David J. House
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The reality of handling the ship is a world apart from the theory. No publication can encompass the elements of weather and features of water conditions to make the practice and theory one and the same. The best any book can hope for is to update the mariner with the developments in hardware employed to effect modern-day manoeuvres. Since the demise of sail, machinery and manoeuvring aids have continued to improve and provide additional resources to the benefit of Masters, Pilots and others, charged with the task of handling both large and small power-driven vessels. Maritime authorities are united in establishing a safe and pollution-free environment. Internationally, it is these interests that provide the desired protection for operators to conduct their trade in some of the most active and busiest areas of the world. The theory of a manoeuvre may be ideally suited for a certain port at a certain time, but the many variables involved may make the same manoeuvre totally unsuitable at another time. Ship handlers and controllers must therefore be familiar with the capabilities of the ship, while at the same time be flexible in the use of resources against stronger currents or increased wind conditions.
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