CFD-based hydrodynamic analyses of ship course keeping control and turning performance in irregular waves

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Ship manoeuvrability studies are usually carried out in calm and regular seas; however, an irregular sea state can better present the real operational conditions at sea, compared to both calm and regular seas. In this study, the manoeuvrability of a well-known benchmarking ship in an irregular sea state was investigated using a fully nonlinear unsteady RANS model. The JONSWAP spectrum was used to generate long-crested irregular seas with a significant wave height of 5m and a peak period of 12.4s in full scale, representing sea state 6. Comparisons with the ship manoeuvrability in both calm and regular seas were also made with a view to identifying the changes in the manoeuvring characteristics of the ship. The generated regular waves were characterised by the height and period equivalent to the average height and period of the irregular waves applied in this work. The ship is equipped with a single propeller with a semi-balanced horn rudder, and the propeller is simulated by an actuator disk model based on the body force method. In analysing the correlations between the ship manoeuvrability and the irregular waves, the findings of this study have demonstrated that the irregular waves may cause substantial changes in the course keeping capability and turning performance when compared to the inherent manoeuvring qualities in calm water. It is expected that the results of this work can provide a deeper insight into ship manoeuvrability in irregular waves as well as help masters and navigation officers in decision-making for ship handling actions in real sea states.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110808
Number of pages22
JournalOcean Engineering
Early online date17 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2022


  • ship manoeuvring
  • seakeeping
  • ship hydrodynamics
  • dynamic overset
  • irregular waves
  • KCS

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