Dynamic Positioning: Theory & Practices

This book is not cheap but according to reviews and comments on LinkedIn;
“A comprehensive reference book which clearly explains theory of DP, its application, operations, good DP practices, FMEA, trials, rules, regulations and failures / DP incidents.”:


Anybody reed this? Do they address ASOG’s just wondering. I was looking to see why minimum manning isn’t addressed in any of the documents i’ve been involved with so far everything else under the sun except how many people need to operate the system.

IMO has recently accepted IMCA paper as basis for upgrading of Guidelines for DP vessels:

Global Maritime have some advise on ASOG:

Just tried to open the IMCA DP guidelines seems you can’t access any information unless you’re a member. Anybody have a copy of the paper they want to share?

I doubt that they will address manning requirements for dp operations. From my experiences working on dp vessels, the manning requirements come from the coi of the vessel and it can be client driven. I know for a time BP required a 5 man bridge team, Chevron and a lot others only 4 on bigger supply boats while crew boats only 2, all when times where good. Now a lot of boats are operating with smaller crews. The Nautical Institue does not care, USCG and ABS haven’t really had much input on that other than you know the boat doesn’t leave the dock unless the coi is covered.

Yes I agree nobody seems to give much interest in manning aside from the USCG COI I just wanted to see the new IMCA guidelines I find it funny everything under the sun is addressed in a ASOG except number of operators and engine room manning I would think that would be the first line.

IMCA Guidelines M-182 - MSF, Rev. 2 states:

Link: www.marinesafetyforum.org/images/182msf.pdf

Normal practice internationally on DP 2 and 3 vessels are to have 2 Full DPO + 2 Assist. DPO + 1 ETO in normal operation.

Some flag states also require the watch standing Engineers to have undergone special DP training and certification.

If operating as Dive Support, or for operation in very close proximity to fixed structures etc. an additional DPO is required as the Master cannot be normal watch stander. One more ETO is also required.

Thanks for the link.

So my question is how are operators like Bourbon who have admittedly reduced crew sizes conforming to these suggestions or are these guidelines simply being ignored.

I’m well aware of normal safe practice with regard to DP support operations but thanks.

The DP Bible written by the God of Dynamic Positioning.


No comment from the Norwegian/ombugge about the post above.

Great book, excellent author. Let’s just leave it like that. Without trying to put down a great author, reading up on people such as Howard Shatto will give great insight from people that actually helped create many of the tools we use and improve upon today.

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David Bray, nice bloke but neither has a DP ticket nor ever worked as a DPO AFAIK?
His book shows what he doesnt know but in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king.
Whilst Captains who think they know DP, write books instead of industry insiders, they are barely worth reading.
If an experienced Captain and an industry insider chose to write one it would be a hit.

the manning story is as follows…
The oil industry wants the DPO industry to test ship handling skills and make it part of the DPO ticket ( fair enough)
But when push comes to shove the Flag states have to admit that a Captain is someone that in theory can manage the vessel not drive it.

Do we want the DPO schools to prove a Captain is not competent to handle the vessel?
( This is one area the GoM really shines compared to the rest of the world, they can all drive a boat)
Where will this leave the Captains ticket when the insurance/charters know this?
Can of worms
IMO keeping well clear of this argument so they just say refer to IMCA. ( saying that but IMCA 117 in part B now)

Ship handling courses are out now, us DPO’s may well find out it will be a charters requirement to be counted as a DPO on a future contract?

I took basic under him in 1996 and he was a good instructor. I posted the God thing to get a
rise out of ombugge, obviously it didn’t work.

He’s been trying the same tactic in that ‘Norway is great’ echo chamber thread for weeks with no takers either.

Some exchanges on this thread stuck a cord, particularly the book references. I started work driving offshore ships before the joystick was added to help the less able, and even in 1994 was captain of a Halter 180 footer which did not have any computer assistance. So offshore ship-handling has remained something of interest to me, and I did write an article in my January newsletter on the topic, particularly concerning my book “Supply Ship Operations”.

The relevant paragraph is :

“Today it appears that even the joystick is being relegated to a secondary position as nearly all modern ships are capable of DP control, and are often moved about by being stepped from one point to another. The skill of ship-handling is disappearing, just as, others might say, the skill of navigation is also disappearing.
So the point of this short article is really that the world is changing, and even though my book is in many ways still relevant, I won’t be reprinting because it has been replaced by other stuff. For shiphandling by the computer, and for the other guidance the book provides, by the locally produced procedures and guidance which in reality may be less relevant, being mostly produced by committees of people with limited knowledge of the actual work.”

You can read the whole article here if you like: http://www.shipsandoil.co.uk/january-2018

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I’m like fish in the sea, I don’t always bite.
(Especially on command)

I don’t see the ETO requirement in the text. An engineer on duty is required but not the ETO.
In my experience this is up to the operator of the vessel. I have worked as SDPO in both setups and it can be good to have an ETO on board but sometimes they still refuse to touch the DP equipment and will wait for Kongsberg to show up. On some vessels the Chief Engineer was much better at electronics than the ETO would be.

Some flag states and/or shelf states require ETOs and special training for Engineers, but not all.
Likewise, some clients have their own requirements, or the MWS may do so for special projects/operations.