Increased waterborne trade has led to the construction of ever larger ships and barges as oversized modules are transported by sea. The provision of tugs for towing such vessels has become a serious issue, especially in restricted areas often characterized by coastal regions of limited water depth. Wind loads are most relevant for towing operations because large forces act on the sail area and submerged hull of the towed vessels, such as construction barges when carrying oversized modules or fully laden containerships. Systematic steady and unsteady numerical simulations were performed using a RANS-based field method to predict wind and current forces and moments acting on representative construction barges, containerships, tankers, and passenger ships. Aero- and hydrodynamic computations were carried out separately. Aerodynamic computations considered various deck load configurations to represent realistic loading conditions; hydrodynamic computations accounted for finite water depth. Agreement with available wind tunnel experimental data was generally favorable.

Our purpose was to provide a reference for wind and current loads on different barge and ship types. The objective was not to investigate flow details needed for, e.g., smoke propagation, helicopter landing, etc. This has been covered by other researchers.

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