Currently, the conventional wave loading is the only effect considered in fatigue assessment of ships. DNV has recently confirmed that fatigue damage from wave induced vibrations may be of similar magnitude as from the conventional wave loading (Moe et al. 2005). A 40% contribution to the total fatigue damage in deck amidships is documented through extensive measurements onboard an ore carrier (the reference ship) trading in the North Atlantic. The effect of strengthening the vessel, increasing the natural frequency by 10%, is ineffective to reduce the relative magnitude of the vibration damage. The wave induced vibration, often referred to as whipping and/or springing, does contribute to fatigue damage also for other ship types and trades (Moe et al. 2005). This paper considers the effect of trade. It indicates when the wave induced vibrations should be accounted for in the design phase with respect to fatigue damage. A second ore carrier (the target ship) is monitored with respect to the wave induced hull vibrations and their fatigue effect. Stress records from strain sensors located in the midship deck region are supplemented by wave radar and wind records. Based on the measurements, the vibration stress response and associated vibration induced fatigue damage are determined for varying wind- and wave forces and relative headings. While the reference ship operates in the Canada to Europe ore trade, the target ship trades between Canada and Europe, Brazil and Europe, and South Africa and Europe. A procedure is suggested by Moe et al. (2005) to estimate the long term fatigue damage for different trades by utilizing the measured data from the reference ship. The vibration and wave damage are considered separately. By comparing the measured wave environment and the DNV North Atlantic scatter diagram, the effect of routing indicated a reduction of the fatigue damage by one third. A slightly revised procedure is applied to estimate the effect of trade for the second ore carrier, comparing the long term predicted fatigue damage with the measured fatigue damage. The importance of trade is confirmed. However, the relative contribution of the vibration damage is shown to increase in less harsh environments. The target ship vibrates more than the reference ship for the same trade and Beaufort strength. The vibration damage of the target ship constitutes 56% of the total measured damage, and the high natural frequency is observed to have no significant effect.

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