The DP capability plot is a useful tool to show the limitations of a dynamic positioning system for ships or offshore structures under loading from wind, waves and ocean currents. At the preliminary design stage, it is desirable to use fast methods for calculating the forces and moments caused by the environment, preferably without the need for CFD simulations or model experiments. Empirical methods are available for predicting aerodynamic forces and moments, and hydrodynamic forces and moments from currents, but little is published for second order wave drift forces. Wave drift forces and moment calculations have been carried out using WAMIT, for a series of ship hulls from OSVs to VLCCs and the effects of wave direction and frequency on the Surge, Sway, and Yaw forces and moment have been studied. The presentation of the results allows the user to interpolate the resulting drift forces and moments as a function of wave direction for a given ship size. In terms of wave drift loads calculation, it is found that the very large vessels are dominant in the low frequency waves, while smaller size ships are in high frequencies. The wave frequency and direction in which maximum drift load occurs depends on the ship size.

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