The paper presents design analyses of ship steering gear control systems. Emphasis is placed on compressibility, leakage, friction, hydrodynamic damping, limiter and relay aspects of systems design. Computer simulation results are presented to assess the effect of design parameters on system performance for two different steering system/ship configurations. A design example is presented to show the main steps for designing a steering gear control system using single-loop bang-bang control with a variable capacity pump. The performance of the system is shown to be good.