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Basic Principles of Ship Propulsion

Contents: Page

Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Scope of this Paper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Chapter 1
Ship Definitions and Hull Resistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
• Ship types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
• A ship’s load lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
• Indication of a ship’s size . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
• Description of hull forms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
• Ship’s resistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Chapter 2
Propeller Propulsion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
• Propeller types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
• Flow conditions around the propeller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
• Efficiencies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . · · · · 11
• Propeller dimensions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . · · · · 13
• Operating conditions of a propeller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Chapter 3
Engine Layout and Load Diagrams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
• Power functions and logarithmic scales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
• Propulsion and engine running points . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
• Engine layout diagram . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
• Load diagram . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
• Use of layout and load diagrams – examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
• Influence on engine running of different types
of ship resistance – plant with FPpropeller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
• Influence of ship resistance
on combinator curves – plant with CPpropeller . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Closing Remarks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Basic Principles of Ship Propulsion

Introduction Scope of this Paper followed up by the relative heavy/light

running conditions which apply when
For the purpose of this paper, the term This paper is divided into three chapters the ship is sailing and subject to different
“ship” is used to denote a vehicle em which, in principle, may be considered as types of extra resistance, like fouling,
ployed to transport goods and persons three separate papers but which also, heavy sea against, etc.
from one point to another over water. with advantage, may be read in close
Ship propulsion normally occurs with connection to each other. Therefore, Chapter 3, elucidates the importance
the help of a propeller, which is the some important information mentioned in of choosing the correct specified MCR
term most widely used in English, al one chapter may well appear in another and optimising point of the main engine,
though the word “screw” is sometimes chapter, too. and thereby the engine’s load diagram
seen, inter alia in combinations such as in consideration to the propeller’s design
a “twinscrew” propulsion plant. Chapter 1, describes the most elemen point. The construction of the relevant
tary terms used to define ship sizes load diagram lines is described in detail
Today, the primary source of propeller and hull forms such as, for example, by means of several examples. Fig. 24
power is the diesel engine, and the power the ship’s displacement, deadweight, shows, for a ship with fixed pitch pro
requirement and rate of revolution very design draught, length between per peller, by means of a load diagram, the
much depend on the ship’s hull form pendiculars, block coefficient, etc. important influence of different types of
and the propeller design. Therefore, in Other ship terms described include the ship resistance on the engine’s contin
order to arrive at a solution that is as effective towing resistance, consisting uous service rating.
optimal as possible, some general of frictional, residual and air resistance,
knowledge is essential as to the princi and the influence of these resistances
pal ship and diesel engine parameters in service.
that influence the propulsion system.
Chapter 2, deals with ship propulsion
This paper will, in particular, attempt to and the flow conditions around the pro
explain some of the most elementary peller(s). In this connection, the wake
terms used regarding ship types, fraction coefficient and thrust deduc
ship’s dimensions and hull forms and tion coefficient, etc. are mentioned.
clarify some of the parameters pertain
ing to hull resistance, propeller condi The total power needed for the propel
tions and the diesel engine’s load ler is found based on the above effec
diagram. tive towing resistance and various
propeller and hull dependent efficien
On the other hand, it is considered be cies which are also described. A sum
yond the scope of this publication to mary of the propulsion theory is shown
give an explanation of how propulsion in Fig. 6.
calculations as such are carried out, as
the calculation procedure is extremely The operating conditions of a propeller
complex. The reader is referred to the according to the propeller law valid for
specialised literature on this subject, for a propeller with fixed pitch are described
example as stated in “References”. for free sailing in calm weather, and

Category Class Type
Oil tanker Crude (oil) Carrier CC
Ship Definitions and Hull Tanker
Resistance Very Large Crude Carrier VLCC
Ultra Large Crude Carrier ULCC
Product Tanker
Ship types
Gas tanker Liquefied Natural Gas carrier LNG
Depending on the nature of their cargo,
and sometimes also the way the cargo Chemical tanker Liquefied Petroleum Gas carrier LPG
is loaded/unloaded, ships can be divided
into different categories, classes, and OBO Oil/Bulk/Ore carrier OBO
types, some of which are mentioned in
Table 1. Bulk carrier Bulk carrier
Container carrier
Container ship Container ship
The three largest categories of ships Roll OnRoll Off RoRo
are container ships, bulk carriers (for General cargo
bulk goods such as grain, coal, ores, General cargo ship
etc.) and tankers, which again can be Coaster
divided into more precisely defined Reefer Reefer Refrigerated cargo vessel
classes and types. Thus, tankers can
be divided into oil tankers, gas tankers Passenger ship
Cruise vessel
and chemical tankers, but there are
also combinations, e.g. oil/chemical
tankers. Table 1: Examples of ship types

Table 1 provides only a rough outline.

In reality there are many other combi the risk of bad weather whereas, on the tropical seas is somewhat higher than
nations, such as “Multipurpose bulk other hand, the freeboard draught for the summer freeboard draught.
container carriers”, to mention just one

A ship’s load lines

Painted halfway along the ship’s side

is the “Plimsoll Mark”, see Fig. 1. The
lines and letters of the Plimsoll Mark,
which conform to the freeboard rules D
laid down by the IMO (International
Maritime Organisation) and local au
thorities, indicate the depth to which
the vessel may be safely loaded (the
depth varies according to the season Freeboard deck
D: Freeboard draught
and the salinity of the water).

