Open-water testing of ship models is one of several methods available for predicting seakeeping behaviour; it is likely to increase in importance. British Hovercraft's Test Facilities Group has, over the past 25 years, raised the status of this method to that of a highly analytical investigative tool. The models used, typically of one-tenth scale, are unmanned, free-running, and radio-controlled from a support craft. They are powered by electric motors or, for the faster and larger models, by outboard motors or marine Diesels. The tests are run off the Isle of Wight, in waters that provide a variety of scale seas; a useful approximation to the required sea is normally available without undue delay. Wave conditions can be chosen to give a reasonable scale model of spectral formulations in general use, such as the Pierson-Moskowitz or the BTTP standard inshore spectrum. Recent research has shown that wave spectra recorded during tests correlated well with theoretical spectra derived from the Joint North Sea Wave Programme. Although this method of testing is expensive, it has certain advantages over tank tests and computer simulations, and is at present the only method that allows simultaneous evaluation of all five aspects of seakeeping <motion, wetness, course-keeping, structural loading, and survivability> for small fast craft. The article discusses these and other aspects of open-water testing of free-running scale models, and describes the techniques and equipment used.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Combat Craft, 2 <1984> p.34 <Jan.> (3 pp., 3 graphs, 1 diag., 3 phot)
  • Authors:
    • Marsh, G
  • Publication Date: 1984


  • English

Subject/Index Terms

  • Subject Areas: Marine Transportation;

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00686380
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: British Maritime Technology
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 14 1995 12:00AM