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Rhode Island-based KVH Industries has launched a new service called CHARTlink in association with digital chart distributor ChartCo of Norway to transmit charts and a library of navigation publications to vessels at sea. The two companies unveiled the service at Nor-Shipping 2017 in Norway in June.
CHARTlink is designed to ensure delivery of the updates needed to conduct safe voyages and comply with IMO regulations requiring the carriage of navigational data using an Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS). ChartCo is an authorized Admiralty distributor of all of the U.K. Hydrographic Office’s vector charts and e-publications.
“We keep a close track of developments in satellite communications to determine the best solution for getting voyage-dependent content to customers who transit the globe on thousands of vessels,” said Martin Taylor, CEO of ChartCo. “Our evaluation of IP-MobileCast led us to conclude that it’s a great solution. We’re happy to be working with KVH on this joint initiative and new delivery method, and are confident our customers will appreciate its timeliness, reliability, and low price point.”
KVH will transmit chart data and publications weekly to subscribing vessels via its IP-MobileCast content delivery service. The CHARTlink service will be included at no additional charge to subscribers of AgilePlans by KVH, the recently introduced all-inclusive, no-commitment Connectivity as a Service (CaaS) offering. KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband customers who wish to purchase CHARTlink separately can do so for a fixed monthly fee of $49 per vessel.
The IMO mandates that vessels must carry charts that comply with ECDIS. That mandate is nearing the final 2018 deadline of a rollout that began in 2012. Using standard satellite communications for full chart set delivery is economically prohibitive, with airtime fees potentially ranging into the tens of thousands of dollars per ship for one global quarterly chart set. Instead, customers typically opt for courier delivery of a DVD or USB.
CHARTlink content includes Regs4ships (ChartCo’s searchable database of digital maritime regulations), EnviroManager (ChartCo’s environmental tool to assist vessels in complying with MARPOL regulations and national regulations worldwide), Admiralty Vector Chart Service and Admiralty Information Overlay (more than 15,000 digital charts in vector format, compatible with all ECDIS types), and Notices to Mariners, paper chart corrections and paper publication corrections.
For more information, visit www.kvh.com.