The maritime industry is continuously working on improving the reliability of on board systems and increasing ship's efficiency and safety. Today's ships are technologically more advanced but maritime accidents still occur, mainly due to human errors. In this respect the continuous training of ship's crew is imperative, while training simulators need to adapt to more complex and realistic operational scenarios. In this context, a decision support tool for ship's navigation in adverse weather conditions is herein presented, namely HYBRIDMAN. The software is based on a 4 DoF (surge, sway, yaw and roll) nonlinear ship maneuvering model, which is formulated and solved in the time domain by use of MATLAB's software environment (Mathworks, 2014). The developed simulation software integrates several subsystems referring to the calculation of ship's hull, propeller and rudder forces/moments. Moreover, the impact of the environmental forces (wind and waves) on ship's maneuvering motions is considered. The developed software allows the testing of different maneuvering scenarios within very short time, thus HYBRIDMAN allows the exploration of the available decision space and leads to a safer and more efficient navigation. The ultimate goal of this study is to develop a rational methodology that will allow the simulation of the maneuvering ability of a vessel with specific characteristics for any specified route and weather scenario. The paper will present typical results of application of the developed software to a case study ship undergoing maneuvers in given weather conditions.

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