Navigating any marine vessel has become simpler due to the advancements in technology. There are many different navigation equipment that is available which ensure safer journeys at sea. In the past, there were many methods used for navigation that required a lot of work and time. But accuracy of the navigation equipment has increased over time with technology.
Magnetic compasses are affected when there is an external magnetic field and it will not be accurate in this situation. Magnetic compasses have been used for a long time and they can indicate direction. So a gyro compass is used for its accuracy. Radar is also used for navigation as it can display any targets, floating objects, obstructions etc. surrounding the ship on a screen. This is very important to avoid collisions with other vessels and obstacles. ARPA or Automatic Radar Plotting Aid shows the position of the ship and any other marine vessels that are nearby to ensure no collision can occur. This monitoring system works constantly and monitors the surrounding of the ship. There is a device called automatic tracking aid that will show information using graphics and numbers regarding tracked targets. It helps the operator follow a collision free course as it generates a planned layout that avoids any obstacles.
Some devices have been used for navigation for a long time such as the echo sounder. This is still used in many ships and boats. It can measure the depth of water below the vessel using sound waves. The bridge layout of the ship has many navigation tools and equipment. A very important tool on this is the autopilot. This provides additional support to the human operator in controlling and steering the ship. This is another way of guaranteeing the safety of the ship and allowing the operator to look at the bigger picture. There are many stores that provide boat parts and navigation equipment. You will be able to check their inventory online and the specifications of the products. Speed and distance travelled by the ship are measured by the bridge equipment. And this information can be transferred to the port authority.
There is a lot of information that we can obtain regarding other vessels at sea due to advanced technology. The automatic identification system is able to locate other marine vessels and their navigational statistics. They can also enable ships to send and receive messages between each other. Generally, all large scale passenger vessels and commercial ships are required to carry this. All boats should carry navigational lights as part of the navigation system. There are many guidelines when it comes to navigational lights. It also depends on the type of boat. All ships should carry a voyage data recorder to ensure vital information regarding its operation is recorded. This can be used to investigate accidents. This is similar to the black box of a plane. There is also the rate of turn indicator that will allow the coxswain to safely steer a course. A sound reception system will help the navigation officer to listen to sound signals from other vessels in the vicinity.