The Art of Maneuvering

Cunard's 30-knot cruise liner Queen Mary 2 is testament both to the business verve and the technological resourcefulness of the maritime industries. The circumspect approach to every facet of the project underscores the preoccupation with issues of longterm structural integrity, safety, and operational dependability and quality, as the essential backdrop to efficient and expansive revenue-earning over many future decades' service on the open ocean.

Many examples of the shipowner's endorsement of pioneering technologies can be found in the 150,000- gt newcomer to the North Atlantic. Besides the by now well documented design, constructional and engineering advances encapsulated in the vessel, the Cunarder is also claimed to provide the first reference for an onboard PC-based maneuvering simulator directly linked to the ship's dynamic positioning system. As the first vessel fitted with a quadruple pod arrangement, particular importance was attached to ensuring officer familiarization with the ship's maneuvering characteristics, handling performance and onboard equipment. Cunard Line therefore contracted BMT SeaTech, a subsidiary of consultancy British Maritime Technology (BMT), to supply its enhanced PC Rembrandt simulator system to the QM2. In collaboration with Alstom, BMT SeaTech had earlier successfully linked PC Rembrandt to Alstom's A-series DP system. The end result is a DP simulator combining the specific DP algorithms and console from Alstom with the PC Rembrandt mathematical model and worldwide electronic charting and 3-D visuals. The system has initially been used at the St Nazaire yard of Chantiers de l'Atlantique, builder of the QM2, prior to bridge installation.

It permits use in 'stand-alone' mode by the bridge personnel, employing the individual thrusters and pod controls, or with the Alstom DP system, to provide high quality training and familiarization in ship handling, maneuvering and DP operation.

According to Giles Heimann, Cunard's Manager-Training, Recruitment and Personnel, "The combined capability of linking the DP hardware to BMT SeaTech's PC Rembrandt simulator has worked very well." He added that "The ability to conduct the training exercises in QM2's ports of call proved to be a significant advantage, and PC Rembrandt has therefore provided an ideal platform for such forms of training and familiarization."

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 37,  Jan 2004

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First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.