Waterborne transportation has long played an important role in the United States. It has not, however, taken advantage of technical advancements achieved in the past 20 years in the development of amphibious air cushion vehicles (ACV) and surface effect ships (SES). These craft employ the air cushion principle where a volume of pressurized air is contained beneath the structure of a craft and the water surface thereby reducing resistance, improving ride quality and passenger comfort, and enabling higher speed. The amphibious fully-skirted air cushion vehicles have evolved in both England and the United States. The United States, however, has clearly led in the development of the partially-skirted, solid-sidewall surface effect ship, primarily oriented to military requirements. This paper examines the implications of this type vessel for civil applications. The fundamental characteristics of SESs are examined in comparison to planing hulls and hydrofoils. Those characteristics of the SES that should be of interest to owners and operators are reviewed and commented upon. Specific performance capabilities of SES boats of 65, 85, 110, and 133 feet are presented, as well as discussions regarding the associated machinery. Fundamental information regarding hull material selection for SESs is also presented.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Proceedings of Second International Waterborne Transportation Conference, October 5-7, 1977, New York City. Available April, 1978, approximately 750 pages. Cost: to ASCE members $15.00; non-members $30.00. Also available from NTIS, PB-273672/6ST.
  • Corporate Authors:

    American Society of Civil Engineers

    345 East 47th Street
    New York, NY  United States  10017-2398
  • Authors:
    • Kelly, J J
  • Publication Date: 1977

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00170800
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Proceeding
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 14 1981 12:00AM