Does anyone use Helm software on their vessels? Looking into a few different options and wondering if there are hidden costs.

Pardon my innocence, but what is helm software?

It’s Maintenance software for vessels.

there are others out there, such as, marineCFO

I presume those you mention are strictly for the US market?

There are many Planned Maintenance Systems (PMS) available on the international market. Some of them has been developed over decades, with the earlies based on Rolodex cards in the 1970s by SINTEF. This was computerized in the 1990s, with many new actors joining the fray.

Web-based Fleet Management System has been developed from there and now cover every aspect of a ship’s life, from early design and financing to scrapping.
All aspect of operation, incl. PMS, statutory record keeping, crewing records, payroll and purchasing are covered in the better ones.
Unfortunately some are developed by computer nerds with no, or very little, understanding of how ships are actually operated and managed.

They are also assuming that the users are as computer savvy as they are, making the system difficult and time consuming to use for most ship’s Officers and Engineer. (as well as for many of the shore based staff).

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Do you mean Helm Connect, produced by a Victoria, BC company, that is owned by a Japanese company?

I think the others are marketed in the US but they would allow international subscribers if a vessel owner was interested. Thank you for the interesting info. And yes, I’ve noticed some are very difficult to use.

Yes, that Helm in Canada. I didn’t know that they were owned by a Japanese company though. Have you had any experience using it? Or any of the other vessel maintenance softwares out there?

Don’t know at what level of interest you are, but coincidently I received an e-mail offering a course about “Marine Integrated Management Systems” today. Here is a link to their website:

I have been involved with this type of systems for a long time, both on marketing and critiquing them. The ones I know best is:

TM Master:

Both have their roots in the original SINTEF system, but have taken somewhat different routes to the present web based systems.

Yes. My company had Helm Connect for a couple years, but changed to Mobile Ops.

I have used Helm Connect, the ABS ipad based software (not NS5), and Mobile Ops. I have also used elaborate one off in-house developed software. Of course I’ve also used paper based SMS.

Personally, I prefer Mobile Ops because it is the easiest to customize to fit particular tugboat operations. My second choice would be ABS.

The paper systems are actually the easiest for compliance, but not really useful for anything else.

I’m not sure, but I think Helm Connect may be owned by Class NK.

Marad in The Netherlands offers ship maintenance and management software. We are happy users of this piece of software: