New eBooks bring nautical publications into the digital age
The delivery of navigation charts and nautical publications to ships at sea has been subject to continuous evolution, from print to online and now using tools designed for the digital age.
While the correct charts are fundamental to a safe voyage port to port, having the right nautical publications is also essential for compliance and ensuring the crew have access to latest updates and advisories.
Gone are the days that ships would have to rely on paper updates and hard copy information unless it is used as a back-up. Today both nautical publications and voyage data are available around the clock.
The move towards digital delivery of this information faced hurdles at first, according to Voyager Worldwide eBook Product Manager Noel Fernando. “Getting web access onboard could be a challenge but it’s definitely better than waiting for physical deliveries and hoping the right information gets to you on time. Bringing content online means no delays to updates or new publications, ensuring vessels have all the information they need for a safe voyage instantly.”
The move away from paper was given a boost by the International Maritime Organization’s new IMO Bookshelf service for digital versions of regulatory instruments, codes and updates. This system has been transitioned from what was a Windows-based proprietary software application to a browser-based system.
Voyager Worldwide worked to make its Voyager eBook eReader available on the same browser-based approach. Voyager eBook provides access to Nautical Publications, Flag Circulars, Regulations and Notices via a web browser on any fixed or mobile Operating System.
The Voyager product team has been working on Voyager eBook for more than a year with the priority of providing users to have a common interface to access all the nautical information they need for navigation compliance and remove the need to swap between different ways of working.
“The Voyager eBook solution takes nautical publications a step further forward; as internet access onboard increases, we can bring more content online and deliver solutions to those in place for navigation.” adds Fernando.
The aim is familiarity and simplicity so that mariners can quickly access the information they need.
“Using a browser rather than proprietary software means users can simply navigate to the Voyager eBook site and log in to find the latest available data and updates,” Fernando says. “Data can be backed up either by caching or saved for transfer across the ship’s internal PC network making it available for a number of users in different locations.”
Voyager eBook Customers can select and subscribe to regulatory and information content from Flag States and Class Societies as well as nautical publishers such Office of the Federal Register, US Coast Guard, NOAA and NGA.
Voyager eBook delivers content on demand via the ship’s standard communications network. Customers can shop for the eBooks they need via the Voyager Planning Station or Voyager Fleet Insight, purchases can be approved by the shore-based team and then automatically enabled in the eBook platform quickly and easily.
New books can be downloaded in less than a minute over a typical connection. Subscription content such as circulars and other updates are automatically shared for subscribers to download as required. Additionally, a copy of every book purchased is backed up online in the Voyager Cloud so that customers can always access their inventory from any device.
“In developing Voyager eBook, we wanted to bring the best of physical books but also overcome their limitations with a hybrid online/offline solution which can give access in seconds on any onboard device,” adds Mr Fernando.
“Shore based budget-holders can approve vessel orders for eBook content in the same way they approve orders for other navigation supplies using Voyager Fleet Insight and indexes are automatically updated in both Voyager Fleet Insight and Planning Station to give both the shore and vessel-based teams full visibility of navigation compliance.”
An insight into the Product Manager
Noel Fernando is an experienced consultant with a proven track record in the maritime industry, skilled in Safety Management Systems, the ISM Code, GMDSS and marine operations. He holds a Bachelor of Nautical Science focused in Marine Science/Merchant Marine Officer from the Academy of Maritime Education and Training (AMET), Kanathur, India.
For more information about our onboard solutions contact: