The powering issue of a high-speed marine vehicle with multihulls and air-cushion support is addressed, since there is an often need to quickly evaluate the effects of several configuration parameters in the early stage of the design. For component hulls with given geometry, the parameters considered include the relative locations of individual hulls and the relative volumetric ratios. Within the realm of linearized theory, an interference-resistance expression for hull-to-hull interaction is first reviewed, and then a new formula for hull-and-pressure distribution interference is derived. Each of these analytical expressions is expressed in terms of the Fourier signatures or Kochin functions of the interacting component hulls, with the separation, stagger, and speed as explicit parameters. Based on this framework, an example is given for assessing the powering performance of a catamaran (dihull) as opposed to a tetrahull system. Also examined is the wave resistance of a surface-effect ship of varying cushion support in comparison with that of a base line catamaran, subject to the constraint of constant total displacement.

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