Interactions between vessels in fleets or multi-hull systems

University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, California
Raised of $4,000 Goal
Ended on 9/11/17
Campaign Ended
  • $269
  • 7%
  • Finished
    on 9/11/17

About This Project

The performance of a vessel can be significantly affected by its nearby neighbors. The study of interactions among closely spaced ships is not only crucial for the safety of maritime operations, but also helps naval architects to design fuel-efficient fleet formations and multi-hull vessels (ships with multiple hulls like catamarans and trimarans). I will investigate the loads and motions of two vessels travelling closely with each other, by model-testing and computer simulations.

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What is the context of this research?

When two ships are travelling with close proximity, the induced hydrodynamic loads could significantly affect the maneuverability and courses of the ships which may lead to collision:

Destroyer of US Navy collided with container ship

Meanwhile, with the proper configurations, the wave-cancellation effect could substantially reduce the wave drags of multi-hull systems and reduce fuel consumption (check research articles listed in the additional info for further information).

Therefore, the ship-ship interaction problem is of both significant academic interests and great potential for maritime applications. My knowledge as an ocean engineering researcher can be made useful for the improvement of maritime safety and ship design.

What is the significance of this project?

With the knowledge of hydrodynamic interactions between vessels, measures can be taken to avoid accidents like collision when ships are travelling in the proximity of each other. This is of vital importance for the safety of maritime transportation as shipping lanes are getting more and more congested due to heavy maritime traffic.

Meanwhile, the design of next-generation, high-performance multi-hull vessels such as trimaran and catamaran can be optimized with greatly reduced wave drags and high cruising speeds. Also, in the coming era of unmanned ocean transportation, the outcomes of the present study is crucially important for the control strategies of the unmanned fleet.

What are the goals of the project?

I will conduct a numerical study with an open-source in-house computer program to simulate the loads and motions of vessels, especially for the cases when these vessels are closely spaced with each other in overtaking and encountering maneuvers.

Meanwhile, I will also carry out experimental study of towing-tank tests in the Towing-tank Facility of Richmond Field Station. The experimental observations not only provide the first-hand information about ship-ship interaction, but also serve as the reference for validating the computational results.

The outcomes of this study should enable safer maneuvering strategies for ships travelling in close proximity with other floating bodies, and bring optimal multi-hull designs with minimum wave drag, to light.


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The numerical simulations of ship-ship interactions (potential flow theory, CFD etc.) are highly computationally demanding. Therefore, a sufficiently powerful workstation is necessary for the development and implementation of the open-source computer simulation program. With the $2500 budget a reasonably powerful multi-core workstation can be built for the computational study.

Meanwhile, high-fidelity experimental study by towing-tank tests is necessary for the validation and modification of the computational approaches. Ship models are tested in a specialized towing-tank facility, and necessary sensors are required for collecting information about the motions and loads of the models. Thus, the $1500 budget will be dedicated to the acquisition of sensors such as load cells for the load measurements and optical tracking systems for motion capture of the ship models.

Endorsed by

I am very glad to endorse this project by Dongchi Yu. This problem is critical in the industry of ocean engineering. Dongchi has strong background in this field and has completed plenty experiments regarding ship-ship interactions. He is the excellent candidate to solve this problem.
This is definitely a very practical project of significant importance. And Mr. Yu's presentation on part of this project in the 36th OMAE conference made me believe that he and his team are the right choice for people who are interested in this area.

Flag iconProject Timeline

The duration of the study is expected to be around six months, with the first three months dedicated to the experiments, and the next three months for data analysis. Computational study will be carried out at the same time.

Jul 17, 2017

Towing-tank experiments in Richmond Field Station.

Jul 28, 2017

Project Launched

Sep 18, 2017

Data analysis of the experimental results.

Jan 21, 2018

Complete numerical and experimental study and write up openly-published peer-reviewed journal papers.

Meet the Team

Dongchi Yu
Dongchi Yu
Ph.D candidate


University of California, Berkeley
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Dongchi Yu

I am a Ph.D candidate of UC-Berkeley advised by Prof. Ronald W. Yeung with research emphasis on the studies of hydrodynamics.

I am an enthusiast of ocean technology and naval architecture. Writing computer codes for numerical simulations, and working in the towing-tank facility on experiments with my hand-built device are two major aspects of my academic life.

Lab Notes

Nothing posted yet.

Additional Information

For further information about this project, see

Yu, D., Lecointre, P., & Yeung, R. W. (2017). Experimentally-based investigation of effects of wave interference on the wave resistance of asymmetric di-hulls. Applied Ocean Research, 65, 142-153.

Yu, D. Lu, W & Yeung, R (2017). Experimental and numerical studies on di-hull interference. 32nd IWWWFB, Dalian, China.

Backer benefits:

1. The top 10 backers will win the chance of visiting our Towing-tank facility of Richmond Field Station, have the first-hand experience of conducting ocean engineering experiments;

2. The top 5 backers will be acknowledged in the journal publications regarding the present study;

Project Backers

  • 11Backers
  • 7%Funded
  • $269Total Donations
  • $24.45Average Donation
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