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Slam characteristics of a 112m INCAT wave piercing catamaran in a range of realistic irregular sea conditions are presented in this paper. Towing tank testing of a 2.5 m hydroelastic segmented catamaran model was used to gather a database of slam events in irregular seas. The model was instrumented to measure motions, centrebow surface pressures and forces, encountered wave elevations and wave elevations within the bow area tunnel arches. From these measurements characteristics of the vessel slamming behaviour are examined: in particular relative vertical velocity, centrebow immersion, archway wave elevations and slam load distributions. A total of 2,098 slam events were identified over 22 different conditions, each containing about 80 to 100 slam events.
The data, although inherently scattered, shows that encounter wave frequency and significant wave height are important parameters with regard to centrebow slamming. Relative vertical velocity was found to be a poor indicator of slam magnitude and slams were found to occur before the centrebow arch tunnel was completely filled, supporting the application of a two-dimensional filling height parameter as a slam indicator.