How Deck Officers Can Use NP 294 to Keep Admiralty Products Up-To-Date?

The publication numbered and widely recognized as NP 294 is a great aid for budding navigating officers as they take guard of their parallel rulers and start with passage planning through the remote corners of the world.

Published by the UKHO, the NP 294 publication provides clear and essential guidelines for upkeep and maintenance of navigation charts and publications that are in paper or digital format.


Supported by diagrammatic illustrations about various aspects of ship navigation this publication is a must read and an essential reference for all navigating officers involved in passage planning and also for those who are delegated navigation related duties.

With the advent of electronic navigation where digital charts and ECDIS are set to replace the paper charts soon, the NP 294’s sixth edition has been divided into two sections:

1. Paper Products

2. Digital products

The section 1 of the publication provide details about

  • Ways to obtain admiralty notices to mariners from Admiralty chart agents via  electronic courier service
  • The information which is available from the weekly edition of notices to mariners
  • The format of updating charts provided in Notices to Mariners. This section is supplemented with examples indicating description and meaning of each symbol used in notices to mariners
  • NP 294 Details about the tools to be used for correcting charts using tracings are also provided. Explanations are provided for various terms used in Notices to Mariners

Information is provided for various types of corrections such as inserting a new voyage area, inserting a light, submarine cable, deleting lights, inserting fish havens ,racon, altering boundaries of charts, moving a buoy etc.

All these changes or corrections to charts are illustrated with the help of diagrammatic  explanations which are of great use to novices or deck officers who are taking up immediate ranks of navigating officers.

Similar to guidelines for correcting Admiralty Notices to Mariners, the preceding chapters of the publication deal with ways of correcting various Admiralty Publications such as Admiralty list of lights and fog signals, Admiralty Sailing directions, Admiralty list of radio signals, Admiralty tide tables, Catalogue of Admiralty charts and publications etc.

NP 294 The section two of NP 294 is a generation ahead and in compliance with keeping the electronic means of navigation up to date. It implies methods to be adopted for keeping the digital product of Admiralty Updated. The elaborations in this chapter are helpful to guide a navigator in finding ways to obtain admiralty digital publications and knowing about data updating wizards. The section also serves as a manual for guiding users regarding application of data, and installing  and updating admiralty vector chart service (AVCS) with their relevant permits.

Another important and interesting feature added to the admiralty Electronic navigational charts is admiralty information overlay. It contains navigational significant information which can be used in conjunction with ENCs to improve safety of navigation while using ECDIS. This publication also contains procedures for installing and updating admiralty overlays in addition to admiralty raster charts services.

This guide plays a vital role in educating navigating officers in keeping up pace with everyday developments in ways and means of correcting and sourcing paper and digital forms of charts and publications, with equal attention to procure and update both conventional paper charts and electronic charts.

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About Author

Abhishek Bhanawat is a chief officer who has worked on various types of tankers. He specializes in Crude Oil and Product Tankers. He is extremely passionate about his work and loves to sail. An avid reader since childhood days, he likes to write about his experiences in free time. He loves to share his views and opinions regarding his maritime profession. He also likes to teach and always supports his juniors who are at the sea through mails and over phone.

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