Well that’s an interesting take by management. What moron came up with this one? I’ll bet he hasn’t sailed for a while.
You’re perosonally liable by virture of sailing on your license, and so it only makes sense that you should be free to use any aid to navigation you choose. It’s as if they’re telling you to use parallel rules when you’d rather use a rolling rule or triangles. Next they’ll tell you you can’t use your own hand-held GPS as a backup. They’re nuts, and they’re opening themselves up to serious liability by navigating for you from the office. You could sue the living shit out of them if you had an incident while abiding by this policy.
Management is not responsible for your chart corrections, you are, even on the paper charts they provide. There is no guarantee that your paper chart corrections are being done. How many boats have you joined and then spent a week or more bringing the charts and pubs up to date?
BTW, they will not be providinig you with a true ECDIS, but with and ECS (Electronic Charting System) which is much cheaper but still reliable. NobleTech and Transas are the top dogs.
If it was me I would try to reason with the company with regard to the use of personal computers and navigation software. If they still won’t approve it, I’d use it anyhow and, of course, as I always do with electronic charts, only use them to verify what I already know from looking out the window and using my radar. The Coast Guard could never fault you for using your own computer and electronic charts, as long as they’re kept current and corrected. The will kick your ass for keeping your face stuck in the laptop instead of where it belongs, which is out the windows and in the radar. Electronic charts are Dangerous.
Remember what the COLREGS say about “all available means”. Let’s say, for example, that you’ve put your laptop away to please management. Then you have an allision or a collision. During the investigation it comes out that you had a laptop aboard, with up-to-date charts and software, but you chose not to use it. WHAM-O, you just got your pee-pee whacked.
Always, always, always, cover your ass and if a company policy prevents you from doing so, work to change the policy. In the meantime, use youir laptop OR leave it at home.