There are, e.g. load lines for sailing in

freshwater and seawater, respectively, TF
with further divisions for tropical condi
tions and summer and winter sailing. F T Tropical
According to the international freeboard S Summer
rules, the summer freeboard draught W Winter
for seawater is equal to the “Scantling WNA Winter - the North Atlantic
draught”, which is the term applied to Danish load mark
the ship’s draught when dimensioning
Freshwater Seawater
the hull.

The winter freeboard draught is less

than that valid for summer because of Fig. 1: Load lines – freeboard draught

Indication of a ship’s size

Displacement and deadweight

When a ship in loaded condition floats at
an arbitrary water line, its displacement is
equal to the relevant mass of water dis AM
placed by the ship. Displacement is thus D
equal to the total weight, all told, of the
relevant loaded ship, normally in seawa
ter with a mass density of 1.025 t/m3. BWL

Displacement comprises the ship’s

light weight and its deadweight, where
the deadweight is equal to the ship’s
loaded capacity, including bunkers and
other supplies necessary for the ship’s
propulsion. The deadweight at any time DF
thus represents the difference between
the actual displacement and the ship’s
light weight, all given in tons: LPP
deadweight = displacement – light weight.
Incidentally, the word “ton” does not
always express the same amount of Length between perpendiculars: LPP
weight. Besides the metric ton (1,000 Length on waterline: LWL
kg), there is the English ton (1,016 kg), Length overall: LOA
which is also called the “long ton”. A Breadth on waterline: BWL
“short ton” is approx. 907 kg. Draught: D = 1/2 (DF +DA)
Midship section area: Am
The light weight of a ship is not normally
used to indicate the size of a ship,
whereas the deadweight tonnage Fig. 2: Hull dimensions
(dwt), based on the ship’s loading ca
pacity, including fuel and lube oils etc.
for operation of the ship, measured in
tons at scantling draught, often is. dwt/light Displ./dwt is the part of the ship’s hull which is
Ship type under the water line. The dimensions
weight ratio ratio
Sometimes, the deadweight tonnage below describing the hull form refer
may also refer to the design draught of Tanker and to the design draught, which is less
6 1.17
the ship but, if so, this will be mentioned. Bulk carrier than, or equal to, the scantling
Table 2 indicates the ruleofthumb rela Container ship
draught. The choice of the design
2.53.0 1.331.4
tionship between the ship’s displacement, draught depends on the degree of
deadweight tonnage (summer freeboard/ load, i.e. whether, in service, the ship
scantling draught) and light weight. Table 2: Examples of relationship between dis will be lightly or heavily loaded. Gen
placement, deadweight tonnage and light weight erally, the most frequently occurring
A ship’s displacement can also be ex draught between the fullyloaded and
pressed as the volume of displaced These measurements express the size the ballast draught is used.
water ∇, i.e. in m3. of the internal volume of the ship in ac
cordance with the given rules for such Ship’s lengths LOA, LWL, and LPP
Gross register tons measurements, and are extensively The overall length of the ship LOA is
Without going into detail, it should be used for calculating harbour and canal normally of no consequence when
mentioned that there are also such dues/charges. calculating the hull’s water resistance.
measurements as Gross Register Tons The factors used are the length of the
(GRT), and Net Register Tons (NRT) Description of hull forms waterline LWL and the socalled length
where 1 register ton = 100 English cubic between perpendiculars LPP. The di
feet, or 2.83 m3. It is evident that the part of the ship mensions referred to are shown in
which is of significance for its propulsion Fig. 2.

The length between perpendiculars is
the length between the foremost per
pendicular, i.e. usually a vertical line
through the stem’s intersection with
the waterline, and the aftmost perpen Waterline plane AM D
dicular which, normally, coincides with
the rudder axis. Generally, this length is
slightly less than the waterline length,
and is often expressed as: L PP
LPP = 0.97 × LWL BW

Draught D
The ship’s draught D (often T is used in :
Volume of displacement
literature) is defined as the vertical dis
tance from the waterline to that point of Waterline area : A WL
the hull which is deepest in the water,
see Figs. 2 and 3. The foremost draught Block coefficient, LWL based : CB =
DF and aftmost draught DA are normally LWL x BWL x D
the same when the ship is in the loaded Midship section coefficient : CM = AM
condition. BWL x D
Longitudinal prismatic coefficient : CP =
Breadth on waterline BWL AM x LWL
Another important factor is the hull’s Waterplane area coefficient AWL
largest breadth on the waterline BWL,
see Figs. 2 and 3.

Block coefficient CB Fig. 3: Hull coefficients of a ship

Various form coefficients are used to
express the shape of the hull. The most
important of these coefficients is the AWL
block coefficient CB, which is defined service speeds, on different types of CWL =
as the ratio between the displacement ships. It shows that large block coeffi LWL × BWL
volume ∇ and the volume of a box with cients correspond to low speeds and
dimensions LWL × BWL × D, see Fig. 3, i.e.: vice versa. Generally, the waterplane area coeffi
cient is some 0.10 higher than the block
∇ Approxi coefficient, i.e.:
CB = Block
LWL × BWL × D Ship type coefficient
mate ship
CWL ≅ CB + 0.10.
speed V
in knots
In the case cited above, the block co This difference will be slightly larger on
efficient refers to the length on water Lighter 0.90 5 – 10 fast vessels with small block coefficients
line LWL. However, shipbuilders often use Bulk carrier where the stern is also partly immersed
0.80 – 0.85 12 – 17
block coefficient CB, PP based on the in the water and thus becomes part of
length between perpendiculars, LPP, in Tanker 0.80 – 0.85 12 –16 the ”waterplane” area.
which case the block coefficient will, as a
General cargo 0.55 – 0.75 13 – 22
rule, be slightly larger because, as previ Midship section coefficient CM
ously mentioned, LPP is normally slightly Container ship 0.50 – 0.70 14 – 26 A further description of the hull form is
less than LWL. provided by the midship section coeffi
Ferry boat 0.50 – 0.70 15 – 26
∇ cient CM, which expresses the ratio be
C B ,PP = tween the immersed midship section
LPP × BWL × D Table 3: Examples of block coefficients area AM (midway between the foremost
and the aftmost perpendiculars) and the
A small block coefficient means less re Water plane area coefficient CWL product of the ship’s breadth BWL and
sistance and, consequently, the possibil The water plane area coefficient CWL draught D, see Fig. 3, i.e.:
ity of attaining higher speeds. expresses the ratio between the ves
sel’s waterline area AWL and the product AM
Table 3 shows some examples of block of the length LWL and the breadth BWL of CM =
coefficient sizes, and the pertaining BWL × D
the ship on the waterline, see Fig. 3, i.e.:

