Hastie Steering Gear

Here at Archive Services we hold a collection of records for John Hastie & Co. Ltd, steering gear manufacturers, on behalf of the National Archives of Scotland (collection ref. GD444).  We therefore receive enquiries from people who have acquired part of a ship’s steering gear (usually the indicator plate, which includes the name of the manufacturer and a serial number) and would like to know which ship it relates to.

John Hastie, an engineer and millwright, opened a small works in Greenock in 1845.  In 1853, he patented the first self-holding steering gear and went on to produce hand-steering gear of the right- and left-hand screw principle.  In 1870, the firm began making steam steering gear.  It took on limited liability status in 1898, becoming known as John Hastie & Co. Ltd.  From 1903 the company devoted itself to the production of steering gear, and was a pioneer in the 1910s in the field of electric hydraulic steering gear.

Serial numbers were assigned chronologically, however each number was used three times, for screw, steam and hydraulic gear. If you give us a serial number, we can use the Order Books and Drawing Registers we hold to give you the following set of information for each of the three types of gear:

  • the name of the shipbuilding company that was the customer
  • the yard number (and name, if known at that point) of the ship
  • the date that the gear was dispatched

You can order copies of the original entries from us.

From your own knowledge of your artefact, you may be able to identify which of the three ships your gear related to.  Alternatively you can commission us to do some further research to narrow it down.

To find out more, contact us here.

Categories: Archive Services, Library

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20 replies

  1. Hi there,

    I have a beautiful John Hastie steering wheel here in Vancouver Canada. How can I connect with a collector of such items so that it can find a good home?


    Dustin Anderson

  2. Dear Ladies and Gentleman,
    I have a ship wheel which is probably made by John Hastie & Co. It has the serial number: H.G. 5084/5.

    I would be very happy to get some informations about ist.

    Thanks in advance
    Jenny (Germany)

  3. Where on the wheel is the serial number?

  4. I have a John Hastie wheel and compass serial # HG8359/60 any idea when made and for which ship? thank you

  5. Dear Sir/Madam,

    We are currently working on one Hastie Hele-shaw, and the only part number we can tell is LP42. The ship is called Pacific Dawn, and the hele-shaw pump is installed on the steering gear. She was built in 1991 by the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy as Regal Princess. The ship was originally ordered by Sitmar Cruises, but delivered to Princess Cruises, and later sold to the fleet of P&O Cruises Australia

    Any information is appreciated.

    Thank you.

  6. Dear Sir

    I have a Hastie Telemotor with the following numbers marked on it. Can you help me identify which ship this is from.

    TT10/43 No90 H.G7643/4

    Any help much appreciated.

    Best regards

    David Gray

    • Hi David
      We will have a look for you and email you the results.
      We aim to answer enquiries within 20 working days.
      Best wishes
      Claire Daniel

  7. Hi Don,

    If you send us details of the serial number, manufacturer and any other information you have about the steering wheel and helm we can use the Order Books and Drawing Registers we hold to check for information on the shipping company, the yard number of the ship, and the date the gear was dispatched.

    You can find our contact details here:


    We aim to answer enquiries within 20 working days.

    Best wishes,

    Gemma Tougher

    Assistant Archivist (Cataloguing)

  8. I have a John Hastie steering wheel and helm. I would like to find out more of it’s history. Please advise what i need to do. thank you


  1. MONS CALPE | Vida Marítima

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