Sim­u­la­tors ed­u­cate while they stim­u­late

NT News - Motoring - - MARINE GUIDE - By JOCELYN FOGAGNOLO

A TAS­MA­NIAN-based world leader in the de­vel­op­ment of marine nav­i­ga­tional sim­u­la­tors will have a big pres­ence at this month’s BIA Melbourne Boat Show.

The 53rd show runs from Fri­day, June 14, to Mon­day, June 17, at the Melbourne Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre.

The sim­u­la­tors for com­mer­cial ship nav­i­ga­tion and small boat han­dling have been de­signed and built by Pivot Mar­itime In­ter­na­tional, which has its head­quar­ters at Le­gana on the West Ta­mar in north­ern Tas­ma­nia.

The com­pany’s nav­i­ga­tional sim­u­la­tors are used around the world by com­mer­cial ship­ping com­pa­nies, govern­ment agen­cies and de­fence bod­ies.

As well as train­ing for big ships, the pi­o­neer sim­u­la­tion tech­nol­ogy cov­ered train­ing in smaller com­mer­cial ves­sels such as tugs, pilot boats and recre­ational ves­sels.

The Melbourne Boat Show gen­eral man­ager Steven Gill said the sim­u­la­tors on dis­play would rep­re­sent the per­fect bal­ance of fun and ed­u­ca­tion for show vis­i­tors, ‘‘de­liv­er­ing se­ri­ous safety lessons in a highly en­ter­tain­ing way’’.

There would be two sim­u­la­tor mod­els set up by Pivot Mar­itime In­ter­na­tional: the Flex­i­con big ship sim­u­la­tor and the Boat­sim small boat sim­u­la­tor.

Com­pany di­rec­tor Jeff Hawkins said the equip­ment was ‘‘great fun at a boat show’’ but they had a very se­ri­ous pur­pose in the mar­itime world for the train­ing and as­sess­ment of all big ship and small boat cap­tains and skip­pers.

‘‘At the show, peo­ple can ex­pe­ri­ence sce­nar­ios such as nav­i­gat­ing the Port Phillip ship­ping chan­nel from a small boat’s per­spec­tive and from the per­spec­tive of a big ship’s cap­tain,’’ Dr Hawkins said.

This would in­clude ‘‘real-life’’ ex­pe­ri­ence in just how long it took a ship to stop or even de­vi­ate slightly from course.

Dr Hawkins, orig­i­nally from New Zealand, set up Pivot Mar­itime In­ter­na­tional af­ter 20 years at sea as a ship cap­tain and 10 years work­ing at the Aus­tralian Mar­itime Col­lege, Launceston.

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