The Rudder

The world's oldest depiction of a ship's rudder can be seen on a pottery model of a Chinese ship dating from the first century AD. Later on, large ships with enormous rudders were used on the Chinese voyages of discoveries to Indonesia, Australia and around Africa.

Until Europeans adopted the rudder from the Chinese, Western ships had to use steering oars, which made long voyages of discoveries difficult. The oldest European evidence for rudders is found in church carvings around the year 1180 AD.