Real-time, interactive ship simulators limped onto the scene, in the wake of flight simulators, some years ago. The maritime industries have a long history of conservatism, but this is now changing rapidly. The information age has also swept over ships and shipping, and has been taken to heart to such an extent that, for example, flight simulators now cooperate with ship simulators and import useful new concepts and methodologies. The more than 50 papers contained in this book show what and why. Although traditionally conservative, the marine world is also traditionally international and this has not changed. The papers in the book are by leading authors from all over the world and provide a detailed snap-shot of the rapidly advancing state-of-the-art, together with pointers to the future. The overall theme of MARSIM '96 and therefore also of this book is: Vessel manouevrability and marine simulation research, training and assessment, and includes original papers on topics such as bridge resource management, distant learning and simulators coupled via The Internet, virtual reality, neural networks, rudder-propeller hydrodynamics, prime mover models, squat in shallow water, and many more.