entire ocean as their personal playground. Ship wheels are a critical part of navigating the open seas, as well as an important aspect of symbolizing the nautical culture. Wooden ship wheels are a a symbol of the nautical enthusiast culture. There are many different kinds of designs for wooden ship wheels. One such interpretation of the ship wheel is the wooden ship wheel clock. These make excellent wall decor items in any one’s nautically themed room. Furthermore, wooden ship wheels signify a model ship collector’s love for the seafaring culture.

Authentic Replicas

Here at Handcrafted Model Ships, customers will be delighted to find the best authentic replicas on the market. Each nautical decor item is crafted to be as close in resemblance to the real thing as possible. This is due to our fine craftsmanship that we employ to give you, the customer, the satisfaction you demand from your wooden ship wheels. Finding an authentic replica on other model ship sites is next to impossible, and will set you back a far greater amount than the identical replicas sold here.


Our wooden ship wheels are always quality made, and you should expect no less from your nautical decor provider. For instance, the Hampton Nautical sixty inch Wooden Ship’s Wheel is composed of Shisham, a rare and high quality wood. This wooden ship’s wheel measures sixty inches in length, sixty inches in width, and three inches in height. It features eight spokes that are assembled together with plugged screw heads. In the center of its brass hub lies a one inch in diameter hole. In total, the ship’s wheel weighs twelve pounds. This gives the wheel a very authentic feel.

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