The Complete Guide to ECDIS_2016


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The complete guide to








5 Introduction


6 Shipowners need to ensure their onboard ecdis are updated to IHO’s latest

standards and officers are retrained ready for the September 2017 deadline

7 Timetable for ecdis carriage requirements on existing ships; Electronic

navigational charts explained

Regulations and standards

8 Ecdis manufacturers are working with class societies to type approve updated

systems to the new IHO and IEC standards

E-navigation opinion

10 A new forum seeks to give mariners a proper say in the design and

development of bridge equipment

11 IMO progresses with display harmonisation

Operator feedback

12 Intertanko calls for ecdis to be made less complex for navigators 13 Norbulk Shipping deploys ecdis on tankers it technically manages 14 Carisbrooke Shipping reaps the time and money benefits from ecdis 15 Teekay deploys paperless navigation on shuttle tankers


16 Seafarers should not rely wholly on technology to minimise the risk of ship

groundings and collisions


Disclaimer: Although every effort has been made to ensure that the information

in this publication is correct, the Author and Publisher accept no liability to any party for any inaccuracies that may occur. Any third party material included with the publication is supplied in good faith and the Publisher accepts no liability in respect of content. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, reprinted or stored in any electronic medium or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written permission of the copyright owner.

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Published April 2016

Editor: Martyn Wingrove

t: +44 20 8370 1736


Consultant Editor, Navigation: Alan Welcome

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The complete guide to

Cyber security

19 Ecdis Ltd trials Abatis anti-malware software on its ecdis simulators


20 data highlights the challenge of deploying ecdis across

the global dry bulk and container ship fleet


23 Transas was one of the first to gain approval for its updated ecdis 24 Triple ecdis for paperless navigation; benefits of updating systems 25 Part of an integrated bridge system

26 Planning ahead for future developments 28 Ecdis designed to prevent collisions 29 The latest models and user interfaces

Voyage planning

30 Passage planning should include weather routeing 31 Pay-as-you-sail ENC services are cost efficient


32 Online applications are coming for route planning


34 Type-specific training will be mandatory under STCW

35 Training providers should be an integral part of ecdis implementation 36 E-learning opens training to seafarers on ships

38 Transas adds Get-Net partnership to its Academy 39 Kongsberg unveils distance learning service

Ship positioning

40 New technologies offer greater resilience, accuracy, integrity and availability

to ship positioning, and redundancy to GNSS services


We strive to supply

Safety Through Education


well-educated navigators with in-depth knowledge about

the equipment onboard is an indispensable factor to ensure

safety at sea. We have arranged various training courses

that combine both theoretical and practical trainings on

navigation and communication equipment.

At the end of the day, it is our vested interest, for we would

like to contribute to the global maritime safety. It matters

to us all.

It matters to us

Visit us at



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Martyn Wingrove, Editor


elcome to this year’s edition of Marine Electronics &

Communication’s The Complete Guide to Ecdis, which outlines the latest trends,

challenges and solutions in digital navigation. Shipping is in the middle of phasing in IMO’s ecdis mandatory carriage requirements. The majority of passenger ships have been using ecdis and electronic navigational charts (ENCs) for several years, and tanker operators have been installing systems over the past few years. Now is the turn of dry cargo ships.

From 1 July this year, container ships and bulk carriers of more than 50,000gt will have to start carrying and using ecdis and ENCs. Owners have until the first survey of the ship after 1 July to install ecdis. For dry cargo ships between 20,000gt and 50,000gt, there is another year. Owners of ships between 10,000gt and 20,000gt have until the first survey after 1 July 2018. As can be seen from VesselsValue data (see page 20), there is a sizable fleet of dry cargo ships (more than 3,500 over 50,00gt and 8,000 between 20,00gt and 50,000gt), many of which do not have ecdis on board. Owners also need to consider that all ships need to have back-up arrangements for navigation should the main ecdis be compromised. Thus, it is a substantial challenge for the manufacturers to supply this amount of equipment, especially retrofit systems.

It is not just about installing ecdis though. There are also the training requirements of the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW). Seafarers need to be trained specifically in the systems on board the ships they work on. From the start of next year this will be a mandatory requirement under STCW regardless of flag (see page 34). There are a number of methods of meeting the training requirement.

Many seafarers receive generic and

type-specific ecdis training in academies and on simulators. But an increasingly popular method is using e-learning solutions to provide familiarisation training.

However, shipowners should not just install ecdis to comply with IMO regulations. There are clear benefits with implementing paperless navigation as ship operators discuss in this publication. Representatives from Norbulk Shipping, Teekay Offshore Partners and Carisbrooke Shipping explain the navigational safety and time-saving benefits of ecdis. Johan Gahnström, a senior marine manager with tanker operator association Intertanko offers his view on some of the issues and challenges with ecdis (see page 12).

One of the challenges for shipowners that have already invested in ecdis is keeping their systems and portfolios of ENCs updated. This has been made harder by the introduction of new standards from the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), which include a new edition of the presentation library for ecdis and other software changes.

When we started writing this year’s

Complete Guide to Ecdis, manufacturers

were busy updating their system software and working with classification societies to get them type approved. Shipowners had the daunting task of having to update their ecdis units with the latest software to be compliant for when IHO’s new standards came into force, which was 1 September this year.

They now have more time after the IMO extended the transition period for software updates to existing ecdis units for one year to 31 August 2017. This gives shipowners the opportunity to not only update ecdis, but to introduce new electronic navigation features, for paperless voyage planning and navigation. Now is the time to invest in ecdis to reap the operational benefits. ECDIS

Shipping is addressing

the challenges of ecdis




Series X - Multi Vision Display (MVD)

Series X - Multti Vision Display (MVVD)

Preliminary 2016. Contact Hatteland Display for updates.



4K UHD - DisplayPort (DP), HDMI, DVI & VGA inputs

LED Backlight Technology Full Dimming 100% Multi-Touch Option

Superior Optical Bonding Option Resolution at 3840 x 2160 (4K)

Console mount Option Wall mount Option Flat Desk Mount Option

Adjustable Floor Stand Option w/integrated Computer

ECDIS & Radar Compliant

EN60945 Tested and Type Approved (pending)







Series X - Multi Vision Display (MVD)



4K UHD - DisplayPort (DP), HDMI, DVI & VGA inputs

LED Backlight Technology Full Dimming 100% Glass Display Control™ Multi-Touch Option

Superior Optical Bonding Option

ECDIS & Radar Compliant Console or Wall Mount Option

EN60945 Tested and Type Approved (pending)

Ideal for ship navigation, automation, cameras and security systems.

