What is a Dynamic Positioning Ship?

A Dynamic Positioning Ship is very helpful in monitoring the natural occurrences that take place offshore and aids in ships to maintain its position in the deep sea by pinpointing about the wind and the wave data which would otherwise make a ship lose control and veer off its course. Through Dynamic Positioning, a ship does not require the usage of anchors to maintain its course in the deep waters and thus can carry out its main purpose well. Ships with dynamic positioning system are known as dynamic positioning ships.

Why is Dynamic Positioning Used?

Dynamic Positioning is generally used in research ships and drilling vessels which have to venture into the deepest parts of the ocean and sea where winds and waves tend to be perpetually altering. In situations like this, it could prove very tedious for a ship’s crew to lay the anchors. A ship enabled with Dynamic Positioning can get to know about the changes in the wind and the waves and thus alter its course suitably without having to compromise on its main purpose.

Wärtsilä Control and Communication Centre (Wärtsilä 3C). Designed in co-operation with experienced maritime professionals, the Wärtsilä 3C ensures fluent control of the vessel with priority given to situational awareness, safety, ergonomics and efficiency. It acts as a key enabler for the leveraging of energy management and integrated navigational solutions into a single powerful tool. As a result, advanced route planning becomes easier with online data processing between the various systems, including the ECDIS, optimizer, econometer, power management, automation, weather chart, Navtex, and the dynamic hull data. Furthermore, the new panel and console design provides a convenient working environment with a simplified and harmonised lay-out. Wärtsilä 3C is the gateway to ultimate integration.

Credits: wartsila.com

Ships enabled with Dynamic Positioning are independent of anchors and other support system in the sense that a Dynamic Positioning Ship enables the use of pushers and propellers to make the ship stay on course and steady rather than get carried away by the fluctuating winds and waves. This is perhaps the most advantageous feature of the system of Dynamic Positioning. In the earlier days, when ships used to enter the deeper parts of the ocean and the seas, there always used to be a threat of ships colliding with another ship because of natural movement of the wind and the waves or ships veering off course and thus getting lost and never to be found. But since the development of Dynamic Positioning which incorporates the usage of SONAR, Radar and other comprehensive detection, ships have started finding it easy to maintain their pace and steady their being in the deeper parts of the oceanic and sea waters.

Credits: konsberg.com

Credits: konsberg.com

How Dynamic Positioning Ships Work?

The working of a Dynamic Positioning Ship is quite simple. There is a control panel which notes the wind and the wave fluctuation and accordingly sends appropriate signals to the propellers so as to enable the ship to steady and maintain its course. There are, however three different levels of Dynamic Positioning that can be used and it depends on the type of the ship on which Dynamic Positioning has to be enabled.

Level I Dynamic Positioning System

Ships whose off-course drifting will not have any impact on the life of the crew or on any marine creature are generally enabled with a Level I Dynamic Positioning System. This is the most basic Dynamic Positioning system and it does not have any advanced tools that ships with the other two Dynamic Positioning systems require.

Level II Dynamic Positioning System

A Level II Dynamic Positioning system in built in a ship whose off-course veering will tend to cause serious problems. A Dynamic Positioning Ship enabled with a Level II Dynamic Positioning system contains high-end computer applications and diving watercrafts in case the ship encounters any major problem in the deep sea.

Level III Dynamic Positioning System

A Dynamic Positioning Ship with a Level III Dynamic Positioning contains similar equipments like a Level II Dynamic Positioning system but with a back-up Dynamic Positioning system at some other location. The aspect of back-up is important because they will act as emergencies in case the main Dynamic Positioning system gets destroyed due to any water penetration or occurrence of fire or short circuit or any other inadvertent casualty. Generally oil tankers which drill in the deep parts of the ocean are equipped with a Level III Dynamic Positioning system.

At present, only a few elite ships and naval vessels incorporate the usage of Dynamic Positioning. But since conserving and preserving the environment and the eco-system has become the need of the hour, it is only logical that Dynamic Positioning becomes the future of marine vessels in order to preserve the marine ecology with every bit of technological knowledge man has in his power and disposal.

References: Wordiq, Themaritimeblog


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  1. sukhjinder singh says

    Dearr sir
    I m sukhjinder singh working as a electrical officer in bw bulk carrer I want to join dp vessel how can I apply for job

  2. sushil Kumar says

    Dear sir
    I m sushil kumar indian cdc ,indian watch keeping .I m working as a a/b in supply vessel . I want join d p vessel how can I apply for dp vessel ? Please reply me

    Best regards
    Sushil kumar

  3. vinoth kumar says

    sir, i am bsc(ns) graduate i searching for job but i get a call from a company they we will provide me the job in dp anchor handling tug ,i dont know where there it is worth to work on this vessels to get knowledge.pls help me can i attend exam and tell me the scope.

  4. Abhay Aditya says

    Sir, I have meo class 4 Indian coc and want to join on tanker as a 4 th engineer. But I am getting a Offer to join pplatform supply vessel(psv) which will be converted into dp vessel and I can continue my job on that. Also I have to give my class 2 exam. So please suggest me about this. Should I join..?

  5. Abdul Rahman says

    Dear sir/madam,
    I had done TME and am having valid Indian CDC. I wants to join in a dp vessel, what to do further to build my carrer? Kindly give me a solution for it.

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