Nautical Publications required for Passage Planning along with their contents

Nautical Publications required for Passage Planning is required to be carried onboard ship as per the requirement of SOLAS Regulations 19, 21, 27 and Annex III

List of Nautical Publications required for Passage Planning are listed below:

  • Voyage Charts (Small Scale to Large Scale)
  • Local passage planning charts
  • ADMIRALTY Port Approach Guides
  • ADMIRALTY Maritime Security Charts 
  • Chart Catalogue (NP 131)
  • Admiralty Sailing Direction (Pilots)
  • Admiralty Tide Tables (NP 201- 208)
  • Admiralty List of Radio Signals
  • Admiralty List of Lights
  • Routeing Charts
  • Ocean Current Atlas
  • Tidal Stream Atlas
  • Weekly Notices to Mariners
  • Annual Summary of Admiralty Notices to Mariners ((NP 247))
  • Cumulative List of Admiralty Notices to Mariners (NP 234 A/B)
  • Merchant Shipping Notices (Check here)
  • Mariner’s Guidance Note
  • Mariner’s information Note
  • IMO Routeing Guide
  • Ocean Passage of the World
  • Mariner’s Hand Book (NP 100)
  • Nautical Almanac (Check Here)
  • International Code of Signals
  • Instruction and operating manuals for various Navigational Equipment
  • Distance Table
  • Symbols and Abbreviation used on Admiralty Charts (Chart 5011)
  • Ice charts.
  • Regional Climatology Atlases

Content of Nautical Publications required in Passage Planning:

Voyage Charts:-

  • Chart’s No. with prefix (BA–British Admiralty )
  • Chart’s Scale
  • Chart’s Edition.
  • Depth of sea bottom at datum height.
  • Land feature.
  • IMO adopted TSS
  • Area covered by charts (i.e. bottom margin and top margin in lat and long)

ADMIRALTY Port Approach Guides

  • Port Approach Guides are single, port-scale charts that contain a wide range of planning information for some of the world’s busiest approaches. Taken from existing ADMIRALTY charts and publications, this information can help to simplify a number of passage planning tasks and support Master Pilot Exchange (MPX).
  • Each Port Approach Guide displays a range of planning information for a specific approach. This additional planning information may include contact details and harbor regulations, Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) information, principal lights and landmarks, specific warnings, tide and climate information, anchorages and prohibited areas, dangerous cargo, pilotage, berth information, and port services.  Clearly displayed on one chart, this information can help to save bridge officer’s time during passage planning and Master Pilot Exchange (MPX). It can also help to make the planning of port navigation quicker and easier. 
  • Key features of Port Approach Guides include:
    • Planning information for individual ports including principal lights and landmarks, pilotage, and port-specific warnings. Displayed on one chart, this information can help users to simplify the planning of port entry and exit.​​
    • International Code of Signals (ICS) flags and QR codes to help bridge officers quickly identify warnings and current notices for specific ports, increasing situational awareness and supporting safe navigation.

Chart Catalogue (NP 131):

This publication has 10 parts:

  • The UK products and services;
  • Navigational charts;
  • Thematic Charts;
  • Navigational publications;
  • Digital products;
  • Miscellaneous products and services;
  • Leisure products;
  • Advertisers;
  • Numerical Index;
  • Price list;
  • Procedure for correction this volume;

Admiralty Sailing Directions

This Admiralty nautical publication is published in 72 volumes covering the whole ocean area. These volumes contain:

  • General information and local knowledge of the area;
  • Port facilities;
  • Navigational hazards regarding port entry;
  • Buoyage System;
  • Coast line views and chart information ;

Admiralty Tide Table

Published in seven volumes, covering the whole Ocean Area. It contains:

  • Daily prediction for the time and height of high water and low water;
  • Selection of standard ports.
  • Correction to standard ports information enabling daily prediction for secondary ports.
  • Graphs enabling an estimation of tide height at time in between high water and low water.
  • Also include some tidal stream prediction.

Admiralty List of Radio Signals

ALRS comes in SIX Volumes.


Also read, Admiralty List of Radio Signals

Admiralty List of Lights

  • Characteristics of all navigation lights and beacons
  • Position of the light
  • Name of the light
  • Height of the light from the charted datum.
  • Range and flashing characteristic of the light.

