Authors of this paper describe the test-bench used for ship motion control system prototyping. This tool is built with the PC-type hardware and the Matlab-Simulink software. The scale model of the VLCC tanker was chosen as a control object. This model is used on a lake as a shiphandling training vessel. The complex, nonlinear mathematical model of this training vessel was used in the test-bench simulations. Authors describe two types of them: the non-real-time (software) and the real-time (harware-in-the-lop) one. As an example of usability, results of the MIMO LMI controller tests of the ship velocities in 3DOF were shown.