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IJSCT 125tn

Paper Title: Hydroelastic Inflatable Boats: Relevant Literature and New Design Considerations



P K Halswell, P A Wilson and D J Taunton, University of Southampton, UK
S Austen, RNLI, UK


Inflatable boats are considerably more flexible than conventional metal or composite vessels. The RNLI have developed an inflatable boat, the IB1, with improved performance which has been attributed to its flexibility or hydroelasticity. Current design methodologies for planing vessels predict the performance assuming it is rigid. Designing an entirely hydroelastic boat presents completely new design challenges and will require new design methodologies in the future. This paper considers how to approach an entirely hydroelastic planing vessel and how to divide the boat into practical problems. A design approach taking into account hydroelasticity could potentially improve the performance further by decreasing boat motions, reducing added resistance in waves and minimising the slamming accelerations. 

This paper reviews the literature relevant to rigid inflatable and inflatable boats and shows the construction of the IB1. The hydroelastic design problem is broken down into three main hydroelastic events: global hydroelasticity, hydroelastic planing surfaces and hydroelastic slamming. Each event is defined, the relevant literature is reviewed and the possible advantages are discussed. A design approach is suggested using a hydroelastic design cycle. The hydrodynamic problem of interacting sponsons is briefly discussed.


Transactions RINA, Vol 154, Part B1, International Journal of Small Craft Technology, Jan-Jun 2012 

DOI number

DOI No: 10.3940/rina.ijsct.2012.b1.125tn 

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