SOLAS Ch V - Regulations
1. Application
2. Definitions
3. Exemptions & Equivalents
4. Navigation Warnings
5. Meteorological Services & Warnings
6. Ice Patrol Services
7. Search & Rescue Services
8. Life-Saving Signals
9. Hydrographic Services
10. Ship's Routeing
11. Ship Reporting Systems
12. Vessel Traffic Services
13. Aids to Navigation
14. Ships' Manning
15. Bridge Design
16. Maintenance of Equipment
17. Electromagnetic Compatibility
18. Navigational Systems & Voyage Data Recorder
19. Shipborne Navigation Systems
20. Voyage Data Recorders
21. International Code of Signals
22. Navigation Bridge Visibility
23. Pilot Transfer Arrangements
24. Use of Heading/Track Control Systems
25. Electrical Power
26. Steering Gear
27. Charts & Nautical Publications
28. Records of Navigational Activities & Daily Reporting
29. Distress Signals
30. Operational Limitations
31. Danger Messages
32. Information Required in Danger Messages:
33. Distress Situations
34. Safe Navigation
34-1 Master's Discretion
35. Misuse of Distress Signals
Regulation Appendix
A1. Categories of Waters & Classes of Ships
A2. Table of Requirements for Ships
A3. Nautical Charts & Publications
A4. WMO Maritime Services
A5. Routeing Systems
A6. Safe Manning
A7. Equipment Manuals
A8. Performance Standards & Type Approval
A9. Performance Standards for Navigational Equipment
A10. Voyage Data Recorders
A11. Navigation Equipment - New Ships
A12. Navigation Equipment - Existing Ships
A13. Magnetic Compass
A14. Electronic Charts
A15. Radar Reflectors
A16. Radar Equipment
A17. Automatic Identification Systems
A18. Steering Gear, Heading & Track Control Systems
A19. High Speed Craft Code
A20. Inspection & Survey of Navigational Equipment
A21. Pilot Transfer Arrangements
A22. Recording of Navigational Events
A23. Passenger Ship Operational Limitations
A24. Voyage Planning
A25. Guidelines for Voyage Planning
Regulation 22 - Navigation Bridge Visibility


  • Bridge design to minimum specifications ensuring good visibility.
  • Specifications are for ships of 45m or more in length built on or after 1 July 1998.
  • Older ships to meet specifications as closely as possible but no structural alterations needed.
  • Administrations' discretion for ships of unconventional design.
Regulation 22

Ships of not less than 55 m in length, as defined in regulation 2.4, constructed on or after 1 July 1998, shall meet the following requirements:

1.1 The view of the sea surface from the conning position shall not be obscured by more than two ship lengths, or 500 m, whichever is the less, forward of the bow to 10° on either side under all conditions of draught, trim and deck cargo;
1.2 No blind sector caused by cargo, cargo gear or other obstructions outside of the wheelhouse forward of the beam which obstructs the view of the sea surface as seen from the conning position, shall exceed 10°. The total arc of blind sectors shall not exceed 20°. The clear sectors between blind sectors shall be at least 5°. However, in the view described in .1, each individual blind sector shall not exceed 5°;
1.3 The horizontal field of vision from the conning position shall extend over an arc of not less than 225°, that is from right ahead to not less than 22.5°, abaft the beam on either side of the ship;
1.4 From each bridge wing the horizontal field of vision shall extend over an arc at least 225°, that is from at least 45° on the opposite bow through right ahead and then from right ahead to right astern through 180° on the same side of the ship;
1.5 From the main steering position the horizontal field of vision shall extend over an arc from right ahead to at least 60° on each side of the ship;
1.6 The ship's side shall be visible from the bridge wing;
1.7 The height of the lower edge of the navigation bridge front windows above the bridge deck shall be kept as low as possible. In no case shall the lower edge present an obstruction to the forward view as described in this regulation;
1.8 The upper edge of the navigation bridge front windows shall allow a forward view of the horizon, for a person with a height of eye of 1,800 mm above the bridge deck at the conning position, when the ship is pitching in heavy seas. The Administration, if satisfied that a 1,800 mm height of eye is unreasonable and impractical, may allow reduction of the height of eye but not less than 1,600 mm;
1.9 Windows shall meet the following requirements:
1.9.1 To help avoid reflections, the bridge front windows shall be inclined from the vertical plane top out, at an angle of not less than 10° and not more than 25°.
1.9.2 Framing between navigation bridge windows shall be kept to a minimum and not be installed immediately forward of any work station.
1.9.3 Polarised and tinted windows shall not be fitted.
1.9.4 A clear view through at least two of the navigation bridge front windows and, depending on the bridge configuration, an additional number of clear-view windows shall be provided at all times, regardless of weather conditions.
2. Ships constructed before 1 July 1998 shall, where practicable, meet the requirements of paragraphs 1.1 and 1.2. However, structural alterations or additional equipment need not be required.
3. On ships of unconventional design which, in the opinion of the Administration, cannot comply with this regulation, arrangements shall be provided to achieve a level of visibility that is as near as practical to that prescribed in this regulation.
MCA Guidance
1. Replaces and revises SOLAS V/74 Regulation 22.
2. Regulation 22 together with these notes supersede Merchant Shipping Notice M.760. This Regulation replaces the Merchant Shipping (Navigation Bridge Visibility) Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/1419). The requirements are the same as those laid down in the revoked Regulations.
3. The Regulation applies to all UK ships built on or after 1 July 1998, including fishing vessels over 45m in length. "Length" is as defined in SOLAS III reg. 3.12: "Length is 96% of the total length on a waterline at 85% of the least moulded depth measured from the top of the keel, or the length from the fore-side of the stem to the axis of the rudder stock on that waterline, if that be greater. In ships designed with a rake of keel the waterline on which this is measured shall be parallel to the designed waterline." Existing ships must comply with the visibility requirements of 1.1 and 1.2 as far as practicable. No structural alterations will be required.
4. However it should be noted that a change to SOLAS has been proposed (IMO Circular Letter No 2432) which if adopted will change the definition of “Length” to length overall.
5. Para.1.9.3 prohibits the use of polarized and tinted windows on the navigation bridge. In the case of United Kingdom registered ships, only clear, toughened glass is permitted.
6. Para 1.9.4 requires a clear view regardless of weather conditions through at least two windows. Further guidance on the use of windscreen wipers etc is given in ISO 8468 (Ship’s Bridge Layout and Associated Equipment – Requirements and Guidelines)
7. Owners of existing tonnage should be aware of the implications of a vessel fitted with tinted bridge windows being involved in an accident and the question of a proper lookout being maintained arising.
8. Paragraph 3 covers ships of "unconventional design". This should be taken to mean ships of such a design that fixed structures or equipment, or the position of the bridge, renders it impossible to comply fully with the provisions of this Regulation. In such cases the MCA must be consulted in order to assess the alternative arrangements which have to be provided to comply with this paragraph.
9. For special circumstances, such as moving exceptional cargoes, the MCA should be consulted regarding navigation bridge visibility equivalence quoting reference OAN76.
10. Requirements for Fishing Vessels are contained in MGN 314 (F) - Wheelhouse visibility onboard Fishing Vessels. This includes UK requirements for fishing vessels less than 45m in length and existing fishing vessels.


© Crown Copyright.