For bulkers and tankers, this coefficient in the selection of the correct propeller and resistance coefficients C and, thus, the
is in the order of 0.980.99, and for in the subsequent choice of main engine. pertaining sourceresistances R. In
container ships in the order of 0.970.98. practice, the calculation of a particular
General ship’s resistance can be verified by
Longitudinal prismatic coefficient CP A ship’s resistance is particularly influ testing a model of the relevant ship in
The longitudinal prismatic coefficient enced by its speed, displacement, and a towing tank.
CP expresses the ratio between dis hull form. The total resistance RT, con
placement volume ∇ and the product sists of many sourceresistances R Frictional resistance RF
of the midship frame section area AM which can be divided into three main The frictional resistance RF of the hull
and the length of the waterline LWL, groups, viz.: depends on the size of the hull’s wet
see also Fig. 3, i.e.: ted area AS, and on the specific fric
1) Frictional resistance tional resistance coefficient CF. The
∇ ∇ CB 2) Residual resistance friction increases with fouling of the
Cp = = = 3) Air resistance hull, i.e. by the growth of, i.a. algae,
AM × LWL C M × BWL × D × LWL CM sea grass and barnacles.
The influence of frictional and residual
As can be seen, CP is not an independ resistances depends on how much of An attempt to avoid fouling is made by
ent form coefficient, but is entirely de the hull is below the waterline, while the the use of antifouling hull paints to
pendent on the block coefficient CB influence of air resistance depends on prevent the hull from becoming
and the midship section coefficient CM. how much of the ship is above the wa “longhaired”, i.e. these paints reduce
terline. In view of this, air resistance will the possibility of the hull becoming
Longitudinal Centre of Buoyancy LCB have a certain effect on container ships fouled by living organisms. The paints
The Longitudinal Centre of Buoyancy which carry a large number of contain containing TBT (tributyl tin) as their
(LCB) expresses the position of the ers on the deck. principal biocide, which is very toxic,
centre of buoyancy and is defined as have dominated the market for decades,
the distance between the centre of Water with a speed of V and a density but the IMO ban of TBT for new appli
buoyancy and the midpoint between of r has a dynamic pressure of: cations from 1 January, 2003, and a
the ship’s foremost and aftmost perpen full ban from 1 January, 2008, may in
diculars. The distance is normally stated ½ × r × V 2 (Bernoulli’s law) volve the use of new (and maybe not
as a percentage of the length between as effective) alternatives, probably cop
the perpendiculars, and is positive if Thus, if water is being completely perbased antifouling paints.
the centre of buoyancy is located to stopped by a body, the water will react
the fore of the midpoint between the on the surface of the body with the dy When the ship is propelled through the
perpendiculars, and negative if located namic pressure, resulting in a dynamic water, the frictional resistance increases
to the aft of the midpoint. For a ship force on the body. at a rate that is virtually equal to the
designed for high speeds, e.g. container square of the vessel’s speed.
ships, the LCB will, normally, be nega This relationship is used as a basis
tive, whereas for slowspeed ships, when calculating or measuring the Frictional resistance represents a con
such as tankers and bulk carriers, it will sourceresistances R of a ship’s hull, siderable part of the ship’s resistance,
normally be positive. The LCB is gener by means of dimensionless resistance often some 7090% of the ship’s total
ally between 3% and +3%. coefficients C. Thus, C is related to the resistance for lowspeed ships (bulk
reference force K, defined as the force carriers and tankers), and sometimes
Fineness ratio CLD which the dynamic pressure of water less than 40% for highspeed ships
The length/displacement ratio or fine with the ship’s speed V exerts on a (cruise liners and passenger ships) [1]. The
ness ratio, CLD, is defined as the ratio surface which is equal to the hull’s wet frictional resistance is found as follows:
between the ship’s waterline length LWL, ted area AS. The rudder’s surface is
and the length of a cube with a volume also included in the wetted area. The R F = CF × K
equal to the displacement volume, i.e.: general data for resistance calculations
is thus: Residual resistance RR
LWL Residual resistance RR comprises wave
C LD = Reference force: K = ½ × r × V 2 × AS resistance and eddy resistance. Wave

and source resistances: R = C × K resistance refers to the energy loss
caused by waves created by the vessel
Ship’s resistance On the basis of many experimental during its propulsion through the water,
tank tests, and with the help of pertain while eddy resistance refers to the loss
To move a ship, it is first necessary to ing dimensionless hull parameters, caused by flow separation which cre
overcome resistance, i.e. the force work some of which have already been dis ates eddies, particularly at the aft end
ing against its propulsion. The calculation cussed, methods have been estab of the ship.
of this resistance R plays a significant role lished for calculating all the necessary

