Numerical seakeeping codes for ships at forward speed in waves are often validated or tuned based on experiments, which makes knowledge about the experimental variability essential. This variability was evaluated using repeat tests during a state-of-the-art seakeeping campaign. A steep wave condition over the longitudinal basin axis (waveA) and a less steep oblique wave condition (waveB) were studied. Overall similarity as well as individual crest height, steepnesses and timing variability are discussed, because ship response is not equally sensitive for every point in the wave time series. The variability of the measured incoming wave crests and their timing increases with distance from the wave generator for waveA. The crest height variability for waveB is lower and more constant over the basin length (because the propagation distance to the model is constant in oblique waves and wave breaking is less likely). It was shown that only a small part of the variability close to the wave generator is caused by ‘input’ uncertainties such as the accuracy of the wave generator flap motions, measurement carriage position, their synchronisation and measurement accuracy. The rest of the variability is caused by wave and basin effects, such as wave breaking instabilities and small residual wave-induced currents from previous tests. The latter depend on previous wave conditions, which requires further study. Further work on the influence of the wave variability on the variability of ship motions, relative wave elevation along a ship and impact loads on deck of a ship at forward speed will be presented in a next publication.
seakeepingwavesseakeeping and manoeuvring basinshipswave measurements