Advanced Shiphandling Course

Course Duration - 36 Hours

Course Aim - To enable Pilots, Masters and Officers to further enhance their knowledge and skills of ship handling techniques with particular reference to situations encountered in their sphere of operations.

This aim will be achieved through a concentrated period of practical exercises in the Manned Model, supported by a series of lectures.

Course Timetable

Sunday                                        Arrive Hotel


                             0815-0830     Taxi to Lake

                             0830-0930     Registration and Introduction. Discussion of

                                                 course content

                             0930-1130     Familiarisation with Manned Models

                             1130-1300     Workshop - “Revision of Principles”

                              1300-1345    Lunch

                             1345-1715     Manned Model Exercises

                             1715             Taxi to Hotel



                             0815-0830     Taxi to Lake

                             0830-0915     Define Course Objectives

                             0945-1300     Manned Model Exercises

                             1300-1345     Lunch

                             1345-1430     Workshop

                             1430-1715     Manned Model Exercises

                             1715-1730     Taxi to Hotel


                             0815-0830     Taxi to Lake

                             0830-0915     Workshop

                             0915-1300     Manned Model Exercises

                             1300-1345     Lunch

                             1345-1430     Workshop

                             1430-1715     Manned Model Exercises

                             1715-1730     Taxi to Hotel


                             0815-0830     Taxi to Lake

                             0830-0915     Workshop

                             0915-1300     Manned Model Exercises

                             1300-1345     Lunch

                             1345-1430     Workshop

                             1430-1715     Manned Model Exercises

                             1715-1730     Taxi to Hotel


                             0815-0830     Taxi to Lake

                             0830-1200     Manned Model Exercises

                             1200-1215     Course debrief

                             1215             End of Course. Taxi as required.


Course Objectives

Course objectives will depend upon the aspirations of the individual Pilots. They will be determined by careful consultation prior to, at the commencement of and during the course.


Workshop Sessions

Various sessions are timetabled in to the schedule. Consultation with the Pilots and consideration of relevant and appropriate shiphandling objectives will assist in determining their subject content.

The workshops may include, but not limited to, subjects taken from the following list, which in itself is not exhaustive. Indeed subsequent workshops and exercises may address a combination of subjects, for example, complex berthing operations in conditions of current.

  • Revision of principles

  • Local scenario berthing/unberthing operations

  • Turning

  • Channel work

  • Current

  • Wind

  • Thrusters

  • Tug Use Berthing

  • Tug Use Escort

  • Anchor work

  • Interaction

  • Rudders and propulsion systems

  • Twin screw

  • SBM Operations

  • CBM Operations

  • STS Operations

  • FSU Operations

Course Outline

Manned Models are a form of simulation and, as such, are subject to some limitations and differences compared with a real ship, which have to be taken into consideration :-

  • Time - Due to the scaling factor, ship handling manoeuvres are carried out in a shorter timescale than the real ship (or a real time ship simulator). This permits each participant on the course to conduct a large number of individual berthing and channel manoeuvres, including re-runs when difficulty has been experienced. It also means that an individual has to think very quickly and thus the concentration and observation that is important to the ship handler is emphasised.

  • Speed - The scale of the model also means that speed is low in real terms. The scaling factor is the square root of the scale. Therefore on a 1:25 scale model the scaling factor is 5, so if one is doing 1 knot in the model, this equates to 5 knots on the real ship. Therefore, if approaching the berth with 0.5 mile to run making good 1.5 knots, this will equate to 7.5 knots on the real ship, much too fast !In fact an approach speed at this type of distance needs to be down to 0.1 - 0.2 knots equating to 0.5 - 1.0 knot on the real ship. It is therefore quite normal for course participants to experience problems on the first day in adjusting to this low scale speed. These problems, however, are overcome relatively quickly as excessive approach speeds are very obvious and the results are often spectacular !

  • Distance - The need to estimate distance is a fundamental factor in establishing correct approach speed, and can be aided by using "ships lengths" as a yardstick. At the pre exercise brief, the candidate will be given a chart of the lake with the course and an indication of distance to run marked up.

  • Wind - The wind cannot be scaled, but the lake has been laid out to give optimum berth and channel protection from various wind directions. Even in gale conditions areas of calm can be found behind screens of trees and hedging, where useful exercises can be conducted. The effect of wind on a ship is an integral objective of a shiphandling course and it is not advantageous to work exclusively in calm conditions. Every effort is made however, to start with basic manoeuvres in sheltered waters. As individual participants progress they will be subjected to stronger winds to concentrate on specific objectives in this subject area. Instructors will endeavour to conduct shiphandling operations in the most appropriate scaled wind conditions for a particular objective.

  • Briefings / Debriefings - All participants will be fully briefed by their instructor before each exercise commences to enable them to formulate an exercise plan. Once an exercise is underway the instructor remains on the jetty (or in an accompanying launch) and does not intercede unless absolutely necessary. This is to avoid breaking the concentration required during the exercise and allows participants to learn, if necessary, by observing the results of his actions. When the exercise is completed, a comprehensive debriefing is conducted on the quayside to discuss the results. Such debriefs are considered to be a most important part of the course.

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