In considering all aspects of ship manoeuvres and operating criteria to or from Northport berths, all operations will be undertaken in the safest manner and in accordance with best practices and good seamanship.
Under Keel Clearance
The port works on a minimum 10% Static Under Keel Clearance for manoeuvring purposes when
performing manual calculations.
Dynamic Underkeel Clearance (DUKC)
Northport operates a dynamic underkeel clearance system for vessels using Marsden Point berths. The DUKC system is used to accurately predict a particular vessel’s under keel clearance (UKC) based on the vessel’s dimensions and stability information, the prevailing environmental conditions which include tides, sea levels and swell data, predicted vessel speeds and a detailed profile of the Whangarei Harbour approach channel. The DUKC system ensures that minimum levels of net UKC for vessel manoeuvrability and bottom clearance, for safe navigation in restricted waters, are always met or exceeded.
- Every vessel that is piloted through the Whangarei Harbour entrance is required to complete a Manual DUKC form. This is undertaken by the pilot prior to boarding the vessel (See appendix 1).
- Every vessel is required to complete a DUKC Particular Form (See appendix 2) when:
- A vessels is arriving or departing with a draft greater than 11m,
- The vessel fails a Manual DUKC Form,
- Has a Static Under Keel Clearance (SUKC) of 3.0m or less,
- When swell heights are above 2.0m,
- When requested by the pilot
- Once a vessel fails the Manual DUKC form or has a SUKC of 3.0m or less, that it is mandatory for the DUKC computer program calculation to be implemented to determine if the transit is viable or note.
Every vessel that utilises the DUKC computer program to transit the Whangarei entrance, by running an electronic DUKC calculation, will be charged accordingly for that service. The DUKC manual calculation completed by the Pilot for every piloted vessel transiting the harbour is a service included in the Marine Charges.
The is a procedure implemented by the Whangarei Harbour Safety Committee chaired by the Harbourmaster.
Vessel berthing is dependent on the direction of the tidal stream. Ships are berthed head to tide. Subject
to Pilot’s discretion, ships may be berthed with the flood tide where the pilot boarding time is to be no later than 1 hour before low water slack water.
For arrivals and departures at the cargo berths the general requirement is for two tugs.
Where the draft exceeds 10m, tug escort will be used from and to the vicinity of No 7 buoy. The level
of escort provided may be varied on any specific occasion according to the prevailing conditions. For all
vessels the tug will meet the ship at No. 9 buoy and on departure may be dismissed in the vicinity of No
For deep draft tankers, tugs will meet the ship at No. 4 buoy.
- Positioning of ships at berth. Northport operates with a minimum 15m spacing between ships for berthing, however exceptions may occur in special circumstances, subject to Northport and North Tugz Managers discretion.
- Where a vessel has to be berthed between 2 vessels, the minimum space required will be the ship’s length plus 50m subject to weather conditions prevailing at the time.
- Provided the vessel has suitable mooring lines and mooring arrangements, it is permissible to overhang ships at each end of the berth.
- Vessels will normally arrive or depart at any time during the tidal cycle as required by the agent subject to length or draft restrictions
- Vessels of greater than 200m LOA and/or greater than 11.8m draft may be restricted to an appropriate tidal window for departures and arrivals. This is particularly so in the case of MP1 and MP3 berths when there is a ship at an adjacent berth
- The pilot or Northport may delay any vessel subject, but not limited to, high winds, exceptional swell, deep draft or excessive tidal flow.
The shifting of ships along Northport berths is not to be carried out without permission from
Northport who reserves the right to refuse any shift. Agents must have the ship’s master complete a
“Shift Ship” form and any shift must be carried out according to the following criteria:
- Application Form to be completed before shift commences (see Appendix)
- Instructions for Shifting Ship’s can only be made through the ship’s agent.
- Minimum of a 4 person lines party is required
Non-assisted shift ship:
- Shift no more than 20m – pilot required on all occasions
- To be undertaken at slack water only
- Wind strength to be not more than 10 knots
- 2 of the linesmen must be capable of manning a workboat
- Whangarei Harbour Radio to be notified.
Fully Assisted shift ship (more than 20m):
- Pilot, Tugs, Linesmen - Resources to suit size of ship and weather maximums.
- The optimum mooring arrangements for all vessels is 4 head/stern/breast lines and 2 springs fore and aft.
- Minimum Separation between ships for berthing should be not less than 15m.
- Mooring lines at the east and western end of the berths should be squared off.
- Marsden Point Jetty – Mooring arrangements are to be discussed with Northport prior to the vessel's arrival.
- Storm Bollards - the pilot will make the master aware of the storm bollards which are to be used in the event of strong winds. Northport will advise of expected strong winds and the vessel must comply with any requirement to run out additional lines. Should the master require assistance, contact Whangarei Harbour Radio VHF Ch 19.
- Fumigation – When a ship is undergoing fumigation or is undermanned for any reason, extra lines must be run to the storm bollards and turned up on the ship’s bitts (Not winch drums).
The figures given are for guidance purposes only. Depending on wind gust strength and direction, the pilot may make a judgement call on a ship by ship basis to increase or decrease the weather criteria.
Indicative maximum wind strength for normal ship handling at Marsden Point Cargo Wharves:
- 30 knots mean wind speed from all directions
For high sided vessel such as car carriers and chip ships, the indicative maximum wind speed:
20 knots mean wind speed from all direction.