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This publication equips navigators with a thorough knowledge of ECDIS, contributing towards safer ship operation/navigation and a more effective bridge team. It encourages operators to practise the use of every function and technique available on ECDIS, such as setting correct safety depths and safety contours, as well as understanding topics such as scale minimum (SCAMIN) and alarm management.

Updated ECDIS screenshots and illustrations such as the APEM (appraisal, planning, execution and monitoring) flowchart aid readers’ understanding of best practice techniques.

This edition of ECDIS Passage Planning and Watchkeeping sets out procedures for the correct configuration of ECDIS and, utilising the APEM methodology, highlights best practices for passage planning and watchkeeping.

To obtain the complete benefits of ECDIS and be confident in its use, an ECDIS operator should:

• Be proficient in setting up the ECDIS, particularly the safety and display settings
• be aware that, while ECDIS may continuously display a ‘position’, it is important to understand how that position has been derived and how to verify its accuracy. The key to effective ECDIS navigation is‘position verification’ of the current GNSS position. The watchkeeper must regularly cross-check the GNSS position with LOPs from an alternative positioning method.

Practising the use of every function and technique available on the ECDIS is one of the most effective ways a watchkeeper can maintain and develop their navigation skills at sea. Learning how to use each type of ECDIS thoroughly, and mentoring others to do the same, contributes towards safer ship operation
and a more effective bridge team.

In November 2021, the UK Supreme Court reaffirmed the decision that a defective passage plan effectively renders the ship legally unseaworthy. In the case under question, a large container ship went aground. The company was held liable for several million dollars when it was determined that the
chart had not been properly updated. It was confirmed that the passage plan (appraising and planning stages) and subsequent navigation outside a buoyed fairway did not reflect a warning given in a Notice to Mariners. The warning stated that the depths shown on the chart outside the fairway were unreliable and
that the waters were shallower than those recorded on the chart.