Routeing Charts

  • Ice information– maximum ice limit
  • Mean temperature guide
  • Prevailing wind rose
  • Recommended track and distances
  • Load line limits zone for the time of year
  • Ocean currents, predominant current direction ad speed in knots
  • Dew point and mean sea temperature
  • Percentage frequency of beau fort wind force of 7 and over, predominant TRS
  • Area of low pressure and high pressure
  • The scale of the chart
  • Iceberg limit and pack ice limit
  • Load line for Mediterranian sea, Suez channel, and black sea

Ocean Current Atlas

Ocean current may be considered more constant then tidal streams and many flows throughout the year with only small changes in direction and rate. Others may suffer seasonal changes when monsoon wind changes. The main example of these changes is the North Indian Ocean area at the change of southwest and northwest monsoon.

Tidal Stream Atlas/es

  • Diagrams showing major tidal streams of NW Europe.
  • Direction and rate of tidal streams.
  • Mean neap and spring tidal rates.
  • Horizontal water movement.

Weekly Notices to Mariners

Divided in SIX Sections:

  • Section I: Index to Section II together with Explanatory note
  • Section II: Notice for correction to charts .these includes all notices affecting navigational charts and listed consecutively from the onset of the year. The section also includes temporary (T) and preliminary (P) notices to the week. The list weekly notice of each month will also list the temporary and preliminary notices which are remaining current. Any new addition of the chart publication issued is listed in this section. Typical examples include- sailing direction or list of lights etc. latest editions of publications are listed at the end of March, June September, and December. Updates to standard navigation charts
  • Section III: Navigational warnings are reprinted in this section. All warnings which are in force are included in the first weekly notice of each year. Additionally, all long-range warnings issued during the week are included in this section and listed on a monthly basis. List of NAVAREAs, HYDROLANT, and HYDROPAC messages. Re-print of radio navigational warnings
  • Section IV: All correction affecting admiralty sailing direction which is published that week. A cumulative list of that correction in force is also published on a monthly basis. Amendment to admiralty sailing direction.
  • Section V: All corrections required for the admiralty list of lights and fog signals. Mariners are advised that these corrections may not be coincident with any chart correcting information. Amendment to admiralty list of light and fog signals.
  • Section VI: Correction to Admiralty List of Radio Signals are contained in this last section. Amendment to the list of Radio Signals.

Annual Summary of Admiralty Notices to Mariners (NP 247- 1 & 2)

  • T’s & P’s in force as of January 1st of every year
  • Chapter 1: Admiralty Tide Tables
  • Chapter 2: Suppliers of admiralty chars and publications
  • Chapter 3: Safety and British merchant ships in tension, crisis, conflict of war
  • Chapter 4: Distress and rescue at sea vessels and aircraft
    • Distress and safety communications.
    • Statutory duties of master of a vessel.
    • Vessel in distress.
    • Aircraft in distress
  • Chapter 5: Firing practice and exercise area
  • Chapter 6: Former marine danger area, cleared routes and instructions regarding explosives picked up at sea.
  • Chapter 7: UK and Russian federation agreement on the prevention of incidents at sea beyond territorial waters.
  • Chapter 8: Information concerning submarine
    • Warning Signals
    • Light shown when on the surface.
    • Sunken submarine procedure.
  • Chapter 9: Hydrographic information
  • Chapter 10: Minelaying and mine countermeasure exercises
  • Chapter 12 National claims to maritime jurisdiction
  • Chapter13 Worldwide navigational warning service and world meteorological
  • organization
  • Chapter 15: Under keel clearance allowance
  • Chapter 16: Protection of historic, dangerous, and military wreck site
  • Chapter 17: Traffic separation schemes
  • Chapter 17A: UK automatic ship identification and reporting system and automatic ship identification system
  • Chapter 18: Carriage of nautical charts and publication-regulation (International code of signals, The mariner handbook, MSN, MGN, and MIN, Annual summary notice to mariners, list of radio signals, list of lights, Sailing directions, nautical almanac, Tide table, tidal stream atlases.)
  • Chapter 19: Satellite navigation system position and charts accuracy
  • Chapter 20: Canadian charts and nautical publication regulation
  • Chapter 22: US Navigation safety regulations
  • Chapter 23: High-speed craft
  • Chapter 24: Submarine cable and pipeline
  • Chapter 25: Electronic navigational charts (Limitation of ENC )

Cumulative List of Admiralty Notices to Mariners (NP 234 A/B)

CNTMs (NP234 A/B) are issued in January and July of each year. These contain the list of all correction which are been issued since last three years and also the list of latest nautical publication. CNTMs contain:

  • Date of the latest edition of each admiralty charts
  • Numerical list of all admiralty notice to mariner numbers affecting a particular chart during the past two and half years.
  • Australian and New Zealand charts which are republished within the admiralty series receive the same treatment.

