What Are the Advantages of ECDIS or Paperless Navigation of Ships?
For centuries, paper charts served as the core navigational tool used by ship crews on their oceanic voyages. Until just over 15 years ago, it seemed that paper charts were completely impervious to the relentless technological evolution that was taking place around the globe and in the shipping industry. Paper charts were essentially untouchable and irreplaceable mostly due to the fact that seafarers are strict creatures of habit. Given the need for optimal expediency, convenience, and accuracy when navigating oceanic voyages, however, the move to paperless navigation of ships seemed inevitable. Enter the use of the state-of-the-art electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS), which has dominated the industry over the past few years.
Advanced Marines computers, monitors, and displays require high resolutions, quick response times, and other important features that can only be offered by the ECDIS.
Here are some of the benefits of having this dynamic technology aboard your ship for your next minor or major mission.
Availability and Quick Adjustability
Although Marines operations and voyages are well planned and thoroughly mapped out, sometimes new circumstances can develop unexpectedly. Paper chart navigation systems required Second Mates on ships to address chart catalogues that would sometimes arrive at the last minute. If the chart catalogues arrived late, then the entire mission would be delayed or potentially compromised.
Paperless navigation of ships allows Second Mates to use a digital voyage planner to roughly plot out the course of the ship and make necessary changes along the way. Paper chart requests are quickly emailed by the Master to the chart supplier, at which point activation codes will be provided within minutes.
Speed and Accuracy
Switching to ECDIS navigation allows for greater speed and accuracy when mapping out a Marines mission. The voyage planner can automatically input waypoints into the system using an excel document. Those waypoints are then incorporated into various data reports such as Distance Covered, Distance to Go, and Average Speed without having to manually enter it in.
Traditional paper charts take a great deal of time and effort to plan, create, and coordinate with the rest of the crew members. Paperless navigation of ships using ECDIS essentially eliminates the need to implement chart corrections while the voyage is in progress.
Chart corrections are a meticulous task that requires the utmost precision and can take up a great deal of time. With ECDIS, course updates can be made and uploaded into the system immediately and as often as necessary. The margin for error is greater because of the availability of this technology.
Real-Time Alerts and Safety Features
ECDIS allows vessel positions and voyages to be tracked in real-time, so that enhanced safety features can be used to immediately alert crew members of potential threats such as choppy waters, incoming storms, and other dangerous events.
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