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Coastal SWATH Does Well in Tests

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Significant progress is being made on the design phase of a 100-ft SWATH Coastal Research Vessel to be operated in the North Atlantic coastal regions by a northeastern consortium of research organizations. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is taking the lead in the planning, design, and construction phases of the SWATH development and will be the operator of the vessel for the consortium. Potentially, the SWATH could efficiently satisfy a broad range of USGS coastal research needs. The USGS has had notably successful guiding experience in the past few years in joint research employing the Canadian SWATH vessel CREED.

The term SWATH is an acronym for Small Waterplane Area Twin-Hull. SWATH vessels can gain better seakeeping in moderate-to-high wave conditions, suffering one-half to one-fifth of the heave, pitch, and roll motions of a monohull vessel of equal displacement in seas driven by wind speeds above 20 knots. SWATHs can be configured such that motions are nearly independent of wave direction relative to the heading of the vessel, both underway and dead in the water. SWATH vessels can steam in storm conditions at much higher speeds than can comparable monohulls. Variable draft SWATHs can operate comfortably at storm draft in weather conditions that would defeat a monohull's ability to maintain course and speed. The SWATH hull form uses its greater beam to provide larger deck area and usable volume than can be achieved with a conventional monohull form of comparable displacement.

Glosten Associates organized and implemented a scale model test program for the SWATH at Marintek in Trondheim, Norway, in May, 1998. The program used preliminary design information previously developed by a team formed by Blue Sea Corporation. The operability study was performed using analytical motion prediction tools to compare vessel responses to waves in Georges Bank winter climatic conditions. Comparisons of the SWATH were made with two existing vessels, the Oceanus and Cape Hatteras. The analysis showed that the SWATH will have markedly better performance in winter conditions on Georges Bank than the two monohulls.

At present, the northeastern consortium consists of WHOI, the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Field Center at Woods Hole, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, the University of Massachusetts, University of Rhode Island, and other interests including: Massachusetts Maritime Academy, New England Aquarium, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, University of Maine, University of New Hampshire, and NOAA/ National Marine Fisheries Service.

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in this issue: Fieldwork Gas Hydrate Shear Strength

Deep-Water Moorings Recovered

Coastal SWATH Tests

Cape Cod Seafloor Imagery

Outreach cover story:
New Program-Wide Newsletter

Lecture: Tsunami!

Lecture: Navassa Island

Seminar: South Florida Ecosystem Restoration

Meetings NAS/NRC Review

Coastline Lidar Display at AGU

Long Island Sound

INATURES Lessons Learned

Staff & Center News Director Visits Menlo Park

Eastern Region Council Visits Woods Hole

Publications Note From the Editor

January Publications List

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