A new resolution on energy-efficiency regulation of ships was adopted at the 65th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO),...
These procedures are written primarily from the perspective of the military navigator, with some notes included where civilian procedures might differ. This set of procedures is designed to minimize the chance of error and maximize safety of the ship.
The military navigation team will nearly always consist of several more people than are available to the civilian navigator. Therefore, the civilian navigator must streamline these procedures, eliminating certain steps, doing only what is essential to keep his ship in safe water.
The navigation of civilian vessels will therefore proceed differently than for military vessels. For example, while the military navigator might have bearing takers stationed at the gyro repeaters on the bridge wings for taking simultaneous bearings, the civilian navigator must often take and plot them himself. While the military navigator will have a bearing book and someone to record entries for each fix, the civilian navigator will simply plot the bearings on the chart as they are taken and not record them at all.
If the ship is equipped with an ECDIS, it is reasonable for the navigator to simply monitor the progress of the ship along the chosen track, visually ensuring that the ship is proceeding as desired, checking the compass, sounder and other indicators only occasionally. If a pilot is aboard, as is often the case in the most restricted of waters, his judgement can generally be relied upon explicitly, further easing the workload. But should the ECDIS fail, the navigator will have to rely on his skill in the manual and time-tested procedures.
While an ECDIS is the legal equivalent of a paper chart and can be used as the primary plot, an ECS, (non-ECDIS compliant electronic chart system) cannot be so used. An ECS may be considered as an additional resource used to ensure safe navigation, but cannot be relied upon for performing all the routine tasks associated with piloting. The individual navigator, with knowledge of his vessel, his crew, and the capabilities they possess, must make a professional judgement as to how the ECS can support his efforts to keep his ship in safe water. The navigator should always remember that reliance on any single navigation system courts disaster. An ECS does not relieve the navigator of maintaining a proper and legal plot on a paper chart.