Aerodynamic lift forces on multihulled marine vehicles

A. G.W. Williams, M. Collu, Minoo H. Patel

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The need for high-speed high-payload craft has led to considerable efforts within the marine transport industry towards a vehicle capable of bridging the gap between conventional ships and aircraft. One such concept uses the forward motion of the craft to create aerodynamic lift forces on a wing-like superstructure and hence, reduce the displacement and skin friction. This paper addresses the specific aerodynamic design of multihull for optimal lift production and shows that significant efficiency can be achieved through careful shaping of a ducted hull, with lift-to-drag ratios of nearly 50 for a complete aerodynamic hull configuration. Further analysis is carried out using a hybrid vehicle stability model to determine the effect of such aerodynamic alleviation on a theoretical planing hull. It is found that the resistance can be halved for a fifty metre, three hundred tonne vehicle with aerodynamic alleviation travelling at 70 knots. Results are presented for a candidate vessel.

Original languageEnglish
Article number169
JournalTransactions of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects Part A: International Journal of Maritime Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010


  • marine vehicles
  • aerodynamics
  • aerodynamic hull configuration

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