Wave resistance at low speeds is pro through the water, i.e. to tow the ship The right column is valid for lowspeed
portional to the square of the speed, at the speed V, is then: ships like bulk carriers and tankers, and
but increases much faster at higher the left column is valid for very highspeed
speeds. In principle, this means that a P E = V × RT ships like cruise liners and ferries. Con
speed barrier is imposed, so that a fur tainer ships may be placed in between
ther increase of the ship’s propulsion The power delivered to the propeller, the two columns.
power will not result in a higher speed PD, in order to move the ship at speed
as all the power will be converted into V is, however, somewhat larger. This is The main reason for the difference
wave energy. The residual resistance due, in particular, to the flow conditions between the two columns is, as earlier
normally represents 825% of the total around the propeller and the propeller mentioned, the wave resistance. Thus,
resistance for lowspeed ships, and up efficiency itself, the influences of which in general all the resistances are pro
to 4060% for highspeed ships [1]. are discussed in the next chapter portional to the square of the speed,
which deals with Propeller Propulsion. but for higher speeds the wave resis
Incidentally, shallow waters can also tance increases much faster, involving
have great influence on the residual Total ship resistance in general a higher part of the total resistance.
resistance, as the displaced water un When dividing the residual resistance
der the ship will have greater difficulty into wave and eddy resistance, as earlier This tendency is also shown in Fig. 5
in moving aftwards. described, the distribution of the total ship for a 600 teu container ship, originally
towing resistance RT could also, as a designed for the ship speed of 15 knots.
The procedure for calculating the spe guideline, be stated as shown in Fig. 4. Without any change to the hull design,
cific residual resistance coefficient CR is
described in specialised literature [2]
and the residual resistance is found as
Type of resistance % of RT
R R = CR × K High Low
speed speed
Air resistance RA ship ship
In calm weather, air resistance is, in prin
ciple, proportional to the square of the RF = Friction 45  90
ship’s speed, and proportional to the RW = Wave 40  5
crosssectional area of the ship above the RE = Eddy 5 3
waterline. Air resistance normally repre RA = Air 10  2
sents about 2% of the total resistance.
For container ships in head wind, the
air resistance can be as much as 10%.
The air resistance can, similar to the V
foregoing resistances, be expressed as
RA = CA × K, but is sometimes based
on 90% of the dynamic pressure of air
with a speed of V, i.e.:

RA = 0.90 × ½ × rair × V 2 × Aair Ship speed V RW

where rair is the density of the air, and
Aair is the crosssectional area of the
vessel above the water [1].

Towing resistance RT
and effective (towing) power PE RE
The ship’s total towing resistance RT is
thus found as: RF
RT = RF + R R + R A

The corresponding effective (towing)

power, PE, necessary to move the ship
Fig. 4: Total ship towing resistance RT = RF + RW + RE + RA

kW Propulsion power Estimates of average increase in
"Wave wall"
resistance for ships navigating the
main routes:

North Atlantic route,

navigation westward 2535%
6,000 New service point
North Atlantic route,
navigation eastward 2025%

4,000 EuropeAustralia 2025%

EuropeEast Asia 2025%
Normal service point
The Pacific routes 2030%

Table 4: Main routes of ships

0 On the North Atlantic routes, the first

15 20 knots
percentage corresponds to summer
navigation and the second percentage
Ship speed to winter navigation.
Power and speed relationship for a 600 TEU container ship
However, analysis of trading conditions
for a typical 140,000 dwt bulk carrier
shows that on some routes, especially
Fig. 5: The “wave wall” ship speed barrier JapanCanada when loaded, the in
creased resistance (sea margin) can
reach extreme values up to 220%, with
an average of about 100%.
the ship speed for a sister ship was re which means that the frictional resist
quested to be increased to about 17.6 ance will be greater. It must also be
knots. However, this would lead to a considered that the propeller surface Unfortunately, no data have been pub
relatively high wave resistance, requir can become rough and fouled. The to lished on increased resistance as a fun
ing a doubling of the necessary propul tal resistance, caused by fouling, may ction of type and size of vessel. The
sion power. increase by 2550% throughout the larger the ship, the less the relative in
lifetime of a ship. crease of resistance due to the sea.
On the other hand, the frictional resis
A further increase of the propulsion
tance of the large, fullbodied ships will
power may only result in a minor ship Experience [4] shows that hull fouling
very easily be changed in the course of
speed increase, as most of the extra with barnacles and tube worms may
time because of fouling.
power will be converted into wave en cause an increase in drag (ship resis
ergy, i.e. a ship speed barrier valid for tance) of up to 40%, with a drastical
the given hull design is imposed by reduction of the ship speed as the con In practice, the increase of resistance
what we could call a “wave wall”, see sequence. caused by heavy weather depends on
Fig. 5. A modification of the hull lines, the current, the wind, as well as the
suiting the higher ship speed, is neces wave size, where the latter factor may
Furthermore, in general [4] for every 25
sary. have great influence. Thus, if the wave
µm (25/1000 mm) increase of the aver
size is relatively high, the ship speed
age hull roughness, the result will be a
will be somewhat reduced even when
Increase of ship resistance in service, power increase of 23%, or a ship
sailing in fair seas.
Ref. [3], page 244 speed reduction of about 1%.
During the operation of the ship, the
paint film on the hull will break down. In principle, the increased resistance
Resistance will also increase because
Erosion will start, and marine plants caused by heavy weather could be
of sea, wind and current, as shown in
and barnacles, etc. will grow on the related to:
Table 4 for different main routes of
surface of the hull. Bad weather, per ships. The resistance when navigating
haps in connection with an inappropri in headon sea could, in general, in a) wind and current against, and
ate distribution of the cargo, can be a crease by as much as 50100% of the b) heavy waves,
reason for buckled bottom plates. The total ship resistance in calm weather.
hull has been fouled and will no longer but in practice it will be difficult to dis
have a “technically smooth” surface, tinguish between these factors.

