ECDIS Passage Planning and Watchkeeping, 2019 Edition

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ECDIS Passage Planning and Watchkeeping presents individual chapters covering the configuration of ECDIS settings and each of the four stages of passage planning. It supports the operator through these critical stages in a clear and logical manner, providing a wealth of practical information and guidance.

This publication will assist operators to gain a thorough knowledge of ECDIS, thereby contributing towards safer ship operation/navigation and a more effective bridge team. It also encourages operators to practise the use of every function and technique available on ECDIS.

The Appendices include a series of ECDIS checklists, the IMO Guidance for Good Practice, areas for which special conditions exist, an illustrated list of independent mariner selectors, S-63 error codes and explanations, and objects associated with the question mark symbol.



Definitions vii

ECDIS Passage Planning and Watchkeeping


ECDIS Requirements

Effective Planning on ECDIS

The Four Stages of Planning


1 Configuration of ECDIS Settings

1.1 Configuration of ECDIS Sensors

1.1.1 Antennas, Offsets and Ship Data (technical and CCRP set-up only)

1.1.2 Sensor Settings

1.1.3 ECDIS Alert Management

1.2 Depth, Contours and Safety Settings

1.2.1 Safety Depth/Safety Contour

1.2.2 Detection Area

1.2.3 Navigational Hazards

1.2.4 Isolated Dangers

1.2.5 Areas for which Special Conditions Exist

1.3 Display Parameters

1.3.1 System Units

1.3.2 ENC Loading Options

1.3.3 Display Category

1.3.4 Palette

1.4 Vessel Display Parameters

1.5 Route Display Parameters

1.5.1 Route Alarms

1.5.2 Other Display Options


2 Appraisal/Information Gathering


2.1 Appraisal Research

2.1.1 Destination

2.1.2 Environment

2.1.3 Datums

2.1.4 ENC Management

2.1.5 ENC Installation

2.1.6 ENC Updates

2.1.7 Chart Subscription Expiry

2.1.8 ENC Usage Bands

2.1.9 CATZOC Review

2.1.10 Other Considerations


3 Planning the Voyage


3.1 Display Configuration

3.2 Route Creation

3.2.1 New Route

3.2.2 Adding Waypoints

3.2.3 Adjusting Waypoints

3.2.4 Multiple Route Options

3.2.5 Route Table

3.3 Mariner-added Objects

3.4 Supplementary Information

3.5 Manual Updates

3.6 Route Check

3.6.1 Configuration

3.6.2 Conducting the Route Check

3.6.3 Visual Check 80

3.7 Bridge Team Briefing and Master’s Approval


4 Execution

4.1 Route Data

4.2 Pick Reports

4.3 Chart Legend

4.4 Environmental Data

4.5 Symbols

4.5.1 Question Mark Symbol

4.6 Course Alterations


5 Monitoring

5.1 ECDIS Handover

5.2 Position Monitoring

5.2.1 Cross-checking Frequency

5.3 Managing the ETA

5.4 ARPA and AIS Overlay

5.4.1 Radar Information

5.4.2 AIS Information

5.4.3 AIS Aids to Navigation

5.5 Anchor Watch Monitoring

5.5.1 Effective Planning

5.6 ECDIS Additional Functionality

5.6.1 SAR Patterns

5.6.2 Man Overboard (MOB)

5.7 Logbook and ECDIS Voyage Recording

5.8 Sensor Failure

5.8.1 Gyro and Log Failure

5.8.2 GNSS Failure

5.9 ECDIS Failure

5.9.1 Software and Hardware Failure

5.9.2 Cyber Security

5.9.3 ECDIS Cyber Security Drill

5.10 Monitoring Considerations




Annex A – ECDIS Checklists

Annex B – IMO: ‘ECDIS – Guidance for Good Practice’

Annex C – Detection of Areas for which Special Conditions Exist

Annex D – Additional Areas

Annex E – Independent Mariner Selectors

Annex F – S-63 Error Codes and Explanations

Annex G – Objects Associated with the Question Mark Symbol




This 2019 edition of ECDIS Passage Planning and Watchkeeping provides best practice techniques and guidance in the use of ECDIS.


A correctly configured ECDIS is a powerful means of navigation. To obtain the complete benefits of ECDIS and be confident in its use, a good ECDIS operator will:


  • Be proficient in setting up the ECDIS, particularly the safety settings and the display optimisation

  • be aware that ECDIS is always going to provide a ‘position’, understanding how that position has been derived and able to confirm its accuracy

  • take the responsibility to gain an in-depth knowledge of ECDIS.


Learning how to use ECDIS thoroughly, and mentoring others to do the same, contributes towards a safer ship operation and a more effective bridge team. Practising the use of every function and technique available on the ECDIS is one of the most effective ways an officer can improve their core competencies at sea. It is one of the few areas where a junior officer can develop knowledge and experience that can be shared with fellow bridge team members.


Title: ECDIS Passage Planning and Watchkeeping, 2019 Edition
Number of Pages: 186
Product Code: WS1573K
ISBN: ISBN 13: 978-1-85609-816-8 (9781856098168), ISBN 10: 1-85609-816-8 (1856098168)
Published Date: June 2019
Binding Format: Hardback
Book Height: 305 mm
Book Width: 217 mm
Book Spine: 20 mm
Weight: 1.30 kg