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I Almallah
J Lavroff
D S Holloway
M R Davis


Wave-piercing catamaran hull forms are widely used for high-speed ferry applications due to the hull slenderness, suitable for achieving high speeds. The global loads acting on these craft are of great interest as there is limited knowledge on determining the magnitude of the loads, in particular when operating in random sea conditions. Longitudinal and transverse bending moments as well as pitch connecting moments and hull torsion loads act on the hull simultaneously. This paper investigates the estimation of these global loads from full-scale catamaran sea trials strain gauge data using finite element methods. Det Norske Veritas (DNV) load cases are applied to a finite element model in order to determine the conversion between local strain values observed during sea trials and prevailing global loads. Comparisons are thus made of global loads determined from strain data collected from sea trials with DNV global load cases. The results show that this method is relatively reliable for the prediction of hull global loads in the absence of slamming. Comparisons have been made for different heading angles. The quasi-static design loads are important during the ship design stage, as they are good proxies in wavelengths comparable to the hull length for rationally determined loads obtained from a first-principles dynamic analysis. The broad aims here are to demonstrate the use of strain sensor data obtained during sea trials for determination of global sea loads, to reconcile the loads thus determined with DNV load cases and thereby to improve the accuracy of the predicted loads used in design to increase the structural efficiency of vessel design.

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