Course Recorder

A course recorder, also known as a track recorder or a chart plotter, is a navigational instrument used on ships and boats to record and display the vessel’s course or track over time. It is a valuable tool for navigation, especially during long voyages, as it allows the crew to monitor the vessel’s path and make informed decisions about navigation adjustments. Here are the key features and functions of a course recorder:

  • Track Recording: The primary function of a course recorder is to record the vessel’s track or course over a period of time. It does this by continuously logging the ship’s position, typically using GPS (Global Positioning System) data, at regular intervals. This information is then plotted on a chart or displayed on a screen.

  • Display: Modern course recorders often have electronic displays that show the vessel’s current position and the historical track. This display may be integrated with other navigation instruments and systems, providing a comprehensive view of the vessel’s movements.

  • Chart Plotting: Some course recorders are equipped with chart plotting capabilities, allowing the crew to overlay the recorded track onto electronic or paper charts. This helps in visualizing the vessel’s position in relation to navigational features, waypoints, and hazards.

  • Data Logging: Course recorders typically store recorded track data for a specified period. This data can be valuable for post-voyage analysis, route optimization, and record-keeping for regulatory compliance.

  • Waypoint Management: Many course recorders allow the input of waypoints (specific geographic points or locations) to assist in route planning and navigation. The reorder can calculate and display the course to reach these waypoints.
  • Alarm and Alert Functions: Some course recorders are equipped with alarm functions that can alert the crew if the vessel strays off course or enters predefined danger zones. These alerts can help prevent accidents and improve safety.
  • Integration: Course recorders often integrate with other navigation equipment, such as radar, sonar, and Automatic Identification System (AIS), to provide a comprehensive navigational solution.

Course recorders are valuable tools for maintaining situational awareness, ensuring safe navigation, and complying with maritime regulations. They are commonly used on a wide range of vessels, from small boats to large commercial ships, to aid in route planning, collision avoidance, and efficient navigation.

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