GA inputs Console mount Option Wall mount Option Flat Desk Mount Option

ated Computer Adjustable Floor Stand Option w/integra

ECDIS & Radar Compliant

EN60945 Tested and Type Approved (pending)

y (MVD)

VGA inputs ECDIS & Rada Console or Wa

EN60945 Tested and Type Approved (pending)

Ideal for ship navigation, automation, cameras and security systems.

r Compliant ll Mount Option



Dry cargo ship ecdis

deadline is looming

Shipowners need to ensure their onboard

ecdis are updated with IHO’s latest

standards and officers are trained ready

for the September 2017 deadline


ow is the time for owners of dry bulk carriers and container ships to implement a strategy for deploying and utilising ecdis across their fleets. Ecdis is already widely used in passenger shipping and most tanker owners have been deploying systems on their existing vessels. It is essential that ships also have a back-up ecdis, as part of the bridge network. It is also important that officers are trained in the use of ecdis on board the ships on which they are

employed, and that they can show they are familiar with the main navigational functions.

IMO’s Solas mandatory carriage regulations state that all new passenger ships of more than 500gt, tankers larger than 3,000gt and dry cargo ships of more than 3,000gt should have ecdis. Shipowners should be aware that IMO ecdis carriage rules are coming into force for existing ships, too (see Table). They are already in force for passenger ships of more than 500gt, and tanker owners had to ensure ecdis was installed on existing ships of more than 3,000gt no later than the first survey after 1 July 2015.

Operators of container ships and dry bulk carriers of more than 10,000gt have to consider ecdis installations, some starting this year. Owners with dry cargo ships of more than 50,000gt need to install ecdis no later than the first survey after 1 July this year. Many shipowners are driving ahead with the necessary investment in ecdis. According to recent United Kingdom Hydrographic Office statistics, more than half of all internationally trading Solas vessels over 3,000gt are now using electronic navigational charts (ENCs), Seafarers receive type-specific training on simulators at Ecdis Ltd



either as their primary means of navigation or, in the majority of cases, as a back-up to paper charts.

It is not enough just to install ecdis on these ships. Owners also need to train bridge teams in its use through generic courses that follow IMO model course 1.27. Following the 2010 amendments to the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW), all officers that are using ecdis on board ships need to have the right certification that shows they have received generic and type-specific ecdis training. There has been a multi-year period for shipowners to ensure they are compliant with these regulations, which will be enforced from the beginning of January 2017. Deck officers will then need to show port state control (PSC) inspectors that they have the correct training to use ecdis for safe navigation. This includes familiarisation training on the models that are in use on board.

Shipowners also need to ensure ecdis is loaded with the latest software version and updated ENCs, in order to remain compliant. PSC inspectors are increasingly checking that this is correct during their ship visits. Owners also need to be aware that all onboard ecdis should be upgraded to meet the updated standards from the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). These were introduced last year as a way of reducing the number of alarms that bridge teams have to deal with and to improve ENC presentation on ecdis. Manufacturers are working with class societies to secure type approval for their latest models.

Manufacturers are also developing software patches that can be installed on ecdis that are already in use on ships, to update them to the IHO and IEC standards. These need to be ready and implemented by 1 September 2017. Owners should consider the time it takes to retrofit a large fleet with ecdis. According to ChartCo sales and marketing manager Robert Corden it could take up to two years for a fleet of 100 ships to be retrofitted, without affecting trading schedules. These upgrades could cost up to US$10,000 per vessel, including the follow-up training and support.

Other considerations for owners include flag state and compliance documentation, digital publication updates, passage planning and bridge procedures. Mr Corden said a shipping company’s bridge procedures and safety management system would need to be rewritten to cover the new procedures that are required to license, update and navigate with digital products and services.

Ecdis and ENCs are much simpler to supply and update than paper charts. With most ecdis units, it is possible to download files and transfer ENC updates using a memory stick, then press a button and all the navigational charts and publications are updated. It is also possible to receive flag state regulations in digital form and have them updated on a regular basis. This is available through a service such as Regs4ships, which is accepted by 22 flag states as the equivalent of carrying the paper publications.

There are many benefits from using ecdis as a primary means of navigation. Operators have reported improvements in navigational safety from using ecdis. The automated method of updating ENCs is less time consuming than paper chart updating, which gives bridge officers more time for watchkeeping.

Ecdis Ltd chairman Nick Lambert thinks ecdis has become an essential part of modern navigation that is driving the development of e-navigation processes. “Ecdis is the focal point for integrated bridge design, a means for automatically sharing

information between ships, ports and harbours, and vessel traffic services,” he said. “It is enabling a complete review of sea going processes and procedures, and it is becoming a ubiquitous, indispensable tool.”

He added that a greater number of officers are trained and familiar with ecdis processes, which means shipowners can increasingly rely on their crews to operate ships safely. “The ecdis mandation process is firmly underway. Navigators are increasingly comfortable with the technology, and sea going and shore-based operators are using these digital navigation systems for purposes that were not originally envisioned.”

Ecdis is more than just a machine for displaying ENCs. There is much more information within ecdis than the chart itself and there are different functions, such as overlaying radar, or weather information. ENCs can also be used on voyage planning stations with functions including distance tables, planning routes with minimum fuel consumption levels, and avoiding emission control areas. As the technology develops further, more functions and information will be available for display.

ENCs explained

To be compliant with IMO requirements, ecdis should display Solas-recognised electronic navigational charts (ENCs). These contain all the chart information necessary for safe navigation. ENCs may also contain supplementary information that may be considered necessary for safe navigation. This means that ENCs should be official vector charts conforming to the specifications of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and issued by a national authority. IHO member nations are responsible for producing ENCs of their own waters and updating them.

