Seafarers Handbook for Australian Waters (AHP20)
The Seafarers Handbook for Australian Waters (AHP20) is an official nautical publication providing mariners with a description of the Australian physical and jurisdictional maritime environment.
It is a first stop reference for international mariners and is popular with Australian commercial mariners because it combines important maritime information from various Australian government agencies under the cover of one nautical publication.
It contains much of the textual information that relates to the features depicted on navigational charts but is too detailed to be shown, including:
- Seabed characteristics, tides & currents, sea names and shipwrecks.
- The regional climatic environment.
- Marine Protected Areas, Regulations and responsible agencies.
- Major Australian Maritime Legislation and Regulations, and responsible agencies.
- Buoyage, Navigation Aids, Coastal Pilotage, Torres Strait and GBR Shipping Routes, Accident and Incident Reporting.
- Maritime Safety Information, Meteorological Broadcasts, Warnings, Search and Rescue.
- Ship Reporting Systems - AUSREP and REEFVTS Ship Reporting Systems.
- Maritime Security, Customs, Biosecurity, Quarantine, Immigration and Military information.
- Australian trading ports – Pilots, Pilot Boarding Grounds, VHF Channels, ETA and port contact details.
Key contact information for each government agency and links to further information is included. Contents are updated regularly – see Updates.
The Seafarers Handbook for Australian Waters is an official nautical publication published by the AHS, Australia’s national charting authority. It allows:
- Vessels navigating in Australia to meet SOLAS Chapter V regulations (and AMSA regulations1) covering the carriage of charts and publications. For further details visit the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) website (www.amsa.gov.au).
- Commercial vessels 12 metres or more in length and engaged in Australian domestic operations, to meet the National Standards for Commercial Vessels (NSCV). For further details visit the National Marine Safety Committee (NMSC) website (www.nmsc.gov.au).
It provides a lot of useful information for recreational vessels as well.
Note 1: See AMSA Marine Orders Part 21, Order 6 of 2010, which details carriage requirements for nautical charts and publications necessary for the intended voyage.
The Seafarers Handbook for Australian Waters is published as a paper book.
The Seafarers Handbook for Australian Waters is updated via fortnightly Australian Notices to Mariners (NtM).
Instructions on how to update the Seafarers Handbook for Australian Waters for NtM updates can be in the front of the publication and in the Australian Chart & Publication Maintenance Handbook, also published by the AHS.
Reprints and New editions
New prints of the book are released when:
- Printed stocks are running low. This is known as a ‘Reprint’.
- The book is republished. This is known as a ‘New Edition’.
Reprints contain all the Australian NtMs issued for the book since the latest edition was originally published, incorporated into the body of the book. Reprints are expected to be published every 1 to 2 years.
New editions are released when significant changes need to be made to content. This book is expected to be re-published as a new edition every 3 to 5 years, depending on the volume and size of amendments.
Please see our Pricing page.
What is the current edition?
Fourth Edition. Vessels that are required to meet mandatory carriage requirements for nautical charts and publications should ensure that they hold this version.
How do I distinguish a Reprint from a New Edition?
If your book is a reprint the word “Reprinted” will written underneath the edition information on page ii e.g. “Reprinted November 2011”. The reprint will also have the NtMs (updates that have been applied to the current edition) printed, not handwritten.
If the book is a new edition, NtMs will not be printed in the Record of Amendments table.
How do I know how up-to-date my book is?
You should refer to the last NtM recorded in the Record of Amendments table, found in the front of the book. If your book has been correctly updated after purchase, all NtMs applied in the body of the book should have been recorded by hand in this table. If there aren’t any NtMs listed in this table it will be up-to-date to the publish date printed at the front of the book.
The Seafarers Handbook for Australian Waters can be purchased from your local Chart Distribution Agent.
The Australian Chart and Publication Maintenance Handbook, which provides instructions on how to update the Seafarers Handbook for Australian Waters for Notices to Mariners updates, can also be purchased from your local agent.
We value your feedback. The AHS is committed to continuous improvement of its products. If you are a user of the Seafarers Handbook for Australian Waters and wish to provide feedback, please use the following link: Feedback Forms.