Thursday, March 6, 2008


Plan appraisal
Before planning can commence, the charts, publications and other information appropriate for the voyage will need to be gathered together and studied.

Charts and publications
Only official nautical charts and publications should be used for passage planning, and they should be fully corrected to the latest available notices to mariners and radio navigation warnings. Any missing charts and publications needed for the intended voyage should be identified from the chart catalogue and obtained before the ship sails.
For coastal and pilotage planning and for plotting each course alteration point (or waypoint) large scale charts should be used. For ocean passage planning and open water legs smaller scale charts should be used.
The route plan
The route plan should incorporate the following details:
planned track showing the true course of each leg.
leg distances.
any speed changes required en route.
wheel over positions for each course alteration, where appropriate.
turn radius for each course alteration, where appropriate.
maximum allowable off-track margins for each leg.

At any time during the voyage, the ship may need to leave the planned route temporarily at short notice. Marking on the chart relatively shallow waters and minimum clearing distances in critical sea areas is but one technique which can assist the OOW when having to decide quickly to what extent to deviate without jeopardising safety and the marine environment. But, in using this technique, you should not to obscure chart features. On paper charts, only pencil should be used.
The route plan should also take into account the need to monitor the ship's position along the route, identify contingency actions at waypoints, and allow for collision avoidance in line with the COLREGS.