This paper is concerned with the virtual mass effect due to the presence of water on the natural frequencies of free-edge annular plates resting on free surface or completely submerged, which has never been studied theoretically. Experiments were carried out for free-edge annular plates to find the so-called nondimensionalized added virtual mass incremental factors. In this paper, theoretical nondimensional added virtual mass incremental factors are obtained by employing the Hankel transformation technique in conjunction with the Fourier-Bessel series approach. It is found that the theoretical nondimensionalized added virtual mass incremental factors for free-edge annular plates resting on free-surface agree well with experimental ones. The proposed method can be applied to different boundary conditions of plates.

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