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NAUT201 Nautical Studies 2

A theoretical and critical approach to nautical studies, aimed at giving an understanding of the operation and navigation of ocean-going vessels, taking into consideration construction, equipment, manoeuvrability and prevailing weather patterns.

Students will study seamanship, navigation, maritime safety and maritime law as they apply to the operations of offshore vessels. Students will also learn how to understand and exercise critical judgement on a range of issues of ocean-going seamanship, appreciate the principles underlying safe deck practices on ocean-going work-vessels and use published safety information available to the mariner.

Paper title Nautical Studies 2
Paper code NAUT201
Subject Nautical Studies
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Second Semester (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,092.15
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $5,004.75

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Pre or Corequisite
NAUT 101
Schedule C
May not be credited together with SURV 326 passed in 2003 or 2004.

Suitable for students who are working in a marine environment (e.g. Marine Science, Geology, Oceanography, Zoology and Hydrographic Surveying students) or for those who have an interest in seamanship.

Teaching staff
Convenor and Lecturer: Captain Graham Turner
Paper Structure

Students will learn to:

  • Develop an understanding of the climates, weather patterns and surface currents of the world's oceans and the ways in which these impact on the operation of ocean-going work-vessels
  • Understand and calculate the forces involved in the use of lifting equipment on ships
  • Understand and use the principles involved in ship construction, stability and handling
  • Use published information to plan safe passages and operations on ocean-going work-vessels


  • Lecture 1/2: Official information for seafarers: sailing directions, lists of lights and radio signals, traffic separation schemes
  • Tutorial 1: Optional revision of NAUT 101 concepts
  • Lecture 3/4: Aids to navigation: radio beacons, satellite compass
  • Tutorial 2: Passage planning exercise
  • Lecture 5/6: Ship behaviour: forces acting on a hull, ship design and construction
  • Tutorial 3: Case study
  • Lecture 7/8: Ship behaviour: manoeuvring and ship handling
  • Tutorial 4: Case study
  • Lecture 9/10: Ship behaviour: ship stability
  • Tutorial 5: Case study - Herald of Free Enterprise
  • Lecture 11/12: Assignment one due; ship behaviour: ship stability continued, pilotage - responsibilities of pilots
  • Tutorial 6: Case study - Jody F Millenium
  • Lecture 13/14: Safe deck practices: enclosed spaces, electrical repairs, action on finding a fire, heavy weather precautions, tackles, derricks, parallelogram of forces applied to calculation of loads
  • Tutorial 7: Case study - Mikhail Lermontov
  • Lecture 15/16: Assignment two due; atmosphere and meteorological elements: heat exchange in the atmosphere, stability of the atmosphere and lapse rate
  • Tutorial 8: Meteorological elements and terms
  • Lecture 17/18: Climate: air and sea temperatures; hadley cells, pressure patterns and wind circulation; intertropical convergence zones; monsoons; surface currents; local effects
  • Tutorial 9: El Niño; Agulhas; Atacama
  • Lecture 19/20: Weather reporting and IMMS: Weather Reporting Code for Ships
  • Tutorial 10: Case study - North Atlantic Conveyor Current
  • Lecture 21/22: Assignment three due; Weather systems: air masses; highs, lows, fronts; meteorological elements; effects of weather on hydrographic operations; wind, sea and swell
  • Tutorial 11: Interpretation of MSL Analyses
  • Lecture 23/24: Weather systems: tropical revolving storms - characteristics and dangers to ships; locations, seasons and storm tracks; rules for avoidance of TRS; fog; ice distribution; ice accretion
  • Tutorial 12: Computer simulation exercises in avoiding TRS
  • Lecture 25/26: Sample examination
  • Tutorial 13: Revision and discussion
Teaching Arrangements

There are two 1-hour lectures and a 1-hour tutorial per week.

There are three written assignments.

There is a 3-hour final examination. Students must achieve 40% in the final examination in order to pass the paper.

Since English is the international language of the sea, and since clear communication is necessary for maritime safety, the assignments and examination must be written in English, and the language must be clear, concise and unambiguous. Marks will be deducted for lack of precision.


Textbooks are not required for this paper.

NAUT 201 suggested reading

  • New Zealand Pilot
  • Ocean Passages for the World
  • New Zealand Nautical Almanac
  • The Mariner's Handbook
  • Meteorology for Mariners
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Communication, Critical thinking, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Building on NAUT 101 and extending to the field of larger, offshore vessels, students who successfully complete this paper will

  • Understand how to plan marine operations on ocean-going vessels
  • Understand climate and weather constraints on marine operations
  • Understand principles of vessel construction
  • Understand and use the mathematical principles involved in ship stability and the safe use of lifting gear and heavy equipment at sea

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 11:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41
Tuesday 11:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Thursday 11:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41