Take 10: Issue 17

01 Feb 2018 The Navigator

This issue of The Navigator explores the key skills and knowledge needed to become an effective shiphandler.

1 Number one skill

Shiphandling skills are probably the navigator’s greatest skills – both in terms of professional pride and consequences should things go wrong.

2 Practice

Shiphandling is probably one of the most difficult skills to master as it comes from practice – which is hard to find time for, or specialist training – which is costly.

3 Mentoring

Be a mentor if you can and get a mentor if you can; learning on the job is the best way of learning to handle a ship.

4 Watch and reflect

Even if you can’t handle a ship yourself, watch others, such as the Master or Pilot, to learn what to do – or not to do… Taking time to reflect on what went right and what could be improved is a powerful learning tool.

5 What turns a ship?

It’s not just the rudder, all forces must be used and balanced, including propulsion, environment and dynamic forces.

6 Let the ship do the work

The best shiphandlers are the ones who appear to do the least. They let the ship do the work for them.

7 Plan

Having a plan is crucial to success. Anticipating how the ship will behave will help you to carry out that plan.

8 No need for speed

When berthing a ship, the faster you go, the longer it will take.

9 Keep calm

A calm, measured approach will instil confidence in the bridge team and get you in the correct position more quickly and with far less drama.

10 Logbook

Keeping a logbook of your practice manoeuvres is invaluable. It allows you and your mentor to reflect on your success, demonstrates to others your capability, identifies gaps in your experience that may require extra training, and is a document to take professional pride in. The Nautical Institute provides specialist logbooks for shiphandling.

Like our top 10 tips?

Read them in your own language at www.nautinst.org/NavInspire