On the viscous resistance of ships sailing in shallow water

Qingsong Zeng*, Robert Hekkenberg, Cornel Thill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
286 Downloads (Pure)


Accurate resistance prediction for ships sailing in vertically restricted waterways is highly required to improve the design and operation for large ships entering harbors and for vessels navigating in inland waters. The methods derived from deep water may lead to large errors, and studies considering shallow water effects are needed. As most ships sailing in shallow water operate at a low Froude number, the viscous resistance dominates the total resistance and becomes the main concern. In this study, a Wigley hull and the KCS (KRISO Container Ship), which have available benchmark data, are applied. A typical 86 m long inland ship is then chosen to further investigate the influence of a different hull form. Results show that the friction and the viscous pressure resistance depend on ship types, speeds, and water depths. A formula to predict a ship's friction in shallow water is given with some constants determined based on ship's characteristics. A form factor defined based on computed ship's friction is suggested, and an empirical expression is provided for each ship applied. With the investigations for three ship forms, this study is expected to provide inspirations to further improve the prediction of ship's viscous resistance in shallow water.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106434
Number of pages13
JournalOcean Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Accepted Author Manuscript


  • CFD
  • Form factor
  • Inland ship
  • Shallow water
  • Viscous resistance


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