International Shiphandling Championship - U going?


Is anyone participating in this? I’d sign up in a second but $1200 is a steep entry fee!!

I wish they had a DP challenge. Maybe gCaptain could sponsor it, I’m sure Lee or Anchorman would let us knock around thier boats :wink:


I would have to pass on the DP challenge. It would attract too many “Nintendo Captains”. Sometimes, I think DP is the worse thing to ever hit the industry.


Speaking of Lee…he doesn’t have a boat anymore…he’s a rig dude… He fell off the deep end and started watching interracial amputee midget porn and shorty thereafter found out that Seadrill has more midgets per capita than any other offshore company. That pretty much sums it up. Don’t believe his version…but, I would admit, he was never a good boat handler to begin with and probably will not read this because of the thread title.


Anchorman- Is that your best lame attempt at humor? Boy you are slipping. I am already seeing the effects of the lack of my presence and I do not like it. You are losing it. I am ordering you to meet me in NOLA next week for Patron shots and beer chasers.

You either have it or you don’t and I do. Handling a Anchor boat with 10,000 HP in thrusters and 30K in mains is a lot easier than other ships. I am glad I missed out the years of manually keeping the Gary on location with no visual reference other than a survey screen. Although that hell made you better. I am not sure how I would fair in a ship handling contest, but I doubt I would be last.

PS- Do I need to remind you who the Valedictorian of “OUR” adv. Shiphandling class was? That’s what I thought!


Not trying to be funny. Just the truth, but I would refrain from putting simulator time on a pedestal, especially when you let the anchor go on top of a pipeline crossing. OOPS!!! You definitely get the award for that one. It hurts the hard way when realizing the big boys have the anchor and gps antenna 750’ apart. If we ever meet up on the big boys, I’ll be sure to add a gps to the kingpost…just for you.


I was set up MAN!


Maybe so. Just look at the bright side. You’ve always made me great coffee…you are certainly the champion at that, hands down.


DP challenge? There’s an idea for a true snore-fest.


I am considering going, and think with my diverse background of having handled everything from single-screw ships to under-powered utility boats to vessels with six thrusters - I might even have a fair shot (maybe) of not ranking last, but just the experience seems to be worth it. My simulator time is somewhat limited though, and I don’t know how much of a hindrance that will be. I will be taking Adv Shiphandling I & II at MITAGS between now and then. I guess the non-refundable $1200 is what’s really holding me back. My schedule is not that concrete, and is likely to change in the interim. I’ll probably wait until closer to the deadline, and if a slot is still open - I’ll take it.


I’ve asked them to clarify some of the rules and to provide details on the simulations and the process. I’ll decide after I hear back. It’s a lot to pony up, and the $30k would be nice, but I’ve yet to decide. If they can answer my questions to my satisfaction I’ll go.


I might go but I’ll be in disguise.


Wonder what the four scenarios are?
One bringing in a ship up a channel. Doing something on a tug going up river, possibly making up on the hip and docking? Back loading a crew boat in 6+ seas with opposing seas and winds. Running an anchor tug working with a lay barge.
Those should provide pretty interesting results.


I would love to see blue water guys do that


The most important person involved is the simulator operator, especially if they’re going to have tug and barge exercises. There is just about no more difficult simulation to do realistically. Believe me, I know. I’ve spent some very stressed out hours running the simulator at PMI working my ass off to make it realistic. And I’m very good at it, just ask anyone who has done a high-end simulation project with me. If the simulator operator doesn’t have a strong tug background he is worthless, and even with a tug guy behind the scenes the Transas system is very complex to operate in tug and barge mode. That is one of the questions I’ve asked of the facility. They’re onto a great idea, this could be a fabulous event not only for the participants but for Transas’ public relaitons. On the flip side, they’re taking a huge risk and they’d better have their act together. If they get fifty guys each having paid that kind of money in the same room and it turns into a joke they could have a riot to contend with.


Doug - please elaborate. By “turns into a joke” do you mean simulator problems, no reflection of a realistic situation, or something different?


