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the handling quality that characterizes a vessel’s ability to follow a given course. Maneuverability includes both dynamic stability of route—the ability of a vessel to follow a straight course—and turning ability—the ability to change course under the action of steering elements (usually a rudder but sometimes a rotatable nozzle on a screw propeller or a rotating-blade propeller). When a rudder is laid to an angle, a lateral force is developed that turns the vessel and shifts it laterally; the vessel moves along a path having a curvature that characterizes the vessel’s turning ability. Maneuverability depends on the shape and dimensions of the ship’s rudder and the shape of the wetted area of the vessel’s hull. Ships are sometimes fitted with an auxiliary steering device or active rudder (one equipped with a screw propeller) in order to improve maneuverability at reduced speeds.