Low-aspect ratio appendages for wind-assisted ships

N.J. van der Kolk, I. Akkerman, J.A. Keuning, R.H.M. Huijsmans

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Wind propulsion for commercial ships has been identified as a key component in the energy transition for the maritime industry. The sailing hybrid ship will operate with leeway (drift) angles to produce a lateral force known as sideforce, for steady operation under sail. In this paper, experimental results for the sailing performance of ships fitted with bilge keel appendages are presented. Systematic variations in appendage height, length, and position were tested, including several special cases (multiple bilge keels). The appendage typology is shown to mitigate the strong ‘destabilizing’ yaw moment that is characteristic of wind-assisted commercial vessels and to promote the non-linear sideforce component. The working principal for bilge keels—promotion of flow separation—can be employed to specify the separation location for components of the vessel vortex wake to improve the sailing performance of the ship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1126-1143
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Green ships
  • Hydro-mechanics
  • Naval architecture
  • Ship maneuvering


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