There are two regional ENC co-ordinating organisations that are responsible for validating ENCs, their formats and distribution. These are the UK-based International Centre for Electronic Navigational Charts (IC-ENC) and Primar of Norway. In areas where official vector charts are not available, ecdis can display raster navigational charts (RNCs) that are digitally scanned copies of official paper charts issued by national hydrographic offices. When using RNCs, there must be an appropriate folio of up-to-date paper charts. ECDIS


ship type size Existing ships no later than the first survey after:

Tankers >3,000gt 1 July 2015 Dry cargo ships >50,000gt 1 July 2016 Dry cargo ships


1 July 2017

Dry cargo ships 10,000-20,000gt

1 July 2018

There are no retrofit requirements for existing dry cargo ships of <10,000gt



IMO extends new ecdis

standards to 2017

Ecdis manufacturers are working with class societies to type approve

updated systems and will begin to upgrade existing units on ships


hipowners will need to update software on existing ecdis before September 2017, as the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) has introduced new standards. Ecdis manufacturers had been lobbying the IMO, through industry association Comité International Radio-Maritime (CIRM) and IHO, to delay the requirement to comply with new ecdis standards. IMO has reacted by giving owners one more year to comply.

The IMO sub-committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR) has extended the transition period for software updates to existing ecdis units for one year to 31 August 2017. The NCSR accepted IHO’s proposal to give all shipowners using ecdis more time to obtain the correct software updates to the new IHO S-52 presentation library standard. Owners would then ensure their compliance with the guidelines on the maintenance of ecdis software that is contained in IMO circular MSC 1.circ 1503 from the Maritime Safety Committee.

Most suppliers have been developing ways to update the software and hardware on existing ecdis units so owners can remain compliant. They are also working with classification societies to type approve updated models for new installations. Some manufacturers, such as Transas, have announced that they are ready with type approved systems and software updates to ensure their systems meet the requirements. But many are not yet ready.

The IHO has introduced new standards for presenting electronic navigational charts (ENCs) on ecdis. These were introduced to address the problem of anomalies on ENCs and the different approaches that ecdis systems use to display the charts. The IHO has also addressed concerns from the shipping industry about the high number of alarms emanating from ecdis, which were so frequent that they were ignored by bridge

crew. This meant that important safety alarms, which could prevent ship groundings, were also being ignored.

The new IHO standards were published in August 2015. They include version 4.0 of S-52, which specifies chart content on ecdis as a new presentation library, S-63 – an updated protection standard – and S-64, which is a new test data set. Ecdis units also need to meet new standards from the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). These are IEC 61174, the testing standard for type approval of ecdis, and IEC 62288, the standard for the presentation of navigation information. The chairman of IHO’s ENC working group, Tom Mellor, said the updated S-52 standard will deliver new functions on ecdis. He is also head of manufacturer support and digital standards at the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office.

“We have been able to alleviate the imminent pressure on shipowners and the overall supply chain by extending the time available for shipping companies to upgrade their ecdis software to the new IHO presentation library edition 4.0,” he said. “Shipowners are encouraged to contact their ecdis manufacturer to start the transition to the updated ecdis standards, in order to ensure a smooth switchover, and to take advantage of the benefits that the new editions will bring to the bridge. Whilst there is more time available, the upgrade requirements will vary between different ecdis makes and models, so it is important that owners work together with their ecdis manufacturers to identify the steps that need to be taken for all ecdis systems across their fleet.”

CIRM president and Jeppesen director of maritime services Michael Bergmann said owners need time and investment for the updates. “Older ecdis may need to be replaced if they are not capable of having the new software installed, and this is expensive and time-consuming,” he

Tom Mellor: Updated IHO

S-52 standard will deliver new functions



explained. Shipowners will also need to train navigators on a new ecdis or new software. Transas training manager Sören Löbbert said this would increase demand for retraining because of the changes in functions. “Many changes will not be seen by the user, but there are changes to functions, such as alarm management and route plan alarming,” he said. He added that there will be a default display mode that should give seafarers standard settings on ecdis.

He explained that there will be new rules on alarm management. There will be a new category for alarms that reduces the number of sounding alerts, which should tackle the problem of officers ignoring alarms. There will be colour codes to alerts. Red will be a visible and audible alarm that needs immediate action. Orange will be a visual warning that needs attention, and yellow will be a visual caution that needs to be addressed in due course. “A warning can be upgraded to an alarm if it is not acted on,” said Mr Löbbert “The alert colour code will go on the screens, so it will be easy to see the alarms, warnings and cautions. For example, the overscaling indicator and the not real-time alert will be on the screen. Ecdis will also indicate if the safety contour is changed.”

Transas was one of the first to announce it was ready for the new IHO standards. In January it gained type approval from Norwegian classification society DNV GL for its latest version of the Navi-Sailor ecdis. DNV GL issued official certificates for the Transas Navi-Sailor 4000 ecdis following extensive testing. This ensured that this ecdis type met the new IHO editions of the S-52 and S-64 standards, as well as the IEC 61174 standard. Transas is thus ready for the mandatory requirements coming into force, said chief executive Frank Coles.

“Maintaining a quality certified ecdis is critical for the future of the safety of navigation,” said Mr Coles. “Transas intends to lead in this respect. Companies should choose their supplier with care or they could find the ecdis on board is not compliant going forward.” Transas is ready to upgrade all systems in an easy and cost-effective way, with the majority of existing systems only needing a software update.

Danelec Marine received type approval from DNV GL for its DM800 ecdis G2 at the end of November 2015. The certificate means that the model meets IHO standards S-52 and S-64 and the IEC 61174 standard. Danelec chief executive Hans Ottosen said all existing DM800 G1 and G2 models can be upgraded free of charge. “In addition, our new type approved DM800 ecdis G2 platform will enable future software upgrades to be made by the crew aboard ship,” he said.

Wärtsilä Sam Electronics revealed in March that it had received approval from DNV GL that its current series of Nacos Platinum ecdis meets these standards. It is ready to upgrade existing

Nacos Platinum ecdis units, including EcdisPilot Platinum and EcdisPilot Basic, to the latest IHO standards via a software update. This covers models installed in the last five years. For earlier ecdis models, Wärtsilä is developing software updates to ensure these comply with the new IHO standards.

Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine said it had set up a working group to update software on its VisionMaster FT Ecdis and Ecdis-E models to ensure they were ready for the September IHO deadline. The company recommends that an approved service engineer goes on ship bridges to oversee an update to the ecdis software and hardware to minimise disruption to the vessel’s operations. Adveto was working with DNV GL to be able to offer an upgraded Ecdis-4000 version in good time to make the necessary updates before September 2017. ECDIS

“There are 10,000

ships to be upgraded

by September 2017”

IHO and IEC standards

S-52 - ecdis presentation library S-63 - protection standard S-64 - new test data set IEC 61174 - testing standard IEC 62288 - presentation of navigation information STANDARDS COMING INTO FORCE SEPTEMBER 2017






A new initiative seeks to

give mariners a proper

say in the design and

development of the

bridge equipment they

will be soon be using

by Alan Welcome


t the International e-Navigation Underway Conference* in February this year, The Nautical Institute and Comité International Radio-Maritime (CIRM) launched the CIRM User Feedback Forum. This is a joint initiative that is intended to improve the usability of navigation and communications technology on board ships, by making it easier for mariners to have a say in its design and development.

This is good news for the ecdis and e-navigation industry. Mariners are well known for the can-do approach they bring to their work. Unfortunately this has often involved making the best they can of ships and equipment that are inadequate – including bridge equipment and control systems. This is not to say that they have been presented with equipment that does not work as designed, but that the design process has often lacked consideration of the end user.

Design flaws can be very basic – for example, there may be fiddly, confusing controls or over-bright indicator lamps that interfere with night vision. But problems can be far more deep-seated.

Mariners have been given integrated systems offering functionality that designers and manufacturers believed would be beneficial, but delivered by complex human-machine interfaces that are not intuitive. The problems brought about by cascades of alarms are well known. There was a time when a bridge could rapidly become a noisy, confusing and disturbed environment, with the root cause difficult to determine and personnel distracted from their primary functions of safe navigation and effective collision avoidance. These problems were recognised in hindsight and much has been done that is aimed at improving the situation.

However, with the proper input from the right people at an early stage, it should be possible to minimise the operational issues associated with new or upgraded

products. There is no group of people better qualified to help steer the design of bridge equipment than the professionals who will have to use it. They can take a holistic view of the equipment, seeing beyond its functionality by envisaging it in their working environment and, where appropriate, integrated with other equipment and systems.

The Nautical Institute director of projects, David Patraiko, has endorsed the concept of human centred design, which asks users what they think at each stage of the design. He said: “Many mariners are keen to offer feedback into the design process but struggle to identify how to do this.”

CIRM chief technical officer Richard Doherty said that CIRM members are willing to listen to end users, and will need to demonstrate this willingness as

Delegates discussed ecdis design issues at the International e-Navigation Underway Conference



outlined in the IMO Guidelines on Human Centred Design (HCD) for e-navigation. Applying HCD is a key goal of IMO’s e-navigation strategy. Crew-centred design and operation of ships and ship systems have also been the subject of the recent EU funded human factors project, CyClaDes. If successful, the CIRM User Feedback Forum will bring together willing seafarers and interested manufacturers to ensure that designs are validated using human-centred design principles.

The Nautical Institute will encourage mariners from around the world to register as potential beta testers for CIRM members’ research and development projects. The process is free for seafarers and confidential for the manufacturers. Training centres are also invited to become involved and to form relationships with manufacturers interested in running trials.

Mariners gain by being able to preview, understand and influence new designs. Mr Patraiko said that mariners often challenge why, or even how, certain

IMO progresses with display harmonisation

Efforts by IMO to improve harmonisation of displays of navigational information provided by integrated navigation systems (INS) or received via shipborne communications equipment appear to be moving in the right direction, writes Aline De Bievre. Its recent sub-committee on Navigation,

Communication and Search and Rescue (NCSR) meeting gave general support to proposals from China and Norway on how to create standardised interfaces for information transfer.

The work is being undertaken to facilitate the implementation of the five e-navigation solutions on which IMO has agreed to focus. It extends to adding new modules to the existing performance standards for INS (resolution MSC.252(83)). The target completion deadline of 2017 is driven by the urgent need to reduce complexity and information overload on the ship bridge, and thus avoid human error without inadvertently affecting mandatory navigational tasks.

A presentation hosted by Intertanko on a major P&I club’s experience of the safety risks that emanate from the many different types and often bewildering features of ecdis equipment left little

doubt in delegates’ minds about what was required. Views were expressed that it may also be necessary to have a functionality that distinguishes critical navigational information from ordinary business information.

Work on a standardised, or S-mode, of operation for shipboard navigational equipment is not scheduled to start formally until 2018 under IMO’s existing e-navigation work programme. However, Australia has been leading preliminary work on how the development of an S-mode may guide the creation of standard displays and user interfaces. Its delegation reminded NCSR not to lose sight of the strong link to other agreed e-navigation work items, such as the development of additional INS modules. “It is important that all this work progresses in a co-ordinated and aligned way,” Australia’s representative stressed.

There was wide support at NCSR for the need to follow the S-100 data model adopted by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO). In this context, the IHO made two points. First, the possible simultaneous display of different data products on electronic navigation charts may require the amendment of IMO’s

ecdis performance standards (resolution MSC.232(82)).

IHO’s second point was that the S-100 interoperability specification it is developing may need to be referred to the IMO-IHO harmonisation group on data modelling. This group had been previously authorised by the Maritime Safety Committee, and could be reactivated to ensure the proper co-ordination of the related activities of the two organisations.

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) provided an update on its progress with the preparation of relevant IEC standards for maritime navigation and radiocommunication equipment and systems. This includes a new edition of Standard IEC 61162-1 pertaining to digital interfaces and a new Standard IEC 62940 for an integrated communication system. The latter would specify operational and performance requirements, methods of testing, and required test results for a human-machine interface to allow operation of the communications equipment, designed so that it can be made available on a bridge workstation, either dedicated to communications or as part of a multifunction display. ECDIS

design features have been developed. The forum provides an opportunity for them to get involved with the design before it ends up on their ships. “This is a golden opportunity for all mariners and trainers to improve the design of systems they may have to use in the future, while enjoying the process of working with the design teams,” he said. The Nautical Institute plans to publish case studies from these trials, spreading the benefits to the whole industry.

