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Dynamic Positioning: Theory & Practices, 2nd Edition (eBook)

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This publication is a guide to the theory and practices behind dynamic position (DP).

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This guide covers the principles and procedures of dynamic positioning (DP). It focuses on topics such as:


  • Planning and operations (including risk assessment, operation and contingency planning)
  • equipment
  • mission-specific DP operations (including offshore support, pipe lay operations and heavy lift/crane operations).


The second edition has been fully revised and updated and includes a new chapter on DP incident investigation, as well as new sections on mission specific project planning.

About the Author


Part I – Theory of Dynamic Positioning

1. Offshore Environment 
2. Components of a DP System
3. DP System Architecture 
4. Position Measurement 
5. Principles of Dynamic Positioning
6. Position Keeping Capability 
7. Guidelines for Vessels and Units with Dynamic Positioning (DP) Systems (MSC.1/Circ.1580) 


Part II – Planning and Operation

8. Risk Assessment 
9. DP Operational Planning
10. DP Operation and Contingency Plan

Part III – Equipment

11. Position Reference Systems
12. Sensors 
13. Thruster System


Part IV – Surveys, Trials, Failures and Investigation

14. Surveys, Trials and Checks
15. Failures, Emergencies and Incidents
16. DP Incident Investigation 


Part V – Mission-specific DP Operations 

17. Offshore Support Operations
18. Diving Operations
19. Pipe Lay Operations
20. Heavy Lift/Crane Operations
21. Shuttle Tanker and FPSO Operations
22. Miscellaneous Mission-specific Operations 
23. Offshore Drilling Operations



Glossary and Abbreviations
Guidance Relating to DP Operations

This book bridges the knowledge gap between the users of dynamic positioning (DP) and the knowledge encapsulated in sources such as DP system manuals, onboard documentation, IMO publications, class society rules and regulations, IMCA guidelines and research papers. This book has been updated to MSC.1/Circ.1580 and its text is quoted in italics.


It is a challenge to deal with a subject as complex as DP and with features differing between systems. DP vessels vary in shape, size and role, with often very little in common in their operating procedures, eg a diving vessel and an FPSO. This book comprehensively explains the principles and procedures of DP for all users.


DP differs from other maritime activities and, in effect, is more akin to aviation where the reaction time is usually less and averting a disaster depends solely on the operator’s proficiency, training, team work and reliability of the DP system. The aviation industry has evolved over the years in terms of training and standard operating procedures; DP has a long way to go, but it is heartening to note that, in the past few years, it has made significant strides in the quality of training delivered.


In the recent past there have been a few high profile offshore accidents resulting in fatalities and damage to property and the environment. Education is vital in avoiding future incidents and I sincerely hope that this book will be a small step in bringing about this change.


In the second edition, a chapter on DP incident investigation has been added, an important function for SDPOs. The scope of Chapters 17–23 on mission-specific operations has been broadened to enable bespoke project planning. These chapters in Part V should be read in conjunction with chapters in Part I dealing with generic DP operations. I hope this edition will adequately meet the need of the complete spectrum of DP users.


Witherbys titles are developed using scripts developed by technical experts that are peer reviewed within work groups. Typically, they seek to improve understanding of the regulations, recommendations and guidelines issued by Industry.

Witherbys staff have significant expertise in the fields of navigation and hazardous cargoes as well as in the presentation of complex subjects in a graphic and easy to understand manner.

Captain KC Shukla

Captain KC Shukla is a visiting lecturer in DP at the Korea Maritime and Ocean University, Busan and MT–Marine Technologies Center, Singapore and provides support to DP Nautical Ltd, UK. He has worked on board diving support vessels and offshore oil fields and has experience in offshore maintenance and construction projects.

In 2008, he was invited to join the C-MAR Group as DP faculty, where he continued until 2016. During this period, he was actively involved in the improvement of the DP curriculum and authored the ‘DP Simulator Course Manual’ for the Group.

Title: Dynamic Positioning: Theory & Practices, 2nd Edition (eBook)
Number of Pages: 242
Product Code: IT103592
Published Date:
Author: Capt KC Shukla

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