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MARIN and the Dutch government join forces to examine the navigational safety of inland ships in shallow water

AuthorsAntoine Bedos, Anke Cotteleer, Wytze de Boer
Conference/JournalMARIN Report 128
Date21 jan. 2020
MARIN has joined forces with Rijkswaterstaat – the Dutch government’s executive agency in charge of public works and water management in the Netherlands - to assess the navigational safety of inland ships in sailing conditions, particularly when they are in very shallow waters.
The Dutch rivers and canals are of vital importance to transport cargo into and throughout the Netherlands. However, the capacity in these traffic corridors is highly dependent on the water level, which drives the loading capacity of the sailing ships. With more frequent and longer episodes of low water levels, such as in 2018 and 2019, inland waterway transport is becoming more and more vulnerable to climate changes in light of global warming. It is therefore critical to review and adapt good practice and regulations to these episodes of low water levels, with sustainable solutions in line with the objective of zero-emission shipping by 2050. For this reason, MARIN and Rijkswaterstaat have launched a large-scale investigation on the prediction and modelling of sailing performance on fairways and rivers in order to assess current guidelines for under keel clearances and fairway dimensions.


Contact person photo

Antoine Bedos

Senior Project Manager

Assessment of manoeuvring performance

As part of this project, an extensive study of the manoeuvring performance in very shallow water was carried out at our facilities. A robust and complete mathematical model of a representative inland ship was prepared by means of cross-checked model tests and CFD calculations. This mathematical model focussed on reproducing hydrodynamic forces and moments on the ship hull in different conditions.

Captive model tests of an inland ship in shallow water

safetyinland shippingmanoeuvring