Simulators: A Dual Purpose Tool

Paul Racicot

Maritime Simulation and Resource Centre

Maritime Simulation and Resource Centre (msrc)

About the MSRC

  • Founded in 2005
  • 100% owned and operated by working marine pilots
  • Four fully-instrumented navigation bridges
  • In-house capabilities to build “pilot grade” ship models and customized geographic databases
  • Vast portfolio of over 160 ‘pilot grade’ ship models and over 50 geographic databases

Clients and Partners

  • Pilot associations
  • Pilotage Authorities
  • Port Authorities
  • Shipowners
  • Government Agencies
  • Engineering firms
  • RCN and US Navy
  • Shipyards

Port Feasibility Studies

Because pilots are good at what they do…

  • Why add safety features to navigation if there are never any accidents?
  • Why would we need new tugs? Those you already own have been doing the work for 20 years…
  • Budget constraints are forcing us to remove some of our buoys.
  • Why do you suddenly need accurate tide metres and high-density data?

Why a simulator?

  • Better inform stakeholders of the pilots’ reality
    • Particularities of their profession
    • Their role in navigation safety and environmental protection
    • Issues that concern them
  • Offer uninitiated individuals the opportunity to better understand the reality of their profession without boarding a ship
  • Act as a gateway between the pilots, the industry, and the general public

Why a simulator?

  • Each specialist sees only his particular aspect of the job, while the pilot (generalist) sees all the elements and the interactions between them
  • Each player has his or her own agenda to deal with
  • Helps illustrate a problem or reality and provides a learning environment for non-mariners
  • Helps build consensus around difficult issues
  • Encourages dialogue and helps to develop a shared interpretation on a given issue

Communicating with non-mariners:
with the traditional approach

  • Complexity of the environment
  • The need to experiment and the cost of experimenting
  • The need to persuade various stakeholders, which intensifies communication activities
  • Regular meetings with senior executives who are non-mariners and have climbed the hierarchical ladder very quickly
  • Difficulty in convincing overconfident (or unknowledgeable) decision-makers

Convergence of activities

“A situation in which previously distinct industries (Pilotage and Training) begin to pool activities, technological products, and partners”

Johnson, Scholes, Whittington, and Fréry. Strategic. Pearson Education, Paris, 2005

Pertinence of a simulator for pilots,
besides for training purposes

  • Simulators can be used to communicate the most crucial insights to stakeholders
  • They are unique in their ability to capture important and often counterintuitive insights
  • They allow to communicate those insights in a way that is easy to understand for decision-makers
  • Allows trials to be carried out in the presence of specialists and under pilot supervision
  • Collective synergy effect on breakthroughs/initiatives
  • Bridge the gap between maritime research and industry needs

To conclude, simulators…