In the last forty years wave drift loads have been calculated with methods based on the near-field theory (hull pressure integration, Pinkster [4]) and/or the far field method (linear momentum theory). Both methods use linear theory and through its formulation ignore the ship’s hull form above the mean water line. It is evident that in survival sea-states the small motion assumptions are violated and the hull form above the mean water line can affect the motion characteristics of the ship and the drift loads. In order to get more insight in this effect, SBM has conducted a systematic model test campaign at the TU Delft using an Aframax size tanker.

The campaign included tests with two different bow shapes: the original bow with flare, and a wall-sided bow. Horizontal loads on the complete vessel and a section of the bow only were measured accompanied by measurements of the ship motions and relative wave heights. Measurements were performed for various wave heights and periods. Numerous repeat tests were conducted to establish the confidence level of the measurement data.

Measurements have shown motions and relative wave heights are dependent on wave height. It was suggested that viscous damping may play a part in this.

The relative wave height in high waves is affected by bow shape; namely the finite draft, the flare and the bulb. How this departure from linear theory affects the forces on the vessel should be investigated further.

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