The SC Connector’s commitment to efficiency goes beyond its towering, 35m rotor sails, making it Norway’s tallest ship. As Captain Helge Hals explains, NAVTOR’s unique e-Navigation ecosystem also helps his crew slash administration and sail with the optimal safety, efficiency and operational focus.
Sea Cargo’s (SC) Connector vessel is an awe-inspiring sight.
Over 150m in length and stretching to a colossal 56m in height (thanks to its twin Norsepower rotating sails), the RoRo vessel raises eyebrows and interest wherever she sails.
However, from his position on the bridge, Captain Helge Hals has his attention focused on issues other than aesthetics, ensuring this unique ship sails safely from port to port. Thankfully, he has NAVTOR to help him out.
NAVTOR, he explains, has helped transform the bridge into a largely paperless workplace, with the NavStation digital chart table software utilised for planning, and passage plans seamlessly transferred over to the ECDIS.
The reliance on digital charts and technology radically reduces administration work for his officers – something which, apparently, everybody benefits from.
“We’ve been subscribing to NAVTOR services for many years, and we’re very happy with them,” he notes. “All the systems communicate with one another, all necessary updates are received automatically, and everything is easily updated.”
“In the past, a lot of time was needed to perform corrections on publications and charts, for example, on light sectors,” he comments. “The publications in particular needed a lot of cut-and-pasting work to keep them up to date. It was, to be honest, unreasonably time-consuming for our navigation officers.”
However, the switch to digital has slashed time, and potential for human error, while putting a smile on his crews’ faces.
“We’re truly happy with how the development has improved these tasks,” Hals beams.
The right focus
Arguably the most important outcome of the transition, other than the crew’s satisfaction, is that they now have the time to focus on what’s really important: sailing, not admin.
“As a vessel over 150m of length, we need class 1 Pilot Exemption Certificate (PEC) on our coastal routes,” Hals says. “So, with two navigators on watch, one needs to have PEC class 1 as a minimum. In the past, one navigator would have to perform chart corrections at sea, taking their focus away from operations. Now, that task is obsolete, so both navigators can have their full attention where it actually matters.”
Concluding, the ship’s captain says it’s not only his vessel that benefits from this smart, joined-up approach to navigation.
All of the ships in the Sea Cargo fleet, he reveals, have NAVTOR solutions.
“That means I can use NavTracker to retrieve and utilise routes from another vessel, simply making any necessary changes either in ECDIS or in NavStation,” he comments, adding that this is “great”.
Which is great for us to hear. There’s nothing as satisfying as knowing that our solutions make a real difference for hardworking crews out there. That’s the ambition that keeps us, like the SC Connector, voyaging in the right direction.
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