Tag Archives: SOLAS V

Electromagnetic Compatibility and Navigational Equipment

Navsregs>SOLAS>SOLAS V>Electromagnetic Compatibility

A Handy Guide to SOLAS V Regulation 17 – Electromagnetic Compatibility

Polarcus Alima's bridge

After that brief pause to look at changes to MARPOL this blog now returns to exploring the regulations of SOLAS Chapter V.

Click here to read Regulation 17 on the UK MCA website>

What vessels must comply with Regulation 17?

Ships constructed on or after 1 July 2002

What does this regulation require regarding equipment testing of bridge equipment?

That all electrical and electronic equipment on the bridge or in the vicinity of the bridge is tested for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC).

What resolution gives the requirements for Electromagnetic compatibility with navigational equipment?


Click here to view the resolution>

What should the installation of electrical and electronic equipment avoid with regards to bridge navigation equipment?

Electromagnetic interference affecting the proper function of navigational systems and equipment. Portable electrical and electronic equipment shall not be operated on the bridge if it may affect the proper function of navigational systems and equipment.

What must masters ensure regarding portable electronic equipment being used on a ship’s bridge?

That no portable electrical or electronic equipment that might cause interference is used on or near the bridge. This includes not only ship’s equipment but also personal items such as  portable radios, hi-fi equipment and lap top computers. Non-transmitting equipment displaying the European “CE” mark will probably not cause interference.

Mobile phones, while not likely to cause electromagnetic interference, prove to be an increasing distraction to safe navigation. MGN (M&F) 299 – Interference with Safe Navigation through inappropriate use of Mobile Phones is to be complied with.

IECFor Electromagnetic Compatibility standards refer to IEC 60945

Click to search for IEC 60945 on Amazon>

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SOLAS V and Navigational Bridge Design

Navsregs>SOLAS>SOLAS V>Navigation Bridge Design

Container Ship Bridge at Portsmouth

A Handy Summary

This series of posts on SOLAS V, Safety of navigation now explores a group of regulations concerned with the navigational bridge. 

What Regulation covers Navigational Bridge Design?

SOLAS Regulation 15 – ‘Principles Relating to Bridge Design, Design and Arrangement of Navigational Systems and Equipment and Bridge Procedures.‘ The principles in this Regulation must be taken into account when complying with the following SOLAS regulations:

  • 19-Carriage requirements for shipborne navigational systems and equipment
  • 22-Navigation bridge visibility
  • 24-Use of heading and/or track control systems
  • 25-Operation of main source of electrical power and steering gear
  • 27-Nautical charts and nautical publications
  • 28-Records of navigational activities and daily reporting

These regulations will be covered in later posts.

What are the principles of Navigational Bridge Design?

Bridge of a Fyffe ship

Bridge design must:

Appraisal-Facilitate the tasks to be performed by the bridge team and the pilot in making full appraisal of the situation and in navigating the ship safely under all  conditions.

Bridge Resources-Promote effective and safe bridge resource management.

Information access-Enable the bridge team and the pilot to have convenient and continuous access to essential information.

Information presentation-Present information in a clear and unambiguous manner, using standardized symbols for controls and displays.

Status indication-Indicate the operational status of automated functions and integrated components and systems.

Decision making-Allow for expeditious, continuous and effective information processing and decision-making by the bridge team and the pilot.

Distractions-Prevent or minimize excessive or unnecessary work and any conditions or distractions on the bridge which may cause fatigue or interfere with the vigilance of the bridge team and the pilot.

Human error-Minimize the risk of human error and detecting such error, if it occurs, through monitoring and alarm systems, in time for the bridge team and the pilot to take appropriate action.

Click here for the UK MCA guidance on Regulation 15, and the text of the regulation> 

Rule 5 of the Collision Regulations

These design principles support the most important rule in the COLREGS, Rule 5

“Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight an

Click to view this Handy Revision Guide for Kindle on Amazon

d hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and or the risk of collision.”

Where to look for more detailed information

The broad principles of Regulation 15 will be expanded with some practical detail in tne next post when I dig into Circular 982.

Further Reading

To find copies of the Bridge Procedures Guide on Amazon click here>

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Voyage data recorder systems-Certificate of Compliance

wpid-wp-1442585512060.jpegVDR Certificate of Compliance

A Handy Revision Guide

Another equipment related certificate, this time to the maritime equivalent to an aircraft’s ‘Black box’. 

Why is the Certificate of Compliance required?

SOLAS Chapter V Regulation 18

“The voyage data recorder system, including all sensors, shall be subjected to an annual performance test. The test shall be conducted by an approved testing or servicing facility to verify the accuracy, duration and recoverability of the recorded data. In addition, tests and inspections shall be conducted to determine the serviceability of all protective enclosures and devices fitted to aid location. A copy of the certificate of compliance issued by the testing facility, stating the date of compliance and the applicable performance standards, shall be retained on board the ship.”

Click here for Chapter V on the UK MCA website>

Which ships are required to carry a VDR or S-DVR?

SOLAS Chapter V Safety of Navigation Regulation 20- Voyage Data Recordersvdrimo

Click here for the IMO website on VDRs>


  • Passenger ships
  • Ships, other than passenger ships, of 3,000 gross tonnage and upwards constructed on or after 1 July 2002


Cargo ships of 3,000 gross tonnage and upward when engaged on international voyages, shall be fitted with a VDR which may be a simplified voyage data recorder

When must the performance test be carried out?

Annually within the following windows:

The maximum period between checks of the VDR is 15 months for Passenger vessels and 18 months for Cargo vessels.

What is contained on the certificate?vdrform

Reference  IMO MSC.1/Circ.1222

Ship’s Details

  • Ship’s Name
  • Flag
  • IMO Number
  • Date Keel laid
  • Gross Tonnage

Voyage Data Recorder Details

  • Manufacturer
  • Modelvdr2
  • System Serial Number
  • Software version number
  • Date Fitted

Inspection Details

  • Name person conducting testing
  • Company
  • Inspection Date
  • Inspection Location
    • Pre-existing Alarms
    • Power Supply Alarm Check
    • Reserve Power Source Check
    • Reserve Power Source shut down Check
    • Battery Expiry Dates
    • Acoustic Beacon Test
    • Physical Condition of Equipment Inspect Equipment and Record Condition
    • Interfaces: Operation and recording
    • Change or Repair of Sensors

Manufacturer’s Analysis

Observations and additional manufacturer’s requirements

What is a S-VDR?

A Simplified Voyage Data Recorder.This  is not required to store the same level of detailed data as a standard VDR, but nonetheless should maintain a store, in a secure and retrievable form, of information concerning the position, movement, physical status, command and control of a vessel over the period leading up to and following an incident

Items to be record on Voyage Data Recorder

Reference IMO Performance Standard (Res. A.861(20))


  • Date & time
  • Ship’s position
  • Speed (through water or over ground)
  • Heading
  • Bridge Audio
  • Comms audioimg_20160915_132855_hdr_kindlephoto-117081169.jpg
  • Radar data- post display selection
  •  Water depth
  •  Main alarms
  •  Rudder order & response
  • Engine order & response
  • Telegraphs, controls and thrusters
  •  Hull openings status
  •  Watertight & fire door status
  •  Acceleration & hull stresses- when fitted
  •  Wind speed & direction-when fitted


  • Date and time
  • Ship’s position m
  • Speed (Through the water or over the ground)
  •  Heading
  •  Bridge Audio
  • Communications audio  VHF communications
  • Radar data
  • AIS Data  AIS to be recorded if it is impossible to record radar data. If radar is recorded AIS may be recorded as an additional source of information

Some VDR links

GMDSS Users Handbook on Amazon

This book by Denise Bréhaut is is available in both paperback and Kindle editions, with a good discount for the electronic edition.  It has 4* reviews on Amazon , with some stating it is perfect accompaniment to the GMDSS qualifications. There have been some reviews claiming that the book is in need of an update, so have a look at the reviews, and judge which elements of the system you may have to top up your reading  with.  Click here to see the book on Amazon>

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