Merchant Shipping Notices (MSN)

  • MSNs are:
    • white in color.
    • used only to convey mandatory information that must be complied with under UK legislation.
    • related to statuary instruments and contain technical detail of regulation
    • numbered in sequence
    • continuous the sequence in use prior 11th march 1997 but with prefix MSN

Mariner’s Guidance Note (MGN)

  • MGNs are:
    • blue in color;
    • provide guidance and advice to relevant parties in order to improve the safety of shipping and life at sea and pollution prevention;
    • numbered in sequence from M G N – 1

Mariner’s Information Notes (MINs)

  • MINs:
    • are green in color;
    • provide information for a more limited audience/ readers e.g.:- training establishments, equipment manufacturers, or which will be used for a short period of time;
    • has a fixed cancellation date which usually 12 months after publication.
    • are numbered in sequence MIN– 1 and so on

IMO Routeing Guide

The purpose of ship routing is to improve the safety of navigation in the converging area and in area where the density of traffic is great or where freedom of movement of shipping is inhibited by restricted sea room, the existence of obstruction to
navigation, limited depth, or unfavorable meteorological conditions and information on traffic separation scheme (Adopted or Non-adopted). The contents are:

  • Definitions;
  • Routing System;
  • Traffic Separation Scheme;
  • Separation zone or line;
  • Traffic Lane;
  • Roundabouts;
  • Inshore Traffic Zone;
  • Two-way route;
  • Recommended route;
  • Recommended track;
  • Deepwater route

Ocean Passage of the World

Ocean routes to port to port around the world it has two parts and 10 chapters.

  • Part- 1: Chapters
    • Planning a passage
    • North Atlantic ocean
    • South Atlantic ocean
    • Caribbean sea and gulf of México
    • The Mediterranean Sea.
    • The Indian Ocean.
    • The Pacific Ocean and sea boarding it.
  • Part -2
    • Introductory remarks and the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean sea sailing rules.
    • The Indian Ocean, Red Sea, and eastern archipelago sailing routes.
    • Pacific ocean sailing rules
  • Table, gazetteer, and index
  • Table A– Beaufort wind scale
  • Table B– seasonal wind/monsoon table-west Pacific and the Indian Ocean.
  • Table C- tropical storm table.
  • Gazetteer
  • Index to general subjects and routes.

Mariner’s Handbook (NP 100)

Mariner’s Handbook has Nine chapters

  • Charts books, a system of name, International Hydrographic Organization, and the International Maritime Organization.
  • The use of charts and other navigational aids
  • Operational information and regulation.
  • The sea (tide, tidal stream, ocean currents, and waves.
  • Meteorology
  • Ice (sea ice, icebergs, ice glossary)
  • Operation in the polar region and where ice is prevalent
  • Observing and reporting
  • IALA maritime buoyage system
  • Annexes, glossary, and index

Nautical Almanac

  • Altitude correction table for sun, stars, and planets.
  • Additional refraction correction for non-standard condition
  • Title page, preface, etc
  • Phases of the moon
  • Calendars
  • Eclipses
  • Planet notes and diagram
  • Daily pages: ephemerides of sun, moon, Aries, and planets, sunrise, sunset, twilight, moonrise, moonset, etc
  • Explanation
  • Standard time
  • Star chart
  • Stars: SHA and Declination of 173stars in order of SHA accuracy 0.1
  • Polaris table (pole star)
  • Sight reduction procedure: direct computation
  • Concise sight reduction table
  • Form for use with concise sight reduction table
  • Conversion table of arc to time
  • Table of increments and correction for sun, planets, Aries, and Moon
  • Table for interpolating sunrise, sunset, twilights, moonrise, moonset, moon’s meridian passage
  • Index to selected stars
  • Altitude correction table for the moon.