ECDIS Passage Planning and Watchkeeping, 2020 Edition

Published Date

July 2020

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ECDIS Passage Planning and Watchkeeping, 2020 Edition

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This 2020 edition of ECDIS Passage Planning and Watchkeeping provides best practice techniques and guidance on the use of ECDIS. It includes clear explanations of the configuration of ECDIS settings and the four stages of route planning using the APEM method set out in IMO Resolution A.893(21) (appraisal, planning, execution and monitoring).


The text is divided into user-friendly sections, with attention drawn to operator guidance and safety critical information.

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


This publication will help 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 practice 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.




ECDIS Requirements

ECDIS Standards

The Components of ECDIS

Effective Planning on ECDIS

The Four Stages of Planning


1 Configuration of ECDIS Settings

1.1 Configuration of ECDIS Sensors

1.2 Depth, Contours and Safety Settings

1.3 Chart Display Parameters

1.4 Vessel Display Parameters

1.5 Route Display Parameters


2 Appraisal/Information Gathering


2.1 Appraisal Research


3 Planning the Voyage


3.1 Display Configuration

3.2 Route Creation

3.3 Mariner-added Objects

3.4 Supplementary Information

3.5 Manual Updates

3.6 Route Check

3.7 Bridge Team Briefing and Master’s Approval


4 Execution


5 Monitoring

5.1 ECDIS Handover

5.2 Position Monitoring

5.3 Waypoint Passing Criteria

5.4 Managing the ETA 110

5.5 ARPA and AIS Overlay

5.6 Anchor Watch Monitoring

5.7 ECDIS Additional Functionality

5.8 Logbook and ECDIS Voyage Recording

5.9 Sensor Failure

5.10 ECDIS Failure

5.11 Monitoring Considerations



Annex A – ECDIS Checklists

ECDIS Operator Familiarisation Checklist

ECDIS Appraisal and Planning Checklist

Pre-sailing Checklist

Safety Settings

Handover of the Nav Watch (ECDIS related items)
ECDIS Failure

GNSS Failure Checklist

Anchorage Checklist

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

Annex C – Detection of Areas for which Special Conditions Exist

Annex D – Additional Areas

Annex E – Display Options

Annex F – S-63 Error Codes and Explanations

Annex G – Objects Associated with the Question Mark Symbol




This 2020 edition of ECDIS Passage Planning and Watchkeeping provides best practice techniques and guidance in the use of ECDIS. This book explores the correct configuration of ECDIS, then discusses passage planning on ECDIS. It highlights best practice for executing and monitoring the passage plan, to utilise ECDIS effectively while watchkeeping.


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’, understand how that position has been derived and be able to confirm its accuracy
- take the responsibility to gain an in-depth knowledge of ECDIS. 


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. 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.


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.

Title: ECDIS Passage Planning and Watchkeeping, 2020 Edition
Number of Pages: 214
Product Code: WS1688K
ISBN: ISBN 13: 978-1-85609-920-2
Published Date: July 2020
Binding Format: Hardback
Book Height: 305 mm
Book Width: 217 mm
Book Spine: 20 mm
Weight: 1.40 kg
Author: Witherby Publishing Group

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