True-to-life simulators

The organisers behind the 2013 Melbourne Boat Show say show-goers will have the ultimate interactive treat in the form of “true-to-life simulators” for both big ship navigation and small boat handling.

BIA general manager Steven Gill said the simulators would be the “perfect balance of fun and education” delivering serious safety lessons in a highly entertaining form.

“These simulators are the real deal — they are used around the world to train ship’s captains and tug and pilot boat masters — even naval commanders,” said Gill.

“Not only are they the world’s best navigational simulators, but they are designed and made right here in Australia.

“Show patrons can have a navigational simulation in either the small boat or — as part of a three-person crew — on the bridge of a giant ship.

“In additional to the serious safety messages and the educational value, the vibrating deck and warning horns deliver Fun with a capital F,” he said.

The Boat Show will have both the Flexicon big ship simulator and the Boatsim small boat simulator, offering a selection of navigation scenarios for users to test their skill at the helm.

Both simulators are the creations of Pivot Maritime International, a Tasmanian company said to have become the world leader in marine navigation simulators.

Pivot director Dr Jeff Hawkins said the simulators were used by commercial shipping companies and government agencies around the world, including the Danish Navy.

“They are great fun at a boat show, but they also have a very serious purpose for the training and assessment of everyone from tugboat captains to the commanders of naval vessels,” said Hawkins.

“At the show, people can experience scenarios such as navigating the Port Phillip shipping channel, not just from a small boat’s perspective, but from that of a ship’s captain.

“Once they have experienced how long it takes the ship to stop, or even to deviate slightly from course, they will never feel the same about shipping again,” he added.

The 53rd Annual BIA Melbourne Boat Show runs from Friday, 14 June to Monday, 17 June at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. It is open from 10am each day, until 9pm on Friday, 8pm on Saturday and 7pm on Sunday and Monday.