Ships and most offshore structures are commonly launched into water from dry docks. But, sometimes due to practical and economical restrictions, launching of some offshore structures takes place at floating launching platforms, usually barges. The latter type of launching is quite “usual” for jacket rigs. To assess the success of the launch operation usually numerical simulations are enough and model tests are usually not required. However, more recently, as part of the construction project of the new Brazilian jack-up oil platforms, an innovative launching operation was required: launching a jack-up using a jacket launching barge. The marked differences between the two types of structures involve hydrodynamic and structural complexities. From the hydrodynamical point of view, due to its greater volume compared to jackets, the jack-up may be subjected to greater loads as enters in water during launching, and then suffers great motions that may affect the barge motions and these, affect back, the jack-up motions. From the structural point of view, the heavier jack-up structure may cause greater stresses on the barge deck and rocker arms that should be properly addressed in order to determine the necessity for reinforcements in the jack-up and/or the barge. To assess the feasibility of this innovative launching operation, model tests were required to measure the motions of the barge and the jack-up and to evaluate the loads on the rocker arms. The present paper describes the experimental approach developed for simulating this unique launching operation. The calibration procedures are outlined and the main results of the systematic set of tests carried out are presented. Furthermore, the influence of some launching parameters such as friction coefficient, position of the center of gravity of the jack-up and initial launching angle are discussed.

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