Marine Link
Saturday, January 22, 2022


Navigation, derived from the Latin words "navis" (meaning  "ship") and "agere" (meaning "to drive") is the process of accurately determining the position and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle along a desired course. This is accomplished by finding the navigator's position compared to known locations or patterns.

Early instruments used for determining latitude were the quadrant, (which measured the altitude of the polestar or the noonday sun,) the astrolabe and the sextant. Longitude was originally fixed using chronometers and tables showing yearly positions of celestial bodies. The first mariners to explore the world’s oceans developed standard ways of observing and recording their location, the routes they traveled, wind and water currents, and other useful facts. These records, logs, and journals made it possible find their way home and pass along their observations. Each successful voyage became a part of an expanding collection of reliable maritime information.

Modern navigation systems are part of a tightly coordinated and widely integrated transportation system in which each vessel must be responsible for staying on course, avoiding collisions, minimizing fuel consumption, and keeping on schedule. Modern navigation systems make use of many traditional tools, such as compasses, charts, instruments; but over the past century radio beacons, satellite networks and global positioning systems have been relied upon with increasing frequency to determine a ship’s position.

Ship compasses are usually stabilized by gyroscopes and installed in housing which properly compensates for the vessel’s motion. Charts are another essential navigational tool- position is fixed using charts of known locations in concert with instruments that calculate a vessel’s relative bearing. Dead reckoning is a method which relies on recording the accurate velocity calculated by gyroscopes and computer analysis of the vessel’s acceleration.

Tags: Navigation

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Benfold (DDG 65) in the Indo-Pacific. (Photo: Benjamin A. Lewis / U.S. Navy)

China Says It Warned Away US Warship in South China Sea, US Denies

Chinese forces followed and warned away a U.S. warship which entered waters near…

© Elena Milovzorova / Adobe Stock

US Army Corps Announces Spend Plan

The U.S. Army on Wednesday announced  the Civil Works studies, projects and programs…

Credit: MHI

World’s First: Fully Autonomous Ship Navigation Systems Tested on Coastal Ferry in Japan

The Nippon Foundation, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, and Shin Nihonkai Ferry Co., Ltd.

(Photo: Sanmar Shipyards)

SMS Towage Buys Tug from Sanmar

Sanmar Shipyards said it has reached a deal to sell one of its 2020-built tugboats to SMS Towage…

WonHo Joo CTO of HHI; KiSun Chung President and CEO of HHI Holdings and KSOE; SungJoon Kim CTO of KSOE: Patrick Ryan, ABS Senior Vice President Global Engineering and Technology; John McDonald, ABS Executive Vice President and COO and DoHyeong Lim CEO of Avikus sign the strategic framework agreement. (Photo: ABS)

ABS and HHI Team Up for Autonomous Vessel Projects

U.S.-based classification society ABS and South Korean shipbuilding giant Hyundai…

NAVTOR integrates Ingenium digital logbooks into its smart shipping ecosystem. Image courtesy Navtor.

Navtor to Acquire Ingenium Marine

Navtor has inked a deal to acquire Ingenium Marine, a transaction subject to execution…

(Photo: Mobilisation Nationale Wakashio)

Wakashio Captain and First Officer Sentenced

Two officers from a bulk carrier that ran aground and broke apart atop a coral reef…

(Photo: T. Parker Host)

First Ship Sails after Latest Mississippi River Channel Deepening

The first vessel has sailed from the Mississippi River with a draft of 47.7 feet…

Credit: NYK

GAIL Charters NYK's Grace Emilia LNG Carrier

India's largest natural company GAIL has agreed to take NYK's liquefied natural gas…

(Photo: Olivia Banmally / U.S. Navy)

Does the US Have the Right to Sail Warships Through the South China Sea?

Images of what appeared to be U.S. warships emerged from China last month, but they…

SimFlex Cloud also provides for navigation training using an Augmented Reality headset. Image courtesy Force Technology

DNV Certifies SimFlex Cloud Simulator Platform

DNV has certified Force Technology’s SimFlex Cloud navigation simulator platform…

(L to R): George Margaronis, CEO of Latsco Shipping and  Yarden Gross, CEO, and co-founder of Orca AI. Photo courtesy Orca AI

Latsco Partners with Orca AI on Fleet Navigation Safety

Orca AI and its AI-based navigation safety platform have partnered with Greece’s…

Related Articles

Maritime Standards

All nations require certain standards be met by ships and other marine structures which fly their flag. A classification society, or "Class", is a non-governmental regulatory association which regulates construction of vessels and offshore structures in the maritime industry.

Maritime Contracts

Contracts between vessel owners and charterers concerning the water transportation of goods are technically known in admiralty law as "contracts of affreightment". The charterer agrees to pay a freight charge for cargo space. The voyage, amount of cargo space…

Pod Propulsion

Pods are devices which combine both propulsive and steering functions in one device. They are usually located below the stern of a ship, making use of the following internal components: a fix pitch propeller, shaft, thrust and support bearings…


Modern pipelines are installed with and other control devices (pumps and valves) to efficiently move liquids, gases, slurries (solid particulates in liquid suspension) and even solids. Pipelines usually consist of welded sections of metal pipe…

Subscribe for
Maritime Reporter E-News

Maritime Reporter E-News is the maritime industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email five times per week