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Welcome to Timsbury Lake

Aerial view of ship handling centreOur ship handling centre provides world-renowned training for masters and officers on ships and large yachts, together with specific training for pilots and berthing/mooring masters. This type of training is part of the principles contained within IMO resolution A960(23) for the training of maritime pilots.

The lake

  • The only one of its kind in the UK, and one of a very small number worldwide.
  • Harbour areas and 19 jetties, creating multiple berths and offering a wide range of ship handling scenarios.
  • Buoyed channels, critical bends, and turning basins. 
  • Four-mile scale length canal, with a two mile straight reach, as well as a major curved section. 
  • Over 50 per cent of the lake area, including canal and harbour areas, provides an environment ideal for the demonstration of shallow water effects. 
  • Realistic ship-to-ship lightering, FSU, CBM and SBM exercises can be conducted. 
  • Hydrodynamic effects are replicated to those around the real ship – this is particularly important when examining the interaction between ship to ship and ship to berth, banks, and shallows.

View a detailed chart of Timsbury Lake.

The training

Aerial view of scaled models in Timsbury LakeOur ship handling courses are delivered using scaled manned models, with emphasis on developing skills and understanding of the behaviour and handling of ships. The focus of the training is around the demonstration of slow speed control. Complex and potentially hazardous manoeuvres can be practiced and learnt in the scaled environment to enhance competence and refresh skills. There is no doubt that scaled manned models are considered to be the best way after a real ship to develop ship handling skills and competence, providing cost effective training which contributes to reducing ship operating costs.

The scaled manned models and our full mission bridge simulator can also be combined to provide real slow speed ship handling and bridge resource management training.

With a ratio of one instructor to a maximum of two delegates, courses can be conducted to meet specific training requirements, whether it's an introduction to ship handling, pre-promotion assessment or updating and enhancing existing skills.

Our staff

Our instructors and lecturers are all highly experienced senior mariners, often with long command and/or pilotage experience, including serving pilots.  Mariners are therefore assisted during their time on the lake by staff who have spent many years at sea themselves and have the highest professional qualifications.

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