(1) The group of scientific disciplines essential to guiding a vessel. Ship handling comprises navigation, sailing directions, nautical astronomy, hydrography, hydrometeorology, maritime practice, and practical use of magnetic compass deviations.
(2) The practice of guiding a ship by means of continuous visual or instrumental monitoring or control of sailing conditions, course, speed, location, and the ship’s condition. Instrument control is accomplished by means of automated piloting systems or such navigational aids as gyrocompasses, logs, echo sounders, radar and radio navigation stations, direction finders, sextants, and accurate chronometers. Visual control relies on the knowledge, skill, and experience of the navigator, who applies his personal observations in maneuvering the vessel. Navigational procedures are established by international and local regulations.