+44(0)1709 599 222

Published on 06/12/2016

Are you aware of the implications of not updating your ECDIS System?

The UK Hydrographic Office found that some of their ECDIS systems had old software and charts (Tradewinds, Sept 2016), which could mean risk of safety and time-wasting mistakes in navigation of your ship. A system like iECDIS™ can ensure your charts will always be up-to-date thanks to the multiple update options and easy to use design, putting your mind at ease.


ECDIS displays are on course for a 2018 completion of standardised symbols for consistency and easy cross-vessel use (with no need for vessel-specific crew training). However, old ECDIS systems which have yet to be updated on the current legislative timescales are still using inconsistent symbols and alarm systems.

Some also allow for the alarm system to be fully switched off, while crew rely on paper charts as the main source for navigation. Certainly, this was the case for the Hamburg in May 2015, and is a prime example of why standardised ECDIS is so important across all vessels. A non-standard ECDIS runs the risk of misinterpretation or even abuse of important functions like alarm systems – particularly on ECDIS set-ups which have many different alarms that then become easy to ignore. Under new ECDIS legislation, alarms and settings can be customised but authorities are calling for a standard alarm to always sound when a vessel goes over a safety contour line, at the very least.

Crew are expected to be able to operate a ship’s ECDIS system upon demand by a port authority; without standard systems, it is not uncommon for crews to be unable to do this. Ship operators face fines and detention if their ECDIS systems are not sufficiently installed or crew properly trained. You can’t afford that.


It’s easy to see why an ECDIS system becomes out-of-date. Charts take forever to upload from old systems, and some forms of upload have even been removed from the latest legislation to reflect common problems with USB uploads corrupting entire ECDIS systems.

Update systems such as from CD-ROM are time-consuming, whereas other newer upload systems are more effective. Martek Marine’s exclusive 4G mobile antennae allows vessels to automatically update charts whenever in dock – meaning a timely, easy, and simple update every time. A vessel will never have out-of-date charts, or weather and piracy overlays, ever again.


If you want to find out more about iECDIS and Martek Marine’s 4G mobile upload antennae, do not hesitate to contact us by emailing [email protected] or calling +44 (0)1709 599 222 and we can provide a quote or explain more about Martek’s flexible payment options.

Download the latest ECDIS guidelines update here.