What are General Navigation Routines to be followed by OOW ?

At short intervals
  • Look out visually-check RADAR display.
  • Consider ships position reset alarms.
At intervals not exceeding 1 hour
  • check compass – check engine rpm.
  • check heading – check general ship status.
During each watch
  • calibrate instruments
  • Verify compass input & alignments.
  • Verity compass error & log in deviation book.
  • Cheek radar performance.
  • Check auto/hand steering transfer.
  • Observe the weather & read weather report.
At watch handover
  • check the track/heading
  • Read any standing orders.
  • Become familiar with traffic situation.
  • Consider the weather.
  • On leaving write the log.
  • Carry out a visual inspection of vessel.
At daily intervals
  • Obtain time cheeks & synchronise clocks.
  • Update draught and trim Update charts and publication.
  • Test alarms, navigational lights, whistle.
  • Test radio equipment distress auto alarms.
  • Alternate the steering systems.
OOW self checks
  • Check working after first result obtained
  • Formulate approximate results before working out detailed calculations.
  • Plan ahead, such as (a) Time of taking the watch, the position at the end of watch.
  • Adopt practices which are soft checking, such as more than two PL with each fix.
  • Check a parallel index with a position fix to verify that the range chosen was not in error.
  • Do not rely on one method of fixing when additional methods are available.
  • Use the echo sounder to check depth when approaching land, to augment other navigational information.
  • Verify the compass bearing of an approaching vessel visually or on radar at least 3 times.
  • Use cheek lists.
  • Monitor any action taken is having desired effect.


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