The Effect of Shallow Water on Roll Damping and Rolling Period

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Virginia Tech

Significant effort has been made to quantify and predict roll damping of vessels in the past. Similarly, efforts have been made to provide effective methods for calculating the roll gyradius of vessels. Both the damping and the gyradius of a vessel are traditionally quantified through the use of a sally test. Experience with the USS Midway showed that shallow water has significant effect on the rolling period and thus the experimentally determined roll gyradius. To date, little effort has been directed to the problem of the effect of shallow water on roll damping and roll period except when trying to match model and full scale experimental data. No clear guidelines exist for the boundary between deep and shallow water or the amount of overprediction of roll period that is likely for a given water depth. In order to provide greater understanding of the effects of shallow water on roll period and roll damping, this thesis performed experiments in varying scale water depths for 5 models: 4 box barges and a model of the USS Essex.

The following conclusions were reached: As water depth to draft ratio, d/T, approaches 1 the roll period can increase as much as 14%. The boundary between deep and shallow water is a water depth somewhere between 4 and 7 times the vessel draft depending on the particulars of the vessel's hull form. Vessels with a larger beam to draft ratio will experience shallow water effects in relatively deeper water, that is to say the depth to draft ratio will be greater at the upper limit of deep water. Additionally, vessels with a higher beam to draft ratio will experience larger shallow water effects for a given depth to draft ratio. Finally, for vessels of very fine hull forms, the boundary between deep and shallow water will occur a relatively shallower depths, in other terms, the boundary will occur at a lower depth to draft ratio.

Roll Damping, Roll Period, Shallow Water