Twin Screw Vessel Shiphandling Course

Course Duration - 20 Hours

Course Aim - To enable Pilots, Masters and Officers to develop their skills and understanding of the behaviour and handling of twin screw vessels.

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

Course Timetable

Day One

                             0815             Taxi to Lake

                             0830-0915     Registration and Introduction

                             0915-1045     Familiarisation with Manned Models

                             1045-1130     Lecture – “Control”

                             1130-1300     Manned Model Exercises

                              1300-1345     Lunch

                             1345-1445     Manned Model Exercises

                             1445-1515     Lecture – “Thrusters”

                             1515-1715     Manned Model Exercises

                             1715             Taxi to Hotel


Day Two

                             0815             Taxi to Lake

                             0830-0945     Lecture – “Turning”

                             0945-1300     Manned Model Exercises

                             1300-1345     Lunch

                             1345-1415     Lecture “Effect of Wind”

                             1415-1715     Manned Model Exercises

                             1715             Taxi to Hotel

Day Three

                             0815             Taxi to Lake

                             0830-0915     Optional (Lecture – “Anchorwork/Interaction”)

                             0915-1215     Manned Model Exercises

                             1215-1230     Course Debrief

                             1230             End of Course. Taxi as required.

Course Objectives

By the end of the course the following practical aspects of Twin Screw Vessel handling will have been addressed.

a) Twin screw vessel control

(i)     Transit of buoyed channels

(ii)   Controlling speed

(iii) Reducing speed under control to maintain the correct line of approach to a berth

b) Turning Manoeuvres

(i)     Turning onto leading marks

(ii)   Turning into a buoyed channel

(iii) Negotiating critical turns in a buoyed channel

(iv)  Turning short round

(v)    The effect of shallow water on a turn

c) Berthing and Unberthing Manoeuvres

(i)     Selected berthing manoeuvres to facilitate individual developments throughout the course

(ii)   Entering an enclosed dock or lock

d) The Effect of Wind upon Shiphandling

(i)     The natural lay when stopped

(ii)   The effect of wind when moving ahead

(iii) The effect of wind when making sternway

(iv)  Berthing and unberthing in a variety of wind conditions

(v)    The use of tugs.

e) Bow Thruster Operations

(i)     Thruster design and effectiveness

(ii)   The effect of headway and sternway upon thruster efficiency

(iii) The development of lateral motion.

(iv)  Stern boarding and berthing stern to.

(v)    Turning and swinging

Optional Objectives

The optional objectives are available to meet the many demands of individual participants and the course will be adjusted accordingly.                                                               

These optional objectives may include the following:=

a) Anchorwork

(i)  Shiphandling limitations due to inadequate windless design

(ii) The safety parameters that must be maintained to     enable the effective use of anchors

(iii)Dredging two anchors to aid berthing

(iv) Dredging one anchor to aid berthing or swinging

(v)  Laying an anchor to aid berthing and departure

b) Interaction

(i)   Passing in a canal

(ii) Overtaking in a canal

(iii) The effect of close proximity of banks and shallows

(iv) The effect of shallow water and banks during berthing


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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