What are Points To Be Kept In Mind during Passage Planning?

Written by Amit Sharma

In drawing up a Passage Plan, the Master shall NOT be too much swayed by how to shorten the distance but Select an Optimal ship track

Ocean and Open Waters

Enter the planned ship track on a small-scale chart to obtain its approximate distance. The following are among the points to be considered when setting ship course line:

  • Select an optimal ships course. (Great Circle , Composite or Rhumb. Line in the order of preference, subject to prevalent weather conditions)
  • Use information from Sea and Weather forecast and, in case a Weather Service is adopted, information on recommendable Ships Routing.
  • Besides above analyzing , the Master shall select the route which is expected Minimum Fuel Consumption and Minimum Hours Under Way.
Coastal and Restricted Waters

In the case of coastal and restricted waters navigation, there are certain restrictions on the navigation of ships due to the available width of channel, water depth, heavy shipping traffic, IMO traffic separation schemes etc.

Following shall be considered when drawing up the course line
No-Go Areas

While safely navigable waters are restricted by such factors as draught, under keel clearance and tidal conditions, there are some Cautionary Zones called ‘No-Go Area’ where the ship cannot navigate safely. These areas must be shown by cross hatching (using only Pencil) in regions close to charted track.

To minimize the risk of getting stranded even in the occurrence of trouble on the Engine or Steering system, secure as much distance as possible from the Cautionary Zone.
Put down the Distance off Clearly on the chart using Parallel Indexing from the obstacles.

Safe Water 

Around the No-Go Area, secure Safe Water where the ship can navigate safely by taking Margins of Safety into consideration.
In determining Safe Water consider the following :

Ship conditions such as Draft and Maneuvering Performance Effects of Ocean stream, Tidal current and Tide Under Keel Clearance Distance off from the Shallow waters, Obstacles etc

About the author

Amit Sharma

Graduated from M.E.R.I. Mumbai (Mumbai University), After a brief sailing founded this website with the idea to bring the maritime education online which must be free and available for all at all times and to find basic solutions that are of extreme importance to a seafarer by our innovative ideas.

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