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Simulators - to replace part of sea phase?

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  • Simulators - to replace part of sea phase?

    Hi all

    I've been reading through the industry/stakeholder responses to the EU maritime strategy consultation. There's some interesting stuff in there (and also a lot of waffle - clearly some people are cutting and pasting their responses). One Cypriot group suggests that simulators in lieu of some sea time.

    I was wondering what peoples' experience of simulators was and whether or to what extent they could replace parts of sea phases? I presume there are arguments both ways?

    This is their suggestion: "Cadets now have to spend one year on a merchant vessel in order to graduate. This requirement seems to be outdated, given the growing possibilities provided by modern simulators. Increasing the time spent training on a simulator whilst reducing the required time spent onboard may be;advantageous for all parties:
    (1) the quality of the graduates will not deteriorate or will even increase as simulator time is much more effective than observing on the bridge what others are doing,
    (2) the shipowner will have highly trained and qualified new officers onboard,
    (3) the number of available training places for cadets onboard will increase as the average time spent onboard per cadet can be lowered. This may increase the number of graduates at EU maritime academies.
    "

  • #2
    Simulator time certainly is advantageous, but I would have to question whether further reducing the sea-time requirement would be wise. I personally feel that simulator time is more beneficial once someone is experienced, because as a cadet it will always seem a bit like a computer game, and thats just a psychological issue. The same would be said if you put someone in an aircraft flight simulator in a difficult situation and then a real pilot, the pilot would probably come away sweating with increased heart rate...

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    • #3
      Trouble with a simulator you can't replicate the reall world, the sudden eta/etd changes or the lunacy that the Chinese fishermen can get up to during perfectly normal sailing.

      It's useful as a tool but only as a tool, we have enough trouble with the play station generation coming to sea and having no clue that at the end of every mouse click and mouse pointer there is a real physical thing that they ought know the location of and three workings of and how to put the bloody thing in manual when it goes wonky!
      Trust me I'm a Chief.

      Views expressed by me are mine and mine alone.
      Yes I work for the big blue canoe company.
      No I do not report things from here to them as they are quite able to come and read this stuff for themselves.


      Twitter:- @DeeChief

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Chiefy View Post
        Trouble with a simulator you can't replicate the reall world, the sudden eta/etd changes or the lunacy that the Chinese fishermen can get up to during perfectly normal sailing.
        Also they don't replicate things like having had a rubbish couple of nights sleep, not having had a decent meal in days or being dog tired at the tail end of a months long contract. Plus you're never in them long enough to experience the sheer boredom that comes sometimes on the bridge and to top it all off I've yet to have been on one where you are having to contend with some of the language barriers you experience at sea.

        As a note to the author have a look at some of the DP courses as they include a seatime reduction course component which might make interesting reading.

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        • #5
          I would say simulators would be better placed to reduce college time not sea time. I remember being taught ship manoeuvres by power point when we had simulators one floor up.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Lewis View Post
            I would say simulators would be better placed to reduce college time not sea time. I remember being taught ship manoeuvres by power point when we had simulators one floor up.
            Warsash Maritime Academy- the premier maritime training center

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            • #7
              The longest I ever got to spend in a simulator was about 3 hours, and even the really super swanky ones with 360 views aren't a patch on actually being on a bridge. They're useful for practising theory where you get lots of scenarios thrown at you, but you absolutely need the experience of being on a real bridge to appreciate how a ship handles: feeling the pitch, yaw, vibration, swing etc, learning to recognise a change in that through your body, not just your eyes and panels of alarms (that might not go off until something is seriously wrong). You need to learn about how to LIVE on board, and there's all the other aspects to being an officer - the maintenance, the admin, the drills and training, the noise, the movement, the people.... So, no, I don't think simulators can replace shipboard training for cadets. Plus, if that was ever to be a vaguely reasonable option, they'd need to build a sh*t ton of simulators to enable all the cadets in each college to work 4hr watches, and employ enough senior officers to also man them - you learn so much from your senior officers, without even realising it. Having a fellow cadet "acting" as master when they have no experience is of very little benefit, as when in doubt, you call the master and they talk you through it/take over and teach you (if they're a half decent master at least). All in all I think it'd just be cheaper and a better learning experience to just keep sending our cadets to sea.

              Size4riggerboots

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              • #8
                thanks bridge monkey - will have a look

                Originally posted by bridgemonkey View Post
                Also they don't replicate things like having had a rubbish couple of nights sleep, not having had a decent meal in days or being dog tired at the tail end of a months long contract. Plus you're never in them long enough to experience the sheer boredom that comes sometimes on the bridge and to top it all off I've yet to have been on one where you are having to contend with some of the language barriers you experience at sea.

                As a note to the author have a look at some of the DP courses as they include a seatime reduction course component which might make interesting reading.

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                • #9
                  interesting discussion all, thankyou.

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                  • #10
                    I wouldn't think about reducing the seatime (for engineers). Increasing it would be more beneficial..

                    As for simulators.. "What's a simulator?" is the first thing that pops into my head after spending 3 years at Glasgow. Hopefully that's changed now with the fancy new campus.

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