Pilots Professional Development

Course Duration - 20 Hours

Course Aim - This course is primarily for experienced pilots who wish to further their knowledge of shiphandling techniques or who may wish to investigate or experiment with different scenarios and as such will be tailored to suit the individual. This may include working with twin screw vessels of either inward or outward turning propellers  or different utilisations of tugs including escort towage in direct or indirect mode.

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

Prerequisites - Whilst there are no prerequisites the course is designed for experienced pilots who wish to further their knowledge of shiphandling


Course Timetable

Day prior to course                      Arrive Hotel

Day One

                             0815-0830     Taxi to Lake

                             0830-0915     Registration and Introduction

                             0915-1030     Familiarisation with Manned Models

                             1030-1130     Lecture – “Revision of Principles”

                             1130-1300     Manned Model Exercises

                             1300-1345     Lunch

                             1345-1430     Lecture – “The Effect of Wind”

                             1430-1715     Manned Model Exercises

                             1715-1730     Taxi to hotel

Day Two

                             0815-0830     Taxi to Lake

                             0830-1000     Lecture – “As per customers requirements”

                             1000-1300     Manned Model Exercises

                             1300-1345     Lunch

                             1345-1430     Lecture “As per customers requirements”

1430-1715          Manned Model Exercises

Day Three

                             0815-0830     Taxi to Lake

 0830-1245     Manned model exercises

 1245-1300     Course debrief

                             1300              End of Course

Course Objectives

By the end of the course the following practical aspects of shiphandling will have been addressed :

       Pivot Point

       Effect of Propeller and Rudder

       Transverse Thrust

       Principles of berthing


       Manoeuvring in channels and confined areas

       The effect of wind

       Squat and interaction

Further Objectives

Further objectives can be introduced if appropriate to the sphere of operations of the course participants, within the limits of the time available.

These may include :-

       Bow thruster operations

       Twin Screw Vessel manoeuvring

       The use of tugs, including tug exercises

       Approaching and leaving a Single Buoy Mooring (SBM)

       Lightening / Lightering Operations (STS) underway, moored or at  anchor

       Approaching and leaving a Floating Storage Unit (FSU)


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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Standard Course

Advanced Course

Twin Screw

Pilots Combined Course

Pilots Emergency Procedures

Shiphandling Appreciation

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