Radar Observation And Plotting

This course provides training in the basic theory and use of radar for those who will be in charge of a navigational watch based on the minimum training requirements as set out in Regulation Reg. II/1, II/2 & II/3, Sec. A-II/1, A-II/2 & A-II/3,Table A-II/1, A-II/2 & A-II/3STCW 1978 as amended in 2010.

Aspects covered include the theory necessary for an understanding of how radar information is obtained and displayed, the limitations and accuracy of that information, the formation and recognition of unwanted responses, the correct use of operational controls to obtain an optimal display and checks on performance of the set. The IMO performance standards for the radar will be conducted within the program.

The various modes of display available and the choice of a suitable mode for a particular application will be covered, together with the effect, that changes in the course or speed of “own” or target ship which will have on the appearance of the display.

The course will also cover the recognition of critical targets, the use of radar plotting techniques including the measurements of bearings and distances, and the use of these for fixing the ship’s position as well as the Parallel Indexing techniques to maintain the vessel on a course line and maintaining a plot of the movement of other ships as an aid to collision avoidance. Exercise in the application of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREG 1972) will make use of the resulting plots.

A trainee successfully completing this course will have the knowledge, understanding and proficiency to use the Radar to maintain safety of navigation

Mandatory by STCW ’78 as mended in 2010.

Course Intake Limitations

Class room size – maximum 18 seats – lecture rooms / workshops / laboratories
Learner / trainer ratio – Lectures – 18:1, Practical – 9:1


The lecturer/instructor would hold, as a minimum qualification, a Certificate of Competency as Chief Officer (Unlimited).

Course Type

Full Time

Course Commencement Dates

On Demand / As per annual schedule


40 Hours

Entry Requirements

This course is open to students of the following categories.

  1. The course would also be of value to others using radar, e.g. those working in such craft as harbour and customs patrol launches, in which case the entry standards may be adjusted to suit the particular circumstances. However, the intake of trainees for each course should normally have similar backgrounds. Their experience and qualifications will be assessed by HoD and their enrollment will be at the discretion of the HoD.
  2. Those who have a minimum period of 12 months at sea and preferably have gained some experience of bridge Watchkeeping.