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Thursday, July 9, 2020 

Finnish maritime software company Napa points out that all passenger ships built before 2014, must have loading computers upgraded to the latest standards by their first renewal survey after 1 January 2025.

Since the start of 2020, it has been a requirement of all passenger carrying newbuildings to have a Type 4 Loading Computer installed. Passenger ships constructed before 1 January 2014 must also comply with this requirement no later than the date mentioned above.

The four current types of stability software all have varying levels of capability: Type 1 has software that only calculates intact stability; Type 2 can calculate intact stability and check damage stability on the basis of a limit curve (e.g. for vessels applicable to SOLAS Part B-1 damage stability calculations); Type 3 calculates intact and damage stability by direct application of pre-programmed damage cases by reference to the relevant Conventions and/or Codes for each loading condition. Type 4 is the most advanced, it calculates damage stability associated with an actual loading condition and/or actual flooding cases, by using the direct application of user or sensor defined damage to enable safe return to port (SRtP).

The Type 4 loading computer has been developed to enhance safety in flooding emergencies and to provide more information for safe return to port. There are multiple changes in the Type 4 loading computer, most in the damage stability module. These include: use of a detailed 3D ship model for automatic damage detection and watertight doors; use off SOLAS probabilistic damage stability requirements; and approval of damage stability functions as implemented in class rules.

To ensure that best practice is followed, and in line with the newly enforceable regulation, Napa will now only deliver Type 4 compliant software for passenger ships. The company believes that this will make a major difference to safety by offering a clear sense of whether or not they are able to make a safe return to port.

The Napa Loading Computer is currently used by almost all the major cruise lines, as well as the ferry, ro-ro, ro-pax, sto-ro and l-lo operators. The Napa Loading Computer is installed onboard more than 2,000 ships across the global commercial and passenger fleet, and is approved by all major class societies.

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