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The University of Southampton

SESS2018 Ship Powering and Control Surfaces

Module Overview

This module provides the fundamental aspects as well as practical considerations for ship resistance and associated powering requirements, propeller design and the effects of ship control surfaces. To support the understanding of the concepts and their applications taught in the lectures, there are two laboratories and one assignment in this module.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

Provide you with the basic knowledge and understanding of ship powering and lifting surfaces used for ship control as required by a naval architect through theoretical and experimental techniques.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The components of ship resistance. [T, AE]
  • The operation of marine propulsion devices. [T, AE]
  • The estimation of the resistance of a ship or marine vehicle. [T, AE, AC]
  • The design of a propeller. [T, AE]
  • The components of propulsive efficiency and how to estimate them. [T, AE]
  • The estimation of the total delivered power of a ship or marine vehicle. [T, AE, AC]
  • The effect of control surfaces on ships. [T, AE]
  • The estimation of the lift and drag produced by control surfaces [T, AE, AC]
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Analyse the powering requirements of a ship or marine vehicle based on your understanding of the physical nature of the fluid flow around the vessel. [T, AE, AC]
  • Define and evaluate the forces generated by a foil through analysis based on simplifying assumptions. [T, AE, AC]
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Use simple mathematical models, computational tools and empirical evidence to derive engineering estimates of physical quantities. [T, AE]
  • Use small-scale physical models to deduce full-scale quantities through a combination of testing and analysis based on first principles. [T, AE, AC]
  • Evaluate alternative models (e.g. analytical, computational, and physical) to determine the most appropriate for solving a specified engineering task. [T, AE, AC]
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Apply your understanding of the physical components of ship resistance to estimate the resistance of a ship or marine vehicle. [T, AE]
  • Use your understanding of a marine propeller in order to carry out a simple propeller design. [T, AC]
  • Apply your knowledge of the components of propulsive efficiency to estimate the total delivered power of a ship or marine vehicle. [T, AC]


Ship powering • General introduction to ship resistance and propulsion and definitions. • Physical components of ship resistance. • Dimensional analysis and scaling. • Practical scaling method: CT = CF + CR and CT = (1+k) CF + CW • Systems of coefficients used in ship powering. • Boundary layer and friction. • Flat plate friction formulae: Froude, Schoenherr and I.T.T.C. • Geosim series: description and applications. • Wave resistance: general principles: wave system interference and cancellation. • Standard series data: Taylor-Gertler, BSRA series - description and applications; references to other series. • Regression analysis techniques: discussion and references. • General survey of propulsion devices. • Definitions and brief description of the components of propulsive efficiency. • Marine propeller geometry and design parameters. • Dimensional analysis and propeller coefficients. • Standard series propeller design charts: Bp-ð ,KT-KQ; description, applications and examples. • Cavitation: outline of origins and effects; preliminary cavitation criterion and choice of suitable blade area ratio. • The analysis of wake: self-propulsion tests and derivation of wT, t, nR and QPC. Control surfaces • Introduction to control surfaces on ships. • Physics of control surface operation. • Introduction to potential flow. • Source and vortex flows and thin hydrofoil theory. • Kutta - Joukowski condition. • Lift force, pitching moment and point of action of lift. • Control surface design data. • Practical considerations in design of hydrofoil section.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Lectures, tutorials, • One 3 hour towing tank experiment • One 3 hour boundary layer laboratory work • One ship powering assignment Learning activities include • Self-learning through reading and study • Directed problem solving exercises • Ship resistance experiment in the Lamont Tank • Observation and measurement of boundary layer in the fluid laboratory • Report writing for the Lab and course work assignment

Follow-up work6
Supervised time in studio/workshop6
Preparation for scheduled sessions6
Wider reading or practice65
Completion of assessment task12
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Transactions of SNAME.. 

Harvald. Resistance and Propulsion of Ship. 

B S Massey. Mechanics of Fluids. 

W J Duncan, A S Thom and A D Young. Mechanics of Fluids. 

Transactions of RINA.. 

L M Milne-Thomson. Theoretical Aerodynamics. 

B.R. Clayton and R.E.D. Bishop (1981). Mechanics of Marine Vehicles. 

A.F. Molland and S.R. Turnock (2007). Marine Rudders and Control Surfaces: Principles, Data, Design and Applications. 

V. Bertram (2000). Practical Ship Hydrodynamics. 

G K Batchelor. Fluid Dynamics.. 

L M Milne-Thomson. Theoretical Aerodynamics.. 

Principles of Naval Architecture, Vol II, Chts 5 & 6. 

Journal of Ship Research. 

A.F. Molland, S.R. Turnock and D.A. Hudson (2011). Ship Resistance and Propulsion. 

J.N. Newman (1977). Marine Hydrodynamics. J.N. Newman, MIT Press, 1977.. 

Basic Ship Theory Vol II - Chts 10 & 11. 

Lecture notes. Fully typed lecture notes are provided for the module, PowerPoint presentation for the lectures is available from the Blackboard site together with other course documents.



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 10%
Examination  (120 minutes) 70%
Laboratory Report 10%
Laboratory Report 10%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisites: FEEG1003 and MATH1054 and SESS1015

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