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Estuary Navigation

Courtesy of Wiljo NV, Antwerp

Estuary ships are basically inland waterways vessels strengthened and equipped to the extent that they can safely operate in the coastal waters between e.g. the West Scheldt estuary and the port of Zeebrugge when weather conditions are favourable.

In the past the weather window was limited to sea states with significant wave heights up to 1.2 m. New rules allow operation in higher sea states, provided that the ship-owner presents a risk assessment study showing that the design of his ship meets all requirements in all sea states up to the proposed limiting seaway. As the new regulations are aimed at avoiding excessive ship motions, shipping of green water and wave impact loading, the risk analysis for the design of these ships can be based on well-proven linear strip theory calculations for the determination of wave loads and ship motions. Accordingly, a risk analysis procedure has been developed which is now being used for the actual design of such ships.

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