The manoeuvring capabilities of an escort tug are essential key-features with a view to an all-around design approach devoted to an optimum oriented framework. From the hull geometry settlement and propulsive solution definition, the ability to predict thoroughly the operative life in terms of handling, effectiveness, and safety becomes fundamental, even more with the perspective of developing smart control logics supporting the masters. With such an aim, the availability of a reliable manoeuvrability model is of fundamental importance. In this context, it is important to define an optimum set of captive manoeuvrability tests, whether experimental or numerical, in order to correctly identify the vessel escort performances in simulation; this, always keeping in mind the necessity to limit the effort in view of an application at an early-design stage. Starting from a wide experimental matrix, purposely designed and realized, the present investigation focuses on the quality and robustness of the different regression manoeuvrability models by letting vary the subsets of tests, in order to determine, finally, which is the most suitable hull model to be adopted and which is the minimum set to be performed.

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