This paper examines the influence of a parallel free surface on the hydroelastic stability of a flat panel. A quasi-two-dimensional approximation is made for the free surface displacement and the results compared with the more general but cumbersome three-dimensional solution. This comparison shows that the former approach is quite reasonable as well as being considerably simpler and more instructive. It is found that the free surface has no effect for depth ratios greater than about one half and is stabilizing for smaller depth ratios.

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