Shallow water

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Shallow Water

Shallow water imposes hydrodynamic interactions with a passing hull, and thus is an important consideration for vessels traveling in littoral waters. For the purpose of vessel motion evaluation, shallow water is considered as anywhere where the depth of water is less than 3 times the vessels draught. Shallow water is nearly universally experienced by vessels, in canal, port or coastal transverses, when drydocked, or when in berth.

Effects on Maneuverability

  • Turning circles can almost double in shallow waters
  • Depth of water vs. draught
  • Diversion of flow lines around sides of hull
  • Ship squat

Other Observable Effects

  • Increased wave creation
  • Sluggish response & poor rudder effectiveness
  • Decreased stopping ability
  • Increased dampening of roll, pitch motions
  • Decreased propeller speeds, ship speeds
  • Vibration of hull
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