Rotterdam, 1707-2023NAUTIS has undergone a significant update with the release of version 3.9. Packed with new features, improvements and bug fixes, NAUTIS 3.9 promises an even more immersive and realistic training experience for maritime professionals.  

It is gratifying for VSTEP to witness the culmination of our hard work and see how NAUTIS 3.9 will empower maritime professionals worldwide. Maarten Meulemans, Software Engineering Director, shares: 

NAUTIS 3.9 represents a significant milestone in our journey towards delivering the most advanced and immersive maritime training solutions. I am proud of our dedicated team who have poured their passion, expertise and countless hours into this development. With NAUTIS 3.9, we have pushed the boundaries of realism, interactivity and functionality, providing our users with an unparalleled training experience. I am delighted to present NAUTIS 3.9 and confident that it will revolutionize the way we train and prepare for the challenges of the maritime industry.


1. Ocean Visual Improvements: 

  • Waves, colors and reflections have received a general revamp, resulting in a more realistic and visually appealing ocean representation.
  • Nightlights have been introduced in all environments, enhancing navigation light reflections and overall visibility during nighttime scenarios. 

2. Sky Visual Improvements:

  • Cloud visuals and sky colors have been improved, creating a more immersive and captivating sky atmosphere. 
  • Adding routes to the chart no longer hinders interaction with the chart itself, allowing users to pan and zoom while placing route nodes. 
  • Echosounders now display draught readings, providing additional information for navigation purposes. 
  • Routes are now rendered as lines, with detailed rendering when the path is active or hovered over. Nodes with velocity changes are filled and show the new velocity in a tooltip. 

3. Dynamics Improvements: 

  • Additional options have been added for hull voxelization, allowing users to force symmetry and use all submerged voxels for calculating the center of buoyancy. 
  • The buoyancy calculation has been refined to account for oblique inflow of water and to make the Transverse Arrest force of propulsions depend on the ship’s velocity magnitude. 
  • A utility has been introduced to automatically generate a baseline configuration of a ship’s thrust allocation component, streamlining the setup process. 
  • The buoyancy solver has been adjusted to reduce bouncing effects when placing a ship on the water. 
  • A more accurate calculation option for the squat effect is now available. 

4. Visual Improvements: 

  • Ground snow visuals have been enhanced, creating a more realistic representation of snowy environments. 
    • Searchlight visuals have undergone improvements, including fog and haze blending. 


1. Change Colors of Ships: 

  • Instructors can now customize the primary and secondary colors of ships during a session or when creating a scenario. Offering more immersion for the trainee and reducing the repetitiveness. 

2. Automatic Light Override: 

  • Instructors have the ability to override automatic lights in the simulation, allowing for more control over lighting conditions. 

3. Networking Option: 

  • NAUTIS now offers TCP networking as an alternative to RakNet, increasing reliability and reducing out-of-sync issues in the simulation.  

4. Revamped API: 

  • NAUTIS utilizes a new iteration of the API based on gRPC (Google Remote Procedure Call). 
  • The updated API provides support for various interactions with and data from NAUTIS, including object transforms, weather conditions, seastate, collisions, currents, exercise control, session control, seabed information, geography, date and time, towing lines, sensor blocking, navigation lights and more. 
  • A separate manual detailing the API is available upon request. 


  • Smoke visibility distance can now be adjusted for the fire object, allowing for more realistic fire simulations.
  • Support for GEM Radar TX and standby buttons has been added, enhancing the functionality of the simulation. 
  • A filter has been included in the property window, enabling users to easily identify elements bound to external communication.
  • Shallow water effects can now be disabled via a checkbox in scenario configuration, offering more flexibility in customizing training scenarios. 


We created new ships and incorporated some improvements in the already existing ships. Examples of the new ships: 

  • Coast guard cutter Deania. 
  • Bulk carrier Vertex Prince. 
  • LNG carrier Vertex Queen. 
  • Riga Gulf Tanker. 

Besides that, the team worked relentlessly on fixing the bugs that have been reported to us.  

Please see the full release note report below.

Would you like to understand if you are entitled to the NAUTIS 3.9 update? 

A few weeks ago, we notified our subscribers about the release of NAUTIS 3.9. Do you want to learn about the update first? Then, we invite you to subscribe to our newsletter. 

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VSTEP creates innovative simulation software for professional organizations worldwide. We are a team of 60 explorers who are always up for challenges. We are not constrained by standards and are flexible in our approach to fulfilling the mission: enable learning by simulation.

We are all dedicated to the same vision: ensure that at least one-third of the maritime industry has obtained their skills through our simulation technology. Hence, we strive to make a great contribution to creating a more sustainable world. We invest in continuous R&D of our software and work passionately as a team to get there.