A three-dimensional time-domain calculation method is of crucial importance in prediction of ship motion with forward speed in a severe irregular sea. The exact solution of the free surface wave–ship interaction problem is very complicated because of the extremely nonlinear boundary conditions. In this paper, an approximate body nonlinear approach based on the three-dimensional time-domain forward-speed free-surface Green function has been presented. It is a simplified version of the method known as LAMP (Lin and Yue 1990) where the exact body boundary condition is applied on the instantaneous wetted surface of the ship while free-surface condition is linearized. In the present study, the Froude-Krylov force and the hydrostatic restoring force are calculated on the instantaneous wetted surface of the ship while the forces due to the radiation and scattering potentials on the mean wetted surface. The time-domain radiation and scattering potentials have been obtained from a time invariant kernel of integral equations for the potentials. The integral equation for the radiation potential is discretized according to the second-order boundary element method (Hong and Hong. 2008). The diffraction impulse response functions of the Wigley seakeeping model are presented for various Froude numbers. A simulation of coupled heave-pitch motion of the Wigley model advancing in regular head waves of large amplitude has been carried out. Comparisons between the fully linear and the present approximate body nonlinear computations have been made at various Froude numbers.

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