Chapter 2
Velocities Power
Propeller Propulsion Ship’s speed : V Effective (Towing) power : PE = RT x V
Arriving water velocity to propeller : VA Thrust power delivered
The traditional agent employed to (Speed of advance of propeller)
by the propeller to water : PT = PE / H

move a ship is a propeller, sometimes Effective wake velocity : VW = V _ V A

Power delivered to propeller : PD = P T / B

two and, in very rare cases, more than V _ VA

Wake fraction coefficient : w= Brake power of main engine : PB = PD / S
two. The necessary propeller thrust T V
required to move the ship at speed V
Forces Efficiencies
is normally greater than the pertaining
towing resistance RT, and the flowrelated Towing resistance : RT 1_t
Hull efficiency : H =
reasons are, amongst other reasons, Thrust force : T 1_w
explained in this chapter. See also Fig. 6, Thrust deduction fraction : F = T _ RT Relative rotative efficiency : R

where all relevant velocity, force, power _ Propeller efficiency  open water :
: t = T RT
Thrust deduction coefficient
and efficiency parameters are shown. T Propeller efficiency  behind hull : B = 0 x R

Propulsive efficiency : D = H x B

Shaft efficiency : S

Propeller types V W VA Total efficiency : T

Propellers may be divided into the follow T =  =  x  x  = H x Bx S = H x 0 x R x S
ing two main groups, see also Fig. 7:

• Fixed pitch propeller (FPpropeller)

• Controllable pitch propeller
(CPpropeller) F RT
Propellers of the FPtype are cast in
one block and normally made of a copper
alloy. The position of the blades, and
thereby the propeller pitch, is once and
for all fixed, with a given pitch that can PT PD PB PE
not be changed in operation. This
means that when operating in, for ex
ample, heavy weather conditions, the Fig. 6: The propulsion of a ship – theory
propeller performance curves, i.e. the
combination of power and speed
(r/min) points, will change according to
the physical laws, and the actual pro
peller curve cannot be changed by the
crew. Most ships which do not need a
particularly good manoeuvrability are
Fixed pitch propeller (FPPropeller) Controllable pitch propeller (CPPropeller)
equipped with an FPpropeller.

Propellers of the CPtype have a rela

tively larger hub compared with the
FPpropellers because the hub has to
have space for a hydraulically activated
mechanism for control of the pitch (an
gle) of the blades. The CPpropeller is
relatively expensive, maybe up to 34 Monobloc with fixed
times as expensive as a corresponding propeller blades Hub with a mechanism
FPpropeller. Furthermore, because of (copper alloy) for control of the pitch
the relatively larger hub, the propeller of the blades
efficiency is slightly lower. (hydraulically activated)

CPpropellers are mostly used for

RoRo ships, shuttle tankers and simi
lar ships that require a high degree of Fig. 7: Propeller types

