The hydrodynamic interaction between two advancing ships is very important. Because of the hydrodynamic interactions, even relatively small waves can induce large motions of the smaller ship due to the proximity of the larger ship. The aim of this paper is to develop a method to optimize the spacing between two advancing ships, in order to minimize the hydrodynamic interactions. The optimization method is based on the far-field wave patterns produced by a translating and oscillating source point. For values of the parameter τ > 0.25 (τ = ωeu/g) there is a fan-shaped quiescent region in front of the vessel. As τ increases, the range of the fan-shaped quiescent region will be expanded. It can be supposed that if the two ships are located in each other’s fan-shaped quiescent region, the hydrodynamic interactions can be minimized. This assumption was validated through the numerical simulation, which was based on a 3-D Rankine source panel method. We calculated and compared the wave exciting forces and wave patterns of two Wigley hulls advancing in waves side by side. The numerical results were consistent with our theoretical assumption.

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