Does ECDIS need a new approach?

yes it sure does, huge cockup by the IMO, the silly old farts dont know there are PC’s on the bridge, have no computing skills, couldnt see the issue that all manufacturers will do their own thing due to total lack of standards.
Trained on one you cant use the next ship you go to as the way it works is like going from windows to a MAC.
At least they finally changed regulations wherby a Captain can now ( assuming paper bridge) legally turn off the ECDIS if he thinks the crew are not competent in its use.
Ask a pilot, and everyone has, can the average crew use their ECDIS, the answer in no in most cases.

Just think, some of these crews are using DP and every brand is different.
At least its recognised to do specific training with various ECDIS brands.

I don’t think there’s any question about it, ECDIS is a huge improvement over using paper charts. ECDIS gives the watch officer better situational awareness with lower workload then paper. The ECDIS also makes voyage planning quicker and more efficient.

Keeping a few paper charts aboard might be a good idea as long as they don’t have to be kept corrected.

This became very obvious to me when I did a relief job on a non-ECDIS equipped ship after becoming familiar with the ECDIS on my regular ship. On the non-ECDIS ship at first I really missed having the ECDIS but after a while I gradually become accustomed to compensating for the lower level of situational awareness.

The issues is the ECDIS set-up. That problem can be solved with procedures and checklist but of course that only fixes the problem on own ship.

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I love the passage planning feature

It sucks that unless you have two separate ECDIS on the Bridge You still need to have Paper Charts So what’s the point on these newer Super ATBs and Supply Boats, The company will only buy one, Even though they just spent 50+ million Dollars on a Vessel.

ECDIS requirements stopped at 3000grt last I looked it up, so most supply boats dont require them under the rules?
Is that still true?

I agree the ECDIS with paper charts back-up is a bad solution. At least in my experience.

First there is the extra workload of ordering charts, keep them updated and drawing the tracklines on top of having to maintain the primary ECDIS. Not having that second ECDIS makes it difficult for the second mate / captain to do voyage planning without interfering with the bridge watch use of the single ECDIS.

The back-up ECDIS can be mounted near the chart table for easy access for planning.

not sure But it seems that anything that sells itself as a SOLAS vessel has to have it,

the 2 are for redundancy also costs go up as both need individual UPS, havent checked but I imagine gps antenna each etc?
ECDIS in DP2 mode…

Maintaining a full paper chart portfolio has costs as well

The ECDIS with chart back-up might be OK on some ships that always trade in the same area and not a lot of time is spend on planning.

For ships that trade over wide areas or jump from trade to trade using paper charts as a back-up probably just about doubles the already high workload. Also the ship can’t make a port call or change the route on short notice without the paper charts being physically on board.

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I remember a few megaychts with AO printers to download and print out charts they didnt have…
ECDIS all the way now although we used to give the charts away to the bosses guests so they remembered where they went

As far as the premise of the linked article in the OP, I do agree the making the interface more user friendly would be a needed change. As it the a joining second mate can face a very steep learning curve just ordering and downloading the charts for example

The reports of ships just silencing the alarms is another indication.

I got a CD from the ECDIS class with a checklist to use as guidance for setting up the ECDIS. I spend almost three days in port one time and spend all my spare time to working up some checklist / procedures based on the manuals and CDs which greatly reduced our problems with nuisance alarms. UKC and depth contours not set properly are the cause of most of most nuisance alarms.

It’d been far better if that guidance had been provided to the crew in the first place rather than having to work up our own.

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Alarms on the bridge are another total IMO/Class/Flag failure.
On DP vessels ( more gear and PC’s) cant tell you how many times 3 or 4 on the bridge are pulling panels everywhere to find what box some alarm sound is coming from.
I guess we got lucky that never happened at a critical time or the fault manifested itself to an operating issue.

Not if the master requires the mates to do all chart work (inventory, ordering, correcting…) while on watch. You’re just not thinking creatively. :frowning:

Well when else are you supposed to do it???

I was thinking of costs in general, not just ot.

For example being assigned to a new run but not being able to start on the paper chart side while on an ocean leg but instead having to wait to get the new charts during a coast-wise when workload is high.

Or things like wearing out the second mate on clerical stuff. Transfering track-lines / waypoints and chart corrections is tedious enough, knowing none of it most likely ever going be used can be discouraging.

And not just the 2nd mate, the C/M enters the chart orders, takes up my time as well as I often have to get involved.

Overall risk would be reduced if the focus was 100% on the ECDIS.

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As one who sailed as second mate with a full outfit of about 60 folios of Admiralty Charts if my memory serves me right I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I welcomed ECDIS and I believe it gives unparalleled situation awareness if used properly along with the bridge windows.
The ideal setup is in addition to the two units being visible from the conning position having a seperate station by the chart table so that passage planning can be done without hindering the bridge watch.

yes ECDIS was a great step forward with the the worst implementation you could possibly imagine.
Cant see it getting better on board with more automation and electronics.
IMO got to make a big jump forward to get control of this before crew can only work on one vessel after extra training