manoeuvrability. For ordinary ships like Thrust deduction coefficient t
container ships, bulk carriers and crude VW V − V A The rotation of the propeller causes the
w= =
oil tankers sailing for a long time in nor V V water in front of it to be “sucked” back
mal sea service at a given ship speed, VA towards the propeller. This results in an
( you get =1 − w )
it will, in general, be a waste of money V extra resistance on the hull normally
to install an expensive CPpropeller in called “augment of resistance” or, if re
stead of an FPpropeller. Furthermore, a The value of the wake fraction coefficient lated to the total required thrust force T
CPpropeller is more complicated, invol depends largely on the shape of the on the propeller, “thrust deduction frac
ving a higher risk of problems in service. hull, but also on the propeller’s location tion” F, see Fig. 6. This means that the
and size, and has great influence on thrust force T on the propeller has to
the propeller’s efficiency. overcome both the ship’s resistance RT
Flow conditions around the propeller and this “loss of thrust” F.
The propeller diameter or, even better,
Wake fraction coefficient w the ratio between the propeller diameter The thrust deduction fraction F may be
When the ship is moving, the friction of d and the ship’s length LWL has some expressed in dimensionless form by
the hull will create a socalled friction influence on the wake fraction coeffi means of the thrust deduction coeffi
belt or boundary layer of water around cient, as d/LWL gives a rough indication cient t, which is defined as:
the hull. In this friction belt the velocity of the degree to which the propeller
of the water on the surface of the hull is works in the hull’s wake field. Thus, the F T − RT
equal to that of the ship, but is reduced larger the ratio d/LWL, the lower w will t= =
with its distance from the surface of the be. The wake fraction coefficient w in T T
hull. At a certain distance from the hull creases when the hull is fouled. ( you get =1 − t )
and, per definition, equal to the outer T
“surface” of the friction belt, the water For ships with one propeller, the wake
velocity is equal to zero. fraction coefficient w is normally in the The thrust deduction coefficient t can
region of 0.20 to 0.45, corresponding be calculated by using calculation
The thickness of the friction belt increases to a flow velocity to the propeller VA of models set up on the basis of research
with its distance from the fore end of 0.80 to 0.55 of the ship’s speed V. The carried out on different models.
the hull. The friction belt is therefore larger the block coefficient, the larger is
thickest at the aft end of the hull and the wake fraction coefficient. On ships In general, the size of the thrust deduc
this thickness is nearly proportional to with two propellers and a conventional tion coefficient t increases when the
the length of the ship, Ref. [5]. This aftbody form of the hull, the propellers wake fraction coefficient w increases.
means that there will be a certain wake will normally be positioned outside the The shape of the hull may have a sig
velocity caused by the friction along the friction belt, for which reason the wake nificant influence, e.g. a bulbous stem
sides of the hull. Additionally, the ship’s fraction coefficient w will, in this case, can, under certain circumstances (low
displacement of water will also cause be a great deal lower. However, for a ship speeds), reduce t.
wake waves both fore and aft. All this twinskeg ship with two propellers, the
involves that the propeller behind the coefficient w will be almost unchanged The size of the thrust deduction coeffi
hull will be working in a wake field. (or maybe slightly lower) compared cient t for a ship with one propeller is,
with the singlepropeller case. normally, in the range of 0.12 to 0.30,
Therefore, and mainly originating from as a ship with a large block coefficient
the friction wake, the water at the pro Incidentally, a large wake fraction co has a large thrust deduction coefficient.
peller will have an effective wake veloc efficient increases the risk of propeller For ships with two propellers and a
ity Vw which has the same direction as cavitation, as the distribution of the conventional aftbody form of the hull,
the ship’s speed V, see Fig. 6. This water velocity around the propeller is the thrust deduction coefficient t will be
means that the velocity of arriving water generally very inhomogeneous under much less as the propellers’ “sucking”
VA at the propeller, (equal to the speed such conditions. occurs further away from the hull.
of advance of the propeller) given as However, for a twinskeg ship with two
the average velocity over the propeller’s A more homogeneous wake field for propellers, the coefficient t will be almost
disk area is Vw lower than the ship’s the propeller, also involving a higher unchanged (or maybe slightly lower)
speed V. speed of advance VA of the propeller, compared with the singlepropeller case.
may sometimes be needed and can be
The effective wake velocity at the pro obtained in several ways, e.g. by hav
peller is therefore equal to Vw = V – VA ing the propellers arranged in nozzles, Efficiencies
and may be expressed in dimensionless below shields, etc. Obviously, the best
form by means of the wake fraction method is to ensure, already at the de Hull efficiency hH
coefficient w. The normally used wake sign stage, that the aft end of the hull is The hull efficiency hH is defined as the
fraction coefficient w given by Taylor is shaped in such a way that the opti ratio between the effective (towing)
defined as: mum wake field is obtained. power PE = RT × V, and the thrust power

which the propeller delivers to the water
PT = T × VA, i.e.: Propeller Large tankers Small tankers Reefers
efficiency >150,000 DWT 20,000 DWT Container ships
PE RT × V RT / T 1− t
hH = = = = o
PT T × V A V A / V 1− w 0.7

For a ship with one propeller, the hull

efficiency ηH is usually in the range of 0.6
1.1 to 1.4, with the high value for ships
with high block coefficients. For ships n ( revs./s )
with two propellers and a conventional 0.5 1.66
aftbody form of the hull, the hull effi
ciency ηH is approx. 0.95 to 1.05, again 2.00
with the high value for a high block co 0.4
efficient. However, for a twinskeg ship
with two propellers, the hull coefficient
ηH will be almost unchanged compared 0.3
with the singlepropeller case.

Open water propeller efficiency ηO 0.2

Propeller efficiency ηO is related to
working in open water, i.e. the propel
ler works in a homogeneous wake field 0.1
with no hull in front of it.

The propeller efficiency depends, es 0

pecially, on the speed of advance VA, 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7
thrust force T, rate of revolution n, di VA
Advance number J =
ameter d and, moreover, i.a. on the de nxd
sign of the propeller, i.e. the number of
blades, disk area ratio, and pitch/diam
eter ratio – which will be discussed Fig. 8: Obtainable propeller efficiency – open water, Ref. [3], page 213
later in this chapter. The propeller effi
ciency ηO can vary between approx.
0.35 and 0.75, with the high value be
ing valid for propellers with a high
speed of advance VA, Ref. [3]. affected by the ηR factor – called the ter, and the power PD, which is deliv
propeller’s relative rotative efficiency. ered to the propeller, i.e. the propeller
Fig. 8 shows the obtainable propeller efficiency ηB for a propeller working
efficiency ηO shown as a function of the On ships with a single propeller the behind the ship, is defined as:
speed of advance VA, which is given in rotative efficiency ηR is, normally, around
dimensionless form as: 1.0 to 1.07, in other words, the rotation PT
of the water has a beneficial effect. The hB = = ho × hR
VA rotative efficiency ηR on a ship with a
J= conventional hull shape and with two
n× d
propellers will normally be less, approx. Propulsive efficiency ηD
0.98, whereas for a twinskeg ship with The propulsive efficiency ηD, which
where J is the advance number of the two propellers, the rotative efficiency ηR must not be confused with the open
propeller. will be almost unchanged. water propeller efficiency ηO, is equal to
the ratio between the effective (towing)
Relative rotative efficiency ηR In combination with w and t, ηR is prob power PE and the necessary power
The actual velocity of the water flowing ably often being used to adjust the re delivered to the propeller PD, i.e.:
to the propeller behind the hull is nei sults of model tank tests to the theory.
ther constant nor at right angles to the PE PE PT
propeller’s disk area, but has a kind of Propeller efficiency ηB working behind hD = = ×
rotational flow. Therefore, compared the ship
with when the propeller is working in The ratio between the thrust power PT, = η H × ηB = ηH × η O × η R
open water, the propeller’s efficiency is which the propeller delivers to the wa

