A Caltech Library Service

Motions of small boats moored in standing waves

Raichlen, Frederic (1968) Motions of small boats moored in standing waves. W. M. Keck Laboratory of Hydraulics and Water Resources Report, 17. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


This study was conducted to determine the dynamic characteristics of small boats moored with non-linear-elastic lines in an asymmetrical manner. The motions being considered are surge motions where the moored boat is allowed to move either in the direction of the bow or the stern, but not in other coordinate directions. An analytical model is proposed where the small boat is simulated by a block-body which is moored asymmetrically to a fixed dock. A method is developed from which the non-linear restoring forces and the dynamic response of the boat in surge can be obtained. The restoring force which is associated with the boat displacement is defined by the material, condition, and dimensions of the lines and the mooring geometry. From those results, an approximation to the restoring force is made so that a closed solution to the problem is possible. The periods of free oscillation determined by this method are compared to the results of some experiments conducted on a 26-foot boat with a displaced weight of approximately 7000 lbs. The experiments were performed using this small boat moored under different conditions: all lines taut, 4 inches slack in all lines, and 8 inches slack in all lines. These results compared favorably with the analytical results. The response of seven small boats of various displaced weights were determined analytically to evaluate the range of important wave periods for this sample. The mooring dimensions of these boats were measured in situ and the theoretical approach developed was applied. The results indicate, for the samples considered, that the important range of periods of forced oscillation for excessive motions of these boats in surge was less than 10 secs. If stiff mooring systems had been employed for all of these boats the important wave period range for these motions could probably be reduced further. Due to the different mooring systems used, the response curves for some of the small boats were highly asymmetrical indicating the possibility of much greater motions in one direction than in another under the action of a periodic symmetrical force. A limited series of experiments were conducted to determine the effect of the proximity of flotation chambers which are used on some floating slips on the response of the moored boat. It was found that these chambers, as simulated in the laboratory, did not have a significant effect on the dynamic characteristics of the moored boat. However, they did act as floating breakwaters thereby reducing the transmitted wave energy.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Technical Report)
Additional Information:This investigation was sponsored by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers under Contract DA-22-076-CIVENG-64-11. The author would like to acknowledge the valuable discussions with Professor Vito A. Vanoni throughout the course of this investigation and with Professors Wilfred D. Iwan and Paul C. Jennings during early phases of this study. Elton F. Daly, Laboratory and Shop Supervisor, contributed significantly throughout the prototype and laboratory studies through his ingenuity and assistance along with Robert Greenway, Senior Experimental Mechanic. James Murray and William Pence assisted in various capacities during the prototype studies. Without the talent and aid of Carl Eastvedt, Senior Photographer, the prototype study would have been much more difficult to conduct. The assistance of both the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District and the Department of Small Craft Harbors, County of Los Angeles, in arranging and assisting with the prototype studies is appreciated. In particular the author appreciates the cooperation extended by William Herron, Chief, Coastal Engineering Branch, U. S. Army Engineer District, Los Angeles, Corps of Engineers, and James Quinn of the Department of Small Craft Harbors, County of Los Angeles. The drawings in this report were made by Carl Green, Laboratory Technician. The writer wishes to thank Patricia Rankin for her invaluable assistance in typing and assembling this report.
Group:W. M. Keck Laboratory of Hydraulics and Water Resources
Series Name:W. M. Keck Laboratory of Hydraulics and Water Resources Report
Issue or Number:17
Record Number:CaltechKHR:KH-R-17
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:You are granted permission for individual, educational, research and non-commercial reproduction, distribution, display and performance of this work in any format.
ID Code:26003
Deposited By: Imported from CaltechKHR
Deposited On:21 Dec 2009
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 03:10

Repository Staff Only: item control page