CIRM and The Nautical Institute have invited the industry to promote the forum and encourage users to register so that it can make a positive contribution to future navigation and communications systems. Many will hope the initiative will have a demonstrable beneficial influence on bridge operations.

*The conference was held on board the cruiseferry Pearl Seaways sailing between Copenhagen in Denmark and Oslo in Norway

David Patraiko: The forum is a golden



Ecdis should be less

complex for navigators


cdis should be less complex and designed to be more user-friendly, to prevent seafarers being overwhelmed by the information. These devices and electronic navigational charts (ENCs) need to help bridge teams navigate safely and not hinder their operations.

These were some of the messages from tanker operator association Intertanko’s senior marine manager Johan Gahnström. He said that ecdis manufacturers have added more information and complexity to ecdis than many mariners wanted. But he also wants the ecdis industry to consider designing smarter systems that have software and functions that provide useful information to seafarers during mooring operations.

“Navigators have complex tasks to perform, so we need to help them as much as possible,” he commented. “We must remember that we are helping the seafarer to prevent groundings and collisions. But they can rely too heavily on navigation

devices, and the equipment can make them complacent.”

Capt Gahnström suggested that ecdis should be designed to prevent this complacency. Ecdis and ENCs should enable navigators to visualise the essential navigation

data but without displaying excess information. He continued: “We need to design equipment to help our officers. We need technology to help them navigate safely. We need the equipment to combat complacency and fatigue, to keep mariners active.”

He also said there were concerns about the stability of ecdis after software updates, following reports that some systems fail to operate correctly when patches and updates are installed. “We need to look at smart systems that use software that is developed and tested in

simulators for ecdis stability,” he added. There could be considerable problems with updating software on older ecdis systems. “Five year old machines are good at running five year old software, but they may not be able to run the latest software. So there are systems on ships that do not have software patches or antivirus installed.”

Other concerns that Capt Gahnström highlighted were the differences between various makes and models of ecdis, and the threat of viruses infecting these machines. “We should

Intertanko senior marine manager Johan

Gahnström sets out industry concerns about

ecdis, while Norbulk Shipping UK manager

Mark Myles describes the benefits and challenges

of implementation

Superintendents can provide technical support to bridge teams from the shore (credit: Norbulk Shipping)



use industry best practice, with a common language and understanding during navigation operations. We should also consider standard modes. Manufacturers should work with IMO to reduce the variations in ecdis.”

However, there are times when different types of information should be included on ecdis, especially around ports or in busy shipping lanes. This is often the time when pilots come on board to assist with navigation and berthing. They often have their own portable devices that have higher resolution navigational charts installed, but they are not usually able to interface these with the bridge systems. Capt Gahnström thinks this should be addressed.

“We need to have solutions that enable pilots to use the ship equipment. Manufacturers need to come together and allow pilots to use the information on board.” It would also be beneficial to enable ship ecdis to display information that is within the pilot portable units. He said: “It would also be good to have more high scale ENCs, especially for harbour charts for mariners. We also need mooring bollards to be shown on ENCs.”

Positive ecdis


Norbulk Shipping, and its shipowning partners, has been able to deploy ecdis on all of the tankers it technically manages. It has also invested in training facilities and online courses for teaching ecdis. It has training simulators in a facility in Riga, Latvia and uses Safebridge’s online ecdis courses to enable officers to learn specific operations remotely.

The implementation and training have been challenging because of the different vessels and ecdis models within the diverse shipping fleet, said Norbulk Shipping UK quality assurance and safety manager Mark Myles. “We have not been able to standardise across the managed fleet, as there are several owners, so ships have different equipment on board,” he explained. These are mostly ecdis models supplied by Transas, Furuno Electric and Navico. “We tried to standardise the generic training with Transas, but the type-specific training needs to be on different models. The solution was to use Safebridge’s online courses for officer familiarisation learning.”

Another challenge was the difference in age and technical knowledge of

the bridge officers. “Older seafarers have struggled more in the transition than the younger officers,” said Mr Myles. “But they are finding it easier to use once they are familiar with the operations.” To overcome some of the knowledge issues, Norbulk operated ecdis in parallel with paper charts. This allowed time to train officers in the IT skills they would need to deal with a problem with the technology.

“We are living in an electronic age, so crew need to be more IT literate,” he continued. “There would be concerns if there was a failure in the GPS signal. We would ask: can officers deal with this issue before the ship is grounded?” Norbulk managed the IT knowledge gap and boosted crew competence through simulator training. Mr Myles said the transition to ecdis had not been totally smooth. “There were some navigation issues at first, but this has decreased over time. Nothing has been flagged up by the internal audits,” he added.

To help crews operate ecdis more effectively, Norbulk wrote and updated procedures and checklists to be followed by the bridge teams. Superintendents can also provide technical support from the shore. “Last year we significantly revised the ecdis

procedures so they are more comprehensive,” Mr Myles said. “For example, we included what the alarm settings should be, and

we set out the parameters that should be included. We have checklists of what should be checked during a shift change. The crews have been very receptive to the implementation of ecdis,” he commented.

The shipmanager and tanker owners have seen the cost benefits of using ecdis across the fleet, while the crews have benefitted from less administration. “Using ecdis is less time consuming, especially for keeping charts up to date,” Mr Myles said. “It is easy to get a licence and upload ENCs. There is less printing as we do not need to send out paper charts and notices to mariners. It is all done electronically. All this should help crew get more rest hours, and give navigators time to look out of the window instead of spending time in the chart room.” He said ecdis and ENCs were more precise than paper charts, especially when it comes to updated corrections. There is also less need for whole folios of paper charts. “The paper chart system was labour intensive and difficult to manage, and buying a whole folio set was expensive,” he added.

