Gone are the times when a ship navigation officer was required to take the assistance of unconventional methods to navigate and plan a proper voyage at sea. In the present times, a ship officer is given a plethora of nautical navigation equipment to make his life easier, thanks to the advent of advanced technology. Moreover, seafarers in this day and age are well-trained to possess the knowledge of the operations and functioning of all the equipment used in navigation at the present making the journey to a sea safer and sounder.
This article talks about the various types of nautical navigation equipment, new or old, present in every merchant ship.
- Gyro compass
A gyrocompass helps to find the correct direction. When compared to a magnetic compass, this equipment does not get hampered by the presence of an external magnetic field. It is used to discover the north position, which is also considered to be the rotational axis of the earth to provide a balanced directional source. Its repeated system must be there for emergency steering in the stage of steering.
- Magnetic compass
A magnetic compass works along with the magnetic field of the earth and it is an important means to direct the indicating device. It is also used for obtaining a proper course for a sea voyage. Nautical navigation equipment is generally fitted at the center on the monkey island of the ship. A transmitting magnetic compass is fixed so that the final output can be easily displayed.
The vessels going via sea depends on X-Band and S-Band frequency radar system to navigate, while it detects their targets and displays the required information on a screen, such as any floating object like an iceberg, rocks, or icebergs, the distance between the land and the sea, obstacles, and other vessels for avoiding collisions. It is a rotating antenna that helps discover the area surrounded by a ship.
- Distance and speed log device
It is used on a ship to measure the distance traveled and the speed of the ship from a fixed point. With its calculation, the ETA of the ship can be given to the agent and port authority or adjusted accordingly.
The layout of the ship bridge is filled with tools and equipment used in navigation. It is known to be one of the most effective equipments for bridge navigation as it helps a human operator controls the ship by keeping an autopilot steering. This permits them to focus on wide aspects of the navigational operation.
With the automation and facilities available in the present times, a ship is known to possess various nautical navigation equipments which provide accurate access to data for any voyage.