Specialist marine electronics manufacturer Martek Marine is cautioning shipowners not to underestimate the amount of time required to safely and effectively implement ECDIS on board, particularly for larger fleets. Selecting the most appropriate ECDIS and ENC provider for a vessel or fleet, installing it in good time and training crew to become confident and competent navigating with it can take over twelve months. The ECDIS market is complicated and selecting a manufacturer and chart provider without fully assessing the vessel’s needs can also cause significant issues further down the line.
With just two years remaining until tankers over 3,000gt must have ECDIS installed, and just one year for passenger ships over 500gt, Martek is advising that, in order to meet the deadline and get the most out of ECDIS, the implementation process should start now.
Martek’s iPLAN service provides a comprehensive assessment of an owner’s ECDIS requirements, looking at the regulations in relation to a specific vessel or fleet. Working with the owner, Martek will carry out a risk assessment taking into account the vessel’s flag, age, type and trade before putting together a timeline and checklist for implementation.
Martek will then work with the owner to put together a safety management system to include best practice procedures including operating and bridge procedures, safety checks, watch handover and ship specific hazards such as sensor, hardware and software failure.
Bentley Strafford-Stephenson, ECDIS product specialist at Martek Marine, said, “We developed iPLAN to properly assess an owner’s needs before implementation. This means not only just looking at the regulations but also at an owner’s budget and area of operation to help them make a fully informed decision.”