Friday, June 12, 2009

'Wave piercing' boat design

It is always exciting to see something truly new rather than something that gives you the nagging feeling of "same ol' same old". Well, I came across this futuristic boat picture:

and become intrigued by the words "wave-piercing" in this article in the entitled "Rolls-Royce introduces wave piercing anchor handler":

Rolls-Royce is adapting wave piercing technology, well-proven in high-speed catamarans and trimarans, in a new offshore vessel design, the UT 790 CD .

Rolls-Royce Chief Design Manager--Offshore Svein Kleven said: "With the UT 790 CD, we can support offshore exploration and production further and deeper while at the same time improving safety and minimizing the impact on the environment."

A wave piercers hull, according to Rolls-Royce, pierces through the water rather than riding on top of the waves, allowing the vessel to run continuously at service speeds regardless of the sea state, reducing fuel consumption and improving crew comfort.

This technology eliminates slamming and allows for a smooth ride even in extreme weather conditions. At speeds of 14 knots and violent storm conditions (9 meters significant high waves), tank tests have shown no water above forecastle deck level.

In extreme wave heights, water will be visible at the forecastle long before the situation gets critical, giving the captain an early warning which allows him to reduce power to maintain generous safety margins.

Not a boat designer or a boat user myself, I can recognize this is something new. Not too many people can afford Rolls-Royce, but if for clear better and more stable ride and safety, could this be the boat design of the future?

Here's a picture of a smaller ferry boat also with wave piercing design by Gold Coast Yachts:

and an article by Dag Pike that explains the basic ideas:

The unique design of the Gold Coast wave piercer has the twin hulls extending a long way forward from the accommodation module. They are long and thin with a very fine entry with a curved almost oval cross section which, at the tip sweeps up into a narrow entry strut to support the module. The engines are located well aft in the widest point of the hull, and the 425hp Lugger diesels are coupled to Hamilton water jets.

The long, slim hulls operate in the wave piercing mode with a very gradual increase in the lift generated as the hull immerses to give a very smooth ride. Roger Hatfield believes that it is a mistake to have a flat top surface to the immersed forward hulls as this only encourages them to dig in and develop a pitch-poling lever, an experience of the earlier Incat designs. Incat solved the problem by shaping and extending a central hull to give lift if the hull immerses beyond a certain point but with forward hulls remove the need of additional buoyancy.

In operation ‘The Edge’ gives quite remarkable performance. On a run out to St. Barts with a full passenger load, the open sea conditions were irregular eight foot waves, the sort of conditions where I think I would have turned back for passenger safety and comfort. ‘The Edge’ coped quite magnificently, although to improve ride comfort, the boat was "tacked" off the wind to create a longer effective wave length. We made the 18 mile passage in under an hour with only minimal seasickness among the inexperienced passengers. The run back with the wind and sea astern was a pure delight with minimal motion, and the bows showing very little tendency to bury as we overtook the waves.
This new 'wave piercing' boat design would most hopefully can alleviate the vulnerability of nearshore and offshore vessels from wave attacks, some of them could be freaque waves. Anyway happiness is learning something new each day!


Viagra Online said...

What an awesome boat some day I will buy submarine like that honey! incredible post indeed.

Nadia Brightman said...
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