Simulators educate while they stimulate
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.