Norbulk provides technical management to fleets of tankers and dry cargo shipping. It manages technical issues, vessel inspection reports, vessel performance monitoring, drydock repairs, planned maintenance systems, and purchasing and inventory control, as well as fuel testing and claims handling. ECDIS

According to Intertanko’s Johan Gahnström

“We must remember that we are helping the

seafarer to prevent groundings and collisions”


Reduce ecdis complexity Focus on essential navigation data Prevent complacency & fatigue Reduce variations in ecdis Consider standard modes Design smarter solutions Enable access to pilots Integration with pilot portable units





The UK-based

shipowner is

deploying dual

ecdis on the bulk

of its fleet of cargo

ships to enhance

navigation safety

and reduce passage

planning time


arisbrooke Shipping has been proactive in progressing an ecdis implementation strategy to cover the majority of its dry cargo fleet, to reap the benefits of safe navigation and faster passage planning. Around 38 ships in its fleet of 46 have Transas ecdis on board despite none of the vessels needing to meet IMO Solas mandatory carriage requirements.

According to fleet technical director Martin Henry, Carisbrooke has been working with Transas to deploy a dual-ecdis system across the fleet. “We wanted to have ecdis available on our vessels, from the newbuilding stage,” he

explained. “To ensure that we would always get the same equipment for each vessel we decided to make the ecdis units ‘owners supply’ and not allow shipyards to offer this. We opted for Transas as our supplier, having good experience of the company with regard to ease of operation, reliability and quality of service.”

The installations began with the construction of 10 multipurpose 12,900 dwt vessels in 2009, each with one Transas Navi-Sailor 4000 Ecdis MFD (multifunction display) unit. A series of 10 shortsea vessels of 6,800 dwt were ordered, also with single ecdis units, from 2010. “For the last 8,000

dwt bulk carriers, which were delivered in 2011, and for all eight Green Ships, which were delivered between 2012 and 2013, we were able to install dual Transas ecdis,” said Mr Henry. The company also invested in type-specific ecdis training for navigation officers. “During late 2014, we reviewed just how many of the navigating officers had type-specific training,” he said. “We decided to ramp up the number of officers being trained so that we would have the bulk of them trained by late 2015 and early 2016.”

Carisbrooke also reviewed the benefits of using electronic navigational charts (ENCs) over paper charts. “Weighing

Carisbrooke is deploying dual ecdis and PAYS services on its multipurpose cargo vessels



up the benefits, a business case was made such that on a large number of vessels we would make ecdis the primary form of navigation,” Mr Henry continued. “One of the factors that helped us make the final decision was Transas’ pay-as-you-sail [PAYS] service, which meant that we no longer had to order and manage permits for ENCs used on board our vessels. This was a huge benefit for us.”

He highlighted the following as the main benefits of investing in ecdis:

• greater navigational safety • all charts are available on board at all times

• no delays when voyages are confirmed or changed

• latest chart editions are always available and fully corrected • passage plans are completed quicker and schedules are available earlier

• no time wasted on weekly chart corrections – more time for maintenance

• no need to send chart packages every time ships enter new areas

• no delays with customs or loss of packages

• less chance of problems with port state control due to mistakes on passage plans • guard zones and other alarms can be set to improve safety • makes officers’ jobs easier and helps with crew retention

“With the trading patterns

and voyage types of our vessels, and taking into consideration the above benefits, we decided to go ahead with dual ecdis,” Mr Henry explained. Carisbrooke worked closely with Transas to formulate a fleet plan with a phased approach for approvals and installations. Together they upgraded the software on the vessels with dual ecdis to meet the latest standards. This was followed by a class society visit to verify the safety equipment certificate on behalf of the vessel’s flag registration. Officers were then retrained for new ecdis functions.

The vessels with only one ecdis will be next. “The

process for these vessels is more complex, as a second unit must be integrated with the other bridge equipment. All vessels will have an identical installation, then we will be making detailed surveys,” said Mr Henry. He expects to have all the vessels within the fleet operational with ecdis as the primary and back-up form of navigation by the end of this year. “The PAYS service, together with not having to supply paper charts to the first vessels, is already providing us with savings in time, money and workload in many areas and we look forward to having this rolled out fleet-wide.”

Teekay deploys paperless navigation on shuttle tankers

Teekay Offshore Partners has introduced paperless navigation on its Samba class shuttle tankers that are used primarily for transporting crude oil from Brazilian offshore oilfields. Teekay has replaced paper charts and nautical publications with ecdis and electronic navigational charts (ENCs) on these Suezmax tankers to reduce the time bridge teams take in implementing updates. Paperless navigation was introduced last year on the 2013-built, 154,000 dwt tankers Bossa Nova Spirit, Samba Spirit, Lambada Spirit and Sertanejo Spirit. These tankers use dynamic positioning when being loaded with crude oil from the deepwater floating production systems offshore Brazil, and then ship propulsion during transit to oil terminals and refineries.

According to second officer on Samba Spirit Marvin Binag, the introduction of paperless navigation brought an immediate improvement in bridge operations and navigation safety. “Paperless navigation was introduced to Samba class vessels and the convenience it brought was really evident,” he said. “Enhanced safety features, corrections and cost are the great advantages this new system has contributed.”

Paperless navigation significantly changed operations on the bridge by the team of officers, reducing the amount of administration they had to carry out and giving them more time for safer navigation. “Gone are the days when the second mate used to rush to the old chart catalogue whenever a new voyage had come up and new charts were needed,” Mr Binag explained. Acquiring the electronic charts only takes a few hours. To do this, the officer plots a rough course of the intended voyage, and sends this to the supplier, who sends back the permits so that the ENCs can be activated.

Less time is also needed to make corrections to ENCs than to paper charts. “Corrections and updates are just a click away and only take few minutes to complete,” said Mr Binag. “This is unlike using paper charts, where it took hours to finish several charts and publications. Speed and accuracy are the best features of this system.” It only takes one hour for the second officer to generate a passage plan on the ecdis, with a proper set-up of the parameters. It is then ready to be checked by the ecdis.

“The drawn plan is automatically checked for dangers or hazards to navigation and when the route is in use, the system continuously monitors the vessel’s position and records its movement on the system’s memory.” Teekay has deployed a triple ecdis system on each of the Samba class shuttle tankers. The second ecdis is a back-up unit that would be available if there was a failure of the primary ecdis. There is also a third unit that could be used if there is a break-down on the two main units.

