In this paper the authors attempt to validate the use of CFD in bulbous bow optimisation studies using two separate data sets. Based on the first data set a comparison is made between results derived using both RANSE CFD and Potential Flow. It is shown that the relative ranking of hull designs will be substantially different, as a result of the influence of shear resistance not being taken into account correctly by Potential Flow codes. The second data set is used to compare RANSE CFD results with comparative towing tank tests and full scale measured data. The results clearly show that full scale savings predictions derived with viscous CFD compare well with both towing tank predictions and full scale measurements. The remaining uncertainties are considered sufficiently small to allow for the large investment decisions to be made associated with bulbous bow modifications. The paper concludes with a view towards future possibilities for this kind of optimisation analysis.

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