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CSEM's fully interactive tug and large vessel simulation capabilities also mean that the facility provides a total turnkey port procedural development centre. Simulations that only employ what are commonly referred to as "Vector" or "Target Tugs" (i.e. a force applied by the instructor that simulated the tug's towline force) are somewhat restrictive in that they provide results that are dependant upon this simulated towline force which may not consider real world tug manoeuvring or control complications such as physical space constraints or the design of the big ship, overhangs, and limited push/pull attach points. 

The facility at CSEM can support the port development from initial conceptualisation through to the final manoeuvring process optimisation and emergency preparedness. The phases in a typical fully integrated port simulation design might include:


This phase and its associated simulation scenarios may often be completed by CSEM staff requiring only some consultation from local pilots/ port authorities, and includes functions such as:

  • Determining the basic navigational feasibility of manoeuvring a particular vessel type in a specific channel or port area;
  • Determining the design of a new dock area that minimises adverse effects of local prevailing wind, current and tidal stream conditions;
  • Determining the number of tugs and the basic tug bollard pull requirements to berth the vessel under normal weather conditions;
  • Determining if escort tugs are required in the transit prior to the final docking operation;
  • Determining if a specific tug design is required or offers advantages; and
  • Compiling a report of initial findings and recommending actions.


This phase, and its associated simulation scenarios typically require the participation of local pilots/ tug masters/ port authorities. Based on findings from the Appraisal and Conceptual design phase, this phase includes functions such as:

  • Determining differences in managing the specific vessel type or dock versus current port practice or procedure;
  • Developing a risk assessment matrix and determining environmental condition operating limits;
  • Assessing if current tug assets are sufficient for the operation, or if new tug designs/ capabilities are needed;
  • Determining the best mode of employing tugs at various stages of the operation (running free or standing by, made up conventional fashion, team towing, pre-deployed, etc.);
  • Developing basic/ standard operation procedures for the new facility/ vessel; Assessing potential casualty or catastrophic failures and determining a suitable emergency preparedness/ response plan; and
  • Compiling a comprehensive report of complete findings and recommended implementation actions and training requirements.


Once the conceptual validation and procedural design phase is complete, CSEM's fully interactive Tug and Pilot simulation capabilities can then be used to:
  • Demonstrate to tug masters and pilots the advantages of the procedures that have been developed;
  • Allow tug masters and pilots to practice the newly proposed procedures, including communication protocols;
  • Conduct emergency response training to prepare for common problems/ complications as well as "worse case" scenarios; and
  • Fine tune procedures to optimise efficiency and safety of the vessel moves.

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