“With this system the time spent on charts is dramatically reduced and the officers on watch can focus more on the safety of navigation,” said Mr Binag. However, he has encountered some issues with ecdis. “No matter how convenient it may be, there are still some disadvantages to this level of access which everybody should be aware of,” he commented. “Every advance in technology will aid us in carrying out tasks, but does not relieve anyone of their duties or their commitment to enforce safety. Technology can only help the qualified and well trained personnel. It cannot replace them.” ECDIS

Samba Spirit shuttles crude oil from

Brazilian floating production systems to terminals and refineries





Seafarers should use ecdis and ENCs

correctly, and not rely wholly on

technology to minimise the risk of

ship groundings and collisions


he implementation and use on board of ecdis has reduced navigation risk. Ship groundings and collisions can be avoided if ecdis is used correctly, with all of the alarms set properly. Safety is also improved if navigators refer regularly to other navigation aids, such as radar, and maintain situational awareness by looking out of the bridge window. Extensive training of bridge teams in the use of ecdis and other systems is also an important element of safe navigation.

The use of ecdis and electronic navigational charts (ENCs) on ships has reduced the number of casualties, said ship insurer UK P&I Club’s loss prevention director Stuart Edmonston. “Ecdis can improve the safety of navigation. For example, it has significantly improved the accuracy and reliability of navigation charts,” he explained. Corrections and updates, such as wreck and cable positions, used to be added manually on paper charts. But with ENCs the corrections are added automatically, by way of a CD or downloaded through the ship’s satellite communications. Overlays are also possible with data from the automatic radar

ABOVE: Container ship Rena crashed into the Astrolabe Reef



plotting aid (ARPA) and Automatic Identification System (AIS) superimposed over ENCs.

“Another benefit is that officers can set alarms and parameters on screen, which improves awareness of the navigation risks,” Mr Edmonston commented. “The ARPA, AIS and radar can be laid over ENCs, so all the information is on one screen. This means that officers can navigate the vessel using the visuals on the screen.” He emphasised that officers should continue looking out of the bridge window and not rely totally on the technology.

Nonetheless, ecdis and ENCs have helped reduce the number of groundings. “The misreading of paper charts has caused groundings in the past,” said Mr Edmonston. “Ships can drift off the course line, and the depth of water changes before someone notices and the ship then grounds. But if ecdis is being used properly these types of groundings will be less likely,” he commented.

Ecdis training, recertification and onboard procedures are also important elements of safe navigation. “It is paramount that owners maintain training of officers on ships,” Mr Edmonston said. “Deck officers currently need to revalidate their certificates every five years, and ecdis should be written in the safety management procedures. If a new type of ecdis console is introduced on board, there would need to be new type-specific training initiated.”

Ecdis recertification and re-familiarisation training should ensure that officers are competent in using the equipment. “Ecdis is good for the industry in reducing the chances of unsafe navigation by rogue seafarers that do not have ecdis training,” he said. “If ecdis is used properly, it will make navigation safer, although no doubt we will still see some ecdis-assisted casualties. But we will see fewer groundings and fewer collisions because of the capability of the system.”

There have already been some ship accidents where misuse of ecdis was a contributing factor. One of the most recent was the grounding of Ayder Tankers’ 6,444gt product tanker Ovit on the Varne Bank in the Dover Strait on 18 September 2013. According to an investigation report by the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) the tanker struck the sand bank whilst following a route on ecdis that had not been configured properly.

The passage plan was unsafe as it passed directly over the Varne Bank. It had been prepared in ecdis by an inexperienced and unsupervised junior officer and was not checked by the master before departure. The scale of the chart on ecdis was inappropriate for the passage, so safety-critical information was not displayed. The operator-defined settings that were applied to the system were unsuitable, and the audible alarm was not on. This meant there were no alerts when the ship crossed safety depth contours. The MAIB reported that the chief officer’s situational awareness was so poor that it took him 19 minutes to realise Ovit had grounded.

The majority of ship groundings, of which there were 26 in the first three months of this year, are due to machinery issues, such as engine or steering gear failure, but there are still plenty resulting from poor navigation. The cost of a ship loss through unsafe navigation can be in excess of US$1 billion once wreck removal and cargo losses are taken into consideration.

Ship insurer Allianz’s global head of marine risk, Rahul Khanna, has estimated the costs of a 19,000 teu container ship sinking. He said the hull loss would be around US$200 million and the cargo costs – 19,000 containers at US$35,000 each – would be US$665 million. On top of this are the removal costs, which could be between US$190 million and US$400 million. “So losses could be in excess of US$1 billion,” he said.

These cost estimates were based on the grounding and recovery of Costamare’s container ship Rena, which grounded on the Astrolabe Reef in New Zealand in 2011.

One of the issues with using ecdis for navigation is officers relying too much on these systems. “There have been losses because of the over reliance on ecdis,” Capt Khanna commented. “Officers relying on ecdis can be overloaded with information,” He said the design and layout of the human-machine interface is important in reducing information overload.

Capt Khanna also highlighted the need to provide more support from shore for deck officers. “We need to ensure the navigator knows how to use the machine for safe navigation. Things change rapidly and there is less chance of the navigator knowing about changes from experience, which is why shore support is important.” Other issues that need to be addressed are the lack of standardisation between ecdis models and the constant addition of new systems with advanced functions. “There can be new models coming in all the time and this is a problem for navigators who are not familiar with them. There are also issues to do with system reliability,” he added.

Issues with ecdis technology were discussed at Riviera Maritime Media’s Tanker Shipping & Trade conference in London in November 2015. During a panel discussion, International Registries chief operating officer John Ramage said seafarers rely too heavily on the equipment, and do not have enough experience. “Now seafarers see what is on ecdis as the gospel truth, and never question this. They are too reliant on the technology,” he said. He also said that the misuse of AIS equipment has been a contributing factor in ship collisions.

From the audience, Anglo-Eastern Univan Group marine director Peter Helm commented on the issues with ecdis implementation and the risk of ecdis-assisted groundings. “When ecdis was designed, seafarers were ignored,” he commented. “If seafarers had been consulted, we would not need type-specific training.”

