This post is from 2009 but still very relevant. I came across it again while looking for something else and realized it was relevant to some other topic I’ve posted about here.
• Push officers to realise that the change in a rough visual ‘bearing’, taken from a fixed point within the wheelhouse, is sometimes good enough to determine if any risk of collision is likely to exist. This beats running to the radar every few minutes and playing computer games there for each target. It also helps in keeping a good lookout.
Make them understand that the AIS and the VHF are not primary (or even secondary) collision avoidance tools. Again, lost count of officers reading off CPA from the AIS or making a VHF call of ‘ship on my starboard bow’ in the English Channel in restricted visibility.
• Push officers to understand the characteristics of the Radar and ARPA completely. Special stress on blind and shadow sectors, inputs from other equipment like GPS and Gyro, use of controls and unique features, including quirks and issues with target swap. And, if intelligence permits, the use of ground and sea stabilization.