Halswell, P., Wilson, P. A., Taunton, D. J. and Austen, S.
Design and performance of inflatable boats: flexibility and environmental considerations.
In, High Speed Marine Vehicles (HSMV'11), Napoli, IT,
This paper investigates the design and performance of inflatable boats where the structural stiffness is supplied by the inflatable tubes and jointed composite sandwich panels which allow large deformations in the hull form. Anecdotal evidence has shown that this flexibility or hydroelasticity of an inflatable boat (IB) improves its performance, especially in waves. It is hoped that this hydroelasticity can be optimised to improve aspects of the performance, including reductions to the boat motion therefore minimising the human exposure to vibrations and added resistance in waves.
This paper discusses each area of hydroelasticity found in an inflatable boat, it defines each problem, shows the current literature and possible methods of investigation. The areas of hydroelasticity include; global
hydroelasticity, hydroelastic planing surfaces and hydroelastic slamming. This paper also discusses the wave and spray generation of a vessel with sponsons and relates it to the effect on boat motion and resistance. Finally this paper discusses the air and water borne noise produced by these types of vessels.
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