The head of the Danish Maritime Accident Investigation Board, Oessur Hilduberg, agreed that ecdis, radar and AIS equipment should be considered aids to navigation and not totally relied on. These systems should provide navigators with data and information about what is happening in waters around the ship. “It is seafarers who have to make decisions based on this information,” he said. If they are fed incorrect data or systems are not operated correctly, then there is a greater risk of error. ECDIS


Number Ave Age US$m

Tankers 4 18 92

Bulkers 12 8 99

Container ships 8 8 291

General cargo ships 2 19 2

All 26 10.4 484



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Ecdis Ltd trials Abatis

anti-malware software


here are multiple potential cyber threats to ecdis from its connection to other ship systems and links to online services through the satellite communications. There could also be human-based threats, where memory sticks with viruses on them could be slotted into ecdis by navigators loading route plans, or by service engineers doing software updates. NCC Group research director Andy Davis said that other threats come from cyber attacks on the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) or the Automatic Identification System (AIS), or on vessel traffic services (VTS) information.

Mr Davis said the top threats are from viruses on memory sticks, Internet-based intrusions – such as viruses embedded in e-mail – and insider threats. To

minimise the risk of infection, he recommended shipowners keep Internet firewalls updated, and install and keep updated antivirus software on primary computers on ships. They should enforce procedures for using USBs and ensure they are free of viruses before being connected to ecdis.

Some ecdis providers provide signature-based antivirus that has to be constantly updated. But older systems, are almost unprotected. A consortium involving training group Ecdis Ltd, Abatis, Setel PowerLine and

CLA Consulting has developed a protection system for bridge systems, including ecdis. The Cyber Malware Protection system was tested at Ecdis Ltd’s facilities to check its effectiveness against cyber attacks. The trials consisted of introducing a series of malware software viruses onto a large number of different ecdis systems. This was done through an e-mail attachment from a simulated infected chart update or passage plan of the kind that might have been downloaded by a vessel.

Ecdis Ltd training and simulation manager Robyn Harrigan explained how the test was conducted. “When the IT staff here first introduced the malicious software onto some of the ecdis systems, it was a heart-in-mouth moment, knowing that the malware is so effective it embeds itself into the computer and cannot easily be removed.”

For the next stage of the trial, the Abatis software was fitted to all the leading manufacturers’ ecdis and radar systems, and the virus was reintroduced onto the server. “All of the systems tested, with operating systems ranging from Windows 2000 to Windows XP, and up to Windows 7, appeared protected and maintained stability after the attack,” said Ms Harrigan. “However, it was made clear that there is still a significant number of trials to take place over the next few months on Linux based systems, and an injection of the virus via an auxiliary sensor connected to the ecdis via the local area network.”

The final part of the trial, which will be conducted over the next few months, will carry out a hypothetical attack via an automatic software or chart update from a remote website, onto the bridge simulator, via a planning station. The trial will include the creation of a website to host an update, which will be sent via Internet download onto a third party planning station, that will then be connected to all the bridge navigation equipment. The trial will be conducted both with Abatis anti-malware software, and without it, in a controlled test. ECDIS

(credit: NCC Group)

Tests show the solution can protect ecdis

from viruses that are attached on infected

chart updates or passage plans

Radio-based maritime

communications: AIS, VTS IT systems connected to the Internet via satellite

Onboard WiFi

Lack of segregation between systems Data sharing between

systems via USB Malicious ENC data

Navigation and date/time data sent from GNSS


20 | STATISTICS 31+ yrs 26-30 yrs old 21-25 yrs old 16-20 yrs old 11-15 yrs old 6-10 yrs old 1-5 yrs old 31+ yrs 26-30 yrs old 21-25 yrs old 16-20 yrs old 11-15 yrs old 6-10 yrs old 1-5 yrs old Bulker


947 574 571 515 180 343 111 145 107 21 107 21 14 10 3122 221 1497 591 850 323 601 229 268 54 113 21 130 21 Container Total 1933 1610



Total 6581 1460


31+ yrs 26-30 yrs old 21-25 yrs old 16-20 yrs old 11-15 yrs old 6-10 yrs old 1-5 yrs old 31+ yrs 26-30 yrs old 21-25 yrs old 16-20 yrs old 11-15 yrs old 6-10 yrs old 1-5 yrs old Bulker


232 103 339 268 191 150 235 243 109 103 63 21 128 17 0 98 0 358 0 180 0 187 0 80 0 13 2 11 Container Total 1297 905







The tables below from online mapping and shipping information supplier show the current state of the bulk carrier and container ship fleets by size and age range with regard to the forthcoming ecdis cut off dates. As can be seen from the data, the majority of vessels are less than ten-years old, but there is a significant portion older than 15 years. Given the weak state of the bulker and container markets, owners and operators may struggle to justify the investment in ecdis, and this may prove a trigger to sell vessels or scrap them.


31+ yrs 26-30 yrs old 21-25 yrs old 16-20 yrs old 11-15 yrs old 6-10 yrs old 1-5 yrs old 31+ yrs 26-30 yrs old 21-25 yrs old 16-20 yrs old 11-15 yrs old 6-10 yrs old 1-5 yrs old Bulker


947 574 571 515 180 343 111 145 107 21 107 21 14 10 3122 221 1497 591 850 323 601 229 268 54 113 21 130 21 Container Total 1933 1610



Total 6581 1460


31+ yrs 26-30 yrs old 21-25 yrs old 16-20 yrs old 11-15 yrs old 6-10 yrs old 1-5 yrs old 31+ yrs 26-30 yrs old 21-25 yrs old 16-20 yrs old 11-15 yrs old 6-10 yrs old 1-5 yrs old Bulker


232 103 339 268 191 150 235 243 109 103 63 21 128 17 0 98 0 358 0 180 0 187 0 80 0 13 2 11 Container Total 1297 905






929 has also supplied data for vessels less than 10,000gt. While there are only two bulkers in this group, there are a significant number of container ships, and general cargo vessels, which will not be obliged to be equipped with ecdis. The largest are the Feedermax types of 1,100 teu, that are more than capable of deepsea voyages. This suggests there is an argument for lowering the tonnage range for the mandatory fitting of ecdis for container ships. Perhaps this should become similar to the tonnage range for tankers, which is more than 3,000gt. ECDIS


typeapproved ECDIS in three versions:


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