Steering Levers (Sometimes referred to as 'Jog' Levers) are a significant accessory used by many to add functionality to their Autopilot system. Allowing the user to completely control the vessel from a remote location, often on a fly-bridge or other interior or exterior location.
Steering levers can be divided into two main categories, 'Follow-up' and 'Non Follow-up'.
In this mode, the rudder 'Follows' the physical position of the lever. If the lever is put 10° to Starboard, the rudder will follow to 10° to Starboard and remain there as long as wheel is kept to 10° to Starbaord. To bring the rudder to ‘Midship’, the lever must be brought to ‘Midship’.
An NFU lever does not have any markings. As long as it is kept pressed, the rudder will continue turning and stop the moment the lever is released. In tghis method the NFU lever in essence sends rudder setting directly to the Control Unit. To return the rudder to the midship, the NFU lever will have to be pressed to the opposite side of the initial movement and kept pressed till the rudder is amidship. These are often used in conjunction with a 'rudder angle indicator'.