In the present cases were most maritime companies are not implementing any training program (cadetship) for the incoming professionals (navigation and engine department), it’s advisable to make an adequate research, either from the experienced seafarers or via online articles from ex-sailors.
Addition to our continuous support to cadetship program, on this article, I will like to share more basic navigational knowledge a deck cadet needs to have before boarding any ship.
For your interviewer or examiner, it’s important to be able to answer a simple questions such as navigation type, equipments and it usage. Failure to get those questions answered may lead to disqualifying your application.
Types of ship Navigation
There are basically 4 types of marine navigation, applicable in the Morden ships which includes;
- Celestial navigation
- Dead reckoning navigation
- Inertial navigation
- Electronic navigation
The Celestial navigation – one of the oldest type of navigation but still not outdated. It’s the art and science of navigating by the sun, stars, moon, and planets.
In the recent time, this method is use as a backup to modern technology, lecture purposes or even for fun in maritime museum. Celestial is quite similar to triangulation, archive by use of two celestial bodies and an instrument called sextant.
Dead Reckoning Navigation (DRN)– This is achieved by calculating your current position by using a previously determined position. The word dead reckoning is derived from biological way of animals traces back their part.
Though dead reckoning is subject to cumulative errors, however advances in navigational aids that give accurate information on position, in particular satellite navigation using the Global Positioning System (GPS), which have made dead reckoning more simple by humans obsolete for most purposes.
Inertial navigation system (INS) – This type of navigation system uses dead reckoning to provide very accurate directional information. This is achieved with the help of an accelerometer and gyroscopes electronic sensors’ continuous calculate by dead reckoning position, orientation, speed and moving objects without the need for external references. Inertial navigation is widely use in shipping industry today.
The Electronic navigation – With the modification of technology, this type of navigation is achieved with the methods of radio frequencies(to determining a position), satellite and radar (to determine position relative to known objects).
Since electronic requires electricity to be powered, it’s advisable for you as a navigator to have knowledge of other three types in case of power failure.
Marine navigation appliances and it usage
As a navigator, it’s important to be familiar with most navigation appliances onboard and it proper usage. Onboard merchant and offshore vessels, you might meet equipments such as:
- Speed & Distance Log Device
- Weather Satellite Systems
- Automatic Radar Plotting Aid (ARPA)
- Electronic Charts and Chartplotters
- Gyro compass
- Compass Deviation Card
- Fluxgate compass
- Magnetic compass
- GPS receiver
- Echo Sounder
- Automatic Tracking Aid
All of the above mentioned equipment is to aid easy navigation across the ocean. This article will continue.
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