Ship manoeuvrability has a close relationship with navigation safety. For a ship sailing in the proximity of a pier, its manoeuvrability is different from that in unrestricted waters. To predict the ship manoeuvrability in the proximity of a pier, the method of simulation based on mathematical model is used. The mathematical model of ship manoeuvring is obtained by using Support Vector Machines (SVM) based system identification, combined with free-running model tests. The interaction between the pier and the ship are considered in the mathematical model of ship manoeuvring motion. By analyzing the test results, SVM is applied to identify the hydrodynamic coefficients and the interaction coefficients in the mathematical model. By using the regressive models, the ship manoeuvring motions in the proximity of a pier are predicted. Comparisons between the predicted results and the test results demonstrate the validity of the proposed SVM method. Identification results, model test results as well, also confirm that navigation safety of the ship in the proximity of a pier can be guaranteed if the distance between the pier and the ship is under control.

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