Marine Navigation Equipment on Modern Ships (Part 3)

Blog | May 26th, 2020

Below are the different bridge equipment and their uses which are installed on the ship to assist the deck officer for navigating the vessel safely.

Voyage Plan

A voyage Plan must be present onboard for referring past voyage plans or planning a future voyage. Among the different aids to navigation carried on a ship, a voyage plan is a tool for the deck officer to ensure the safety of the ship from a commercial and legal perspective too.  It is prepared by gathering different information such as weather, meteorological, ship’s current and future cargo data, other navigational data etc.

Forecastle Bell

It is used to mark the presence of the ship in fog or bad weather and sound the alarm in case of an emergency, along with the ship’s main horn or whistle.

Manoeuvring Booklet

The performance of the propulsion plant and the ship during manoeuvring in different weathers and situations is recorded for quick reference. The important content of the manoeuvring booklet are: ships general description, manoeuvring characteristics in deep water, stopping and speed control characteristics in deep water, manoeuvring characteristics in shallow water, and manoeuvring characteristics in windmanoeuvring characteristics at low speed

Black Ball Shape
It is a day time signalling shape used to determine the characteristics of the vessel with a different arrangement of ball shapes. For e.g. a vessel at anchor will show a black ball at the foremost end of the forecastle and a ship not under command shows two black balls in a vertical line on her highest mast.

Record of Navigation Activities
All the navigational activities which are performed by the ship’s officers and crew using different navigation equipment on the bridge must be recorded and kept on board for ready reference. This is mandatory and the most important log book.

Record of Maintenance of Navigational Equipment
The hard copy of all the ship navigation system and equipment list must be present as records onboard ships for ready reference of port and regulatory authorities and must be signed by master and duty officers of the ship.

Wheelhouse Posters
Present in the Navigation bridge, it displays detailed information of manoeuvring characteristics of the ship including turning circle, stopping and manoeuvring characteristics of the vessel.

Transmitting Heading Devise
Transmitting Heading Devise or THD is an electronic device which is used to display the information of the vessel’s true heading.  The THDs compliance information is provided in chapter V of the SOLAS Convention.

Black Diamond Shape

When the ship is being towed or when a vessel is unable to manoeuvres on itself, a black diamond shape is shown during the day time.

Ship Flags Various types of ship flags with different colours and signs are used to indicate a navigation ship’s position. Signal flags are they are commonly known, have been used since the ancient times and are still used on all vessels.

Optimized by