Certainly. First, let me make it absolutely clear that I am 100% behind the use of simulation in Maritime training, and I also believe that the Transas system is by far the best available. Nothing I write is intended to cast Transas or NMI in a bad light.
However, as one of the most experienced Transas simulator operators in the United States, I am aware of what is required to make simulation realistic. You can spend three million dollars on a Transas simulator, as we did at PMI and again at MITAGS, and watch it turn into a video game in the hands of a poorly qualified simulator operator. The simulator operator must act as the conduit between the people on the simulator bridge and the software, and by manipulating the software at the instructor station he can do two things: 1. Make the guys on the bridge forget they’re in a simulator, or 2. Make the guys on the simulator bridge feel like they’re playing with a toy.
My goal as an operator is to make #1 above happen whenever possible. This is sometimes a very easy task, as in a Basic Shiphandling class where the subject matter involves very little input from the sim operator. This is sometimes an incredibly difficult task, as in a Pilot Candidate simulation assessment where you have two simulator operators working simultaneously, two others on radio comms, four evaluators on the bridge, a bridge team consisting of highly experienced mariners role playing, and a candidate who has invested thousands of dollars preparing to reach for the brass ring and become a Pilot. I have been in the thick of things from both ends of the spectrum.
The Shiphandling competition should, in my opinion, approach the level of complexity and realism found in the example above describing Pilot candidate assessment simulation. If you’re going to ask a group of mariners who consider themselves worthy of such a challenge to lay down $1200.00, plus travel and lodging, you had better have your shit together when it comes time to push “start” on the simulator. Below I have pasted the questions I have asked NMI to answer in regard to my concerns. The questions themselves may help to elaborate my concerns about this competition:
My questions:

  1. Are the exercises being developed using Transas ship models that have been vetted by Pilots and/or experienced Masters?

  2. Will there be a live operator in the tug simulator during exercises involving the use of tugs, a combination of live operator and vector forces, or will the simulator operator be applying virtual forces for all tug use?

  3. If the simulator operator will be using virtual forces, is the operator an expert in the use of ship assist and escort tugs, either conventional or tractor, in both direct and indirect towing mdes? This is critical to the success of the exercise as the application of the virtual forces needs to be consistent with what you would experience in real life. For example, if the ship is moving ahead at five knots with a conventional tug running alongside on the shoulder and the ship calls for a half pull at a 90 degree angle, will the sim operator understand that this is impossible? In the same situation, if using a tractor tug, will the sim operator understand that at five knots the tug will likely not be able to get out at any significant angle and apply the virtual forces accordingly? Will the application of virtual forces be consistent with real world timing to account for tug positioning and working into a towline?

  4. Who is writing the TEAS rules and will they be disclosed as part of each exercise briefing? As you are aware the TEAS system is extremely complex, even Transas is challenged when asked to write complex TEAS rules.

  5. Will you provide each competitor with explicit instructions on which bridge systems may or may not be used? For example, the mooring view on the conning console, the manipulation of the external views and binoclulars, the use of the ECDIS and Radars, etc?

  6. Will each competitor be provided with a bridge team (Mate, quartermaster, lookout(s) etc)?

  7. Will the competitors be furnished ahead of time with exercise briefing materials and maneuvering booklets, and be allowed time to work up a voyage plan?

  8. Will the competitors be allowed to conduct pre-job conferences with the bridge team on both ship and tug?

  9. The rules say that there only needs to be 1 judge present. In my opinion this should be changed to call for a consistent group of three judges for each exercise.

  10. Can you provide specifications of each simulator bridge’s visual field and type of display (projection, Plasma screens, etc) and the number of visual channels on each bridge?

  11. Will there be tug sim exercises as part of the competition, and will the competitors be able to use tractor tugs if qualified?

  12. Who is developing the exercises and what are their qualifications in the specific areas of shiphandling, piloting, and the use of assist and escort tugs?

  13. What version of the NTPro software will be used to develop and run the competition exercises?

  14. Will a comprehensive simulator familiarization be provided to the competitors prior to running any actual exercises?

  15. Will TransasUSA personnel be on-site to provide support and troubleshooting services during the competition?

  16. Will any of the exercises involve the use of lines for mooring and un-mooring operations?

  17. If anchors are to be used or made available for use, will the bottom characteristics be properly adjusted per the charts for the exercise areas being used?

Again, let me make it very clear: I am excited about the potential that this competition has. I fully support the concept. I would love to see this become a successful event, to the extent that it becomes an annual happening. I would love to see it rotate through all the facilities in the world that have installed Transas simulation systems. I think this is a brilliant idea, and applaud NIM for taking the challenge and assuming the risk. I’m thinking about entering, and before I do I need to be satisfied that I am not going to be throwing my hard earning money and time off down the shitter.


Thanks for all of the info. Let me know if you are entering so I can just go ahead and forfeit before spending my $1200. It sounds like you’d have it locked - even if you above issues aren’t addressed. I would be very appeciative if you share any reply you receive to the above on this forum.


Regardless of how it goes there will likely be three persons who believe it was a fully realistic assesment of one’s shiphandling skills (the three with fatter wallets) and 47 with excuses about the inadequacies with the simulator/evaluation process


Sounds like Todd has been in simulation before…


Very little - Only for Radar Renewal and ECDIS at MITAGS (unless you count the old DOS based simulation program I had)