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Influence of the ship’s length on the manoeuvrability in a canal
Laforce, E.; Claeyssens, P.; Vantorre, M. (1996). Influence of the ship’s length on the manoeuvrability in a canal, in: 11th International Harbour Congress, Antwerpen, June 17-21, 1996: proceedings. pp. 523-534
In: (1996). 11th International Harbour Congress, Antwerpen, June 17-21, 1996: proceedings. Koninklijke Vlaamse Ingenieursvereniging (KVIV): Antwerpen. ISBN 90-5204-030-3. 752 pp., more

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Document type: Conference paper

    Manoeuvrability; Ship canals; Vessels

Authors  Top 
  • Laforce, E., more
  • Claeyssens, P.
  • Vantorre, M., more

    The Port of Ghent (Belgium) is connected to the Scheldt Estuary by the Maritime Canal Ghent-Terneuzen (Fig- 1). The canal has a length of 32 km, 15.5 km of which are located on Dutch territory.

    Originally, this canal was designed for 30 000 tdw vessels, but nowadays 80 000 tdw ships are allowed, provided that their dimensions do not exceed 256 m of length over all, 34 m of beam and 12.25 m of draught.

    The Port of Ghent strongly insists on increasing the maximum allowed ship's length to 265 m, so that the Port would be accessible for all Panamax sized vessels. The passage of such ships through the lock at Terneuzen should not raise any major technical problems. There were fears that passage of longer vessels might cause problems due to the limited available width, especially at Sluiskil and at Sas van Gent where ships have to pass two long bends with a radius of 3000 m. Another reason for concern is the passage of three bridges.

    A Committee of Dutch and Flemish Waterways and Marine Affairs Administrations agreed that a risk analysis was required in order to evaluate the differences in risk caused by allowing longer Panamax sized vessels (LOA = 265 m, B = 32.2 m, T = 12.25 m) to the canal. This Study was performed by Flanders Hydraulics, a research laboratory of the Ministry of the Flemish Community (Department of Environment and infrastructure)

    The work reported here involved:

    • Systematic captive motion tests in the shallow water towing tank at Flanders' Hydraulics on three ship models, in open shallow water and in restricted water including a cross-section of the canal and a scale model of the geometry of the bends.
    • Development of suitable mathematical models of the hydrodynamic forces for the three ships in open water and in the canal
    • Comparison of the behaviour of the wee ships sailing along the canal through fast-time simulation. An autopilot, based on a cost-function concept, was used to perform the manoeuvring as it was expected that the: variance between different pilots would mask differences between ships. Attention was paid to construct an auto-pilot unbiased with respect to the ship length.
    • Evaluation of the results of the fast-time simulation
    • Validation of the autopilot runs through real-time simulation by experienced Terneuzen-Ghent Canal pilots on Flanders' Hydraulics manoeuvring simulator

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