Usually in an Institute examination involving voyage estimating, a blank form will be provided for a candidate’s use. However, an estimate can quite adequately be made on plain paper. The vital thing is to acquire ‘method’. In this Lesson, therefore, we will be following the stages listed above and, indeed, the later examples are used on that system. Of course you will need to know details about the vessel itself, its deadweight and drafts, cubic capacities and speed and consumptions of fuel oil and diesel oil. Perhaps more, depending upon the complexity of the calculation that is required or the commodity to be carried. The most important point is always to work in the same way, so as to avoid confusion, and it is recommended that the commencement of a voyage should always be from the place where the vessel completes discharge of her previous cargo, allowing for the time and costs spent leaving the last discharge port to be charged to the previous voyage. In this manner, the first part of the voyage will be a ballast leg, commencing with dropping the outward port pilot, unless the shipowner or operator is fortunate enough to find a cargo from the port in which the vessel has just discharged. A few estimators commence their estimates at a loading port and follow the laden passage with a theoretical ballast leg back to the same loading port. However, since tramp dry-cargo vessels rarely proceed again on the same voyage, this is hardly a practical alternative to the more logical method of commencing from where a vessel is open and seeking next employment – i.e. upon completion of the previous employment. Turning once again to the blank sample estimating form and with distance tables to hand, it is not difficult to estimate the length of ballast and laden voyage legs, to plan out the sea-time and routes of the estimate, and to fill in the appropriate boxes.