As can be seen, the propulsive efficiency Propeller dimensions Twobladed propellers are used on
ηD is equal to the product of the hull small ships, and 4, 5 and 6bladed
efficiency ηH, the open water propeller Propeller diameter d propellers are used on large ships.
efficiency ηO, and the relative rotative With a view to obtaining the highest Ships using the MAN B&W twostroke
efficiency ηR, although the latter has possible propulsive efficiency ηD, the engines are normally largetype vessels
less significance. largest possible propeller diameter d which use 4bladed propellers. Ships
will, normally, be preferred. There are, with a relatively large power requirement
In this connection, one can be led to however, special conditions to be con and heavily loaded propellers, e.g. con
believe that a hull form giving a high sidered. For one thing, the aftbody form tainer ships, may need 5 or 6bladed
wake fraction coefficient w, and hence of the hull can vary greatly depending on propellers. For vibrational reasons, pro
a high hull efficiency ηH, will also provide type of ship and ship design, for another, pellers with certain numbers of blades
the best propulsive efficiency ηD. the necessary clearance between the may be avoided in individual cases in
tip of the propeller and the hull will de order not to give rise to the excitation
However, as the open water propeller pend on the type of propeller. of natural frequencies in the ship’s hull
efficiency ηO is also greatly dependent or superstructure, Ref. [5].
on the speed of advance VA, cf. Fig. 8, For bulkers and tankers, which are often
that is decreasing with increased w, sailing in ballast condition, there are Disk area coefficient
the propulsive efficiency ηD will not, frequent demands that the propeller The disk area coefficient – referred to in
generally, improve with increasing w, shall be fully immersed also in this con older literature as expanded blade area
quite often the opposite effect is obtained. dition, giving some limitation to the pro ratio – defines the developed surface
peller size. This propeller size limitation area of the propeller in relation to its
Generally, the best propulsive efficiency is not particularly valid for container disk area. A factor of 0.55 is considered
is achieved when the propeller works in ships as they rarely sail in ballast condi as being good. The disk area coefficient
a homogeneous wake field. tion. All the above factors mean that an of traditional 4bladed propellers is of
exact propeller diameter/design draught little significance, as a higher value will
Shaft efficiency ηS ratio d/D cannot be given here but, as only lead to extra resistance on the
The shaft efficiency ηS depends, i.a. on a ruleofthumb, the below mentioned propeller itself and, thus, have little ef
the alignment and lubrication of the approximations of the diameter/design fect on the final result.
shaft bearings, and on the reduction draught ratio d/D can be presented,
gear, if installed. and a large diameter d will, normally, For ships with particularly heavyloaded
result in a low rate of revolution n. propellers, often 5 and 6bladed pro
Shaft efficiency is equal to the ratio be pellers, the coefficient may have a
tween the power PD delivered to the Bulk carrier and tanker: higher value. On warships it can be as
propeller and the brake power PB deliv high as 1.2.
ered by the main engine, i.e. d/D < approximately 0.65
Pitch diameter ratio p/d
PD Container ship: The pitch diameter ratio p/d, expresses
hS = the ratio between the propeller’s pitch
PB p and its diameter d, see Fig. 10. The
d/D < approximately 0.74
pitch p is the distance the propeller
The shaft efficiency is normally around For strength and production reasons, “screws” itself forward through the wa
0.985, but can vary between 0.96 and the propeller diameter will generally not ter per revolution, providing that there
0.995. exceed 10.0 metres and a power out is no slip – see also the next section
put of about 90,000 kW. The largest and Fig. 10. As the pitch can vary
Total efficiency ηT diameter propeller manufactured so far along the blade’s radius, the ratio is
The total efficiency ηT, which is equal to is of 11.0 metres and has four propeller normally related to the pitch at 0.7 × r,
the ratio between the effective (towing) blades. where r = d/2 is the propeller’s radius.
power PE, and the necessary brake
power PB delivered by the main engine, Number of propeller blades To achieve the best propulsive efficiency
can be expressed thus: Propellers can be manufactured with 2, for a given propeller diameter, an optimum
3, 4, 5 or 6 blades. The fewer the num pitch/diameter ratio is to be found,
PE PE PD ber of blades, the higher the propeller which again corresponds to a particu
hT = = × efficiency will be. However, for reasons lar design rate of revolution. If, for
PB PD PB of strength, propellers which are to be instance, a lower design rate of revolution
= ηD × η S = η H × η O × η R × η S subjected to heavy loads cannot be is desired, the pitch/diameter ratio has
manufactured with only two or three to be increased, and vice versa, at the
blades. cost of efficiency. On the other hand, if
a lower design rate of revolution is de
sired, and the ship’s draught permits,
the choice of a larger propeller diame

ter may permit such a lower design rate ISO 484/1 – 1981 (CE) The price of the propeller, of course,
of revolution and even, at the same time, depends on the selected accuracy
increase the propulsive efficiency. Mean pitch class, with the lowest price for class III.
Class for propel However, it is not recommended to
Propeller coefficients J, KT and KQ ler use class III, as this class has a too
Propeller theory is based on models, S Very high accuracy +/– 0.5 % high tolerance. This again means that
but to facilitate the general use of this I High accuracy +/– 0.75 % the mean pitch tolerance should nor
theory, certain dimensionless propeller mally be less than +/– 1.0 %.
coefficients have been introduced in re II Medium accuracy +/– 1.00 %
lation to the diameter d, the rate of rev III Wide tolerances +/– 3.00 % The manufacturing accuracy tolerance
olution n, and the water’s mass density corresponds to a propeller speed toler
r. The three most important of these ance of max. +/– 1.0 %. When also in
Table 5: Manufacturing accuracy classes
coefficients are mentioned below. of a propeller
corporating the influence of the tolerance
on the wake field of the hull, the total
The advance number of the propeller J propeller tolerance on the rate of revo
is, as earlier mentioned, a dimensionless Manufacturing accuracy of the propeller lution can be up to +/– 2.0 %. This tol
expression of the propeller’s speed of Before the manufacturing of the propeller, erance has also to be borne in mind
advance VA. the desired accuracy class standard of when considering the operating condi
the propeller must be chosen by the tions of the propeller in heavy weather.
VA customer. Such a standard is, for ex
J= ample, ISO 484/1 – 1981 (CE), which Influence of propeller diameter and
n× d pitch/diameter ratio on propulsive
has four different “Accuracy classes”,
see Table 5. efficiency D.
The thrust force T, is expressed As already mentioned, the highest pos
dimensionless, with the help of the Each of the classes, among other de sible propulsive efficiency required to
thrust coefficient KT, as tails, specifies the maximum allowable provide a given ship speed is obtained
tolerance on the mean design pitch of with the largest possible propeller dia
T the manufactured propeller, and meter d, in combination with the corre
KT = thereby the tolerance on the correspond
r× n × d4
2 sponding, optimum pitch/diameter ra
ing propeller speed (rate of revolution). tio p/d.
and the propeller torque

Q= Shaft power 80,000 dwt crude oil tanker
2p × n
kW Design draught = 12.2 m
9,500 Ship speed = 14.5 kn
is expressed dimensionless with the
help of the torque coefficient KQ, as 9,400 p/d
d = Propeller diameter
d 0.50
p/d = Pitch/diameter ratio p/d
9,300 p/d 6.6 m
KQ = 1.00
r × n2 × d 5 9,200
6.8 m
9,100 0.95 0.68
The propeller efficiency hO can be cal 0.90
culated with the help of the abovemen 9,000 7.0 m
0.69 Power and speed curve
tioned coefficients, because, as previously 8,900
0.85 0.60 for the given propeller
mentioned, the propeller efficiency hO is 0.80 7.2 m diameter d = 7.2 m with
defined as: 8,800 0.75 0.65 different p/d
PT T × VA KT J 8,700 7.4 m
0.71 Power and speed curve
hO = = = × d for various propeller
PD Q × 2 p × n K Q 2 p 8,600 p/d diameters d with
8,500 optimum p/d
Propeller speed
With the help of special and very com
plicated propeller diagrams, which 70 80 90 100 110 120 130 r/min
contain, i.a. J, KT and KQ curves, it is
possible to find/calculate the propeller’s
dimensions, efficiency, thrust, power, etc. Fig. 9: Propeller design – influence of diameter and pitch

As an example for an 80,000 dwt crude Pitch p
oil tanker, with a service ship speed of
14.5 knots and a maximum possible Slip
propeller diameter of 7.2 m, this influence
is shown in Fig. 9.

According to the blue curve, the maxi

mum possible propeller diameter of 7.2 0.7 x r
m may have the optimum pitch/diame d
ter ratio of 0.70, and the lowest possi
ble shaft power of 8,820 kW at 100
r/min. If the pitch for this diameter is r n
changed, the propulsive efficiency will
be reduced, i.e. the necessary shaft
power will increase, see the red curve.

The blue curve shows that if a bigger V or VA Sxpxn

propeller diameter of 7.4 m is possible,
the necessary shaft power will be re pxn
duced to 8,690 kW at 94 r/min, i.e. the
bigger the propeller, the lower the opti pxn_V V
The apparent slip ratio : SA = =1_
mum propeller speed. pxn pxn
p x n _ VA VA
The real slip ratio : SR = =1_
The red curve also shows that propul pxn pxn
sionwise it will always be an advan
tage to choose the largest possible
propeller diameter, even though the Fig. 10: Movement of a ship´s propeller, with pitch p and slip ratio S
optimum pitch/diameter ratio would
involve a too low propeller speed (in rela The apparent slip ratio SA, which is
tion to the required main engine speed). The apparent slip ratio SA, which is cal
dimensionless, is defined as: culated by the crew, provides useful
Thus, when using a somewhat lower
pitch/diameter ratio, compared with the knowledge as it gives an impression of
p × n−V V the loads applied to the propeller under
optimum ratio, the propeller/ engine SA = =1−
speed may be increased and will only p× n p× n different operating conditions. The ap
cause a minor extra power increase. parent slip ratio increases when the

Operating conditions of a propeller

Pitch p
Velocity of corkscrew: V = p x n
Slip ratio S
If the propeller had no slip, i.e. if the
water which the propeller “screws”
itself through did not yield (i.e. if the
water did not accelerate aft), the pro
peller would move forward at a speed
of V = p × n, where n is the propeller’s
rate of revolution, see Fig. 10. V

The similar situation is shown in Fig. 11 n

for a cork screw, and because the cork
is a solid material, the slip is zero and,
therefore, the cork screw always moves
forward at a speed of V = p × n. How
ever, as the water is a fluid and does
yield (i.e. accelerate aft), the propeller’s Corkscrew Cork Wine bottle
apparent speed forward decreases
with its slip and becomes equal to the
ship’s speed V, and its apparent slip
can thus be expressed as p × n – V. Fig. 11: Movement of a corkscrew, without slip

vessel sails against the wind or waves, sonable relationship to be used for esti and heavy weather). These diagrams us
in shallow waters, when the hull is mations in the normal ship speed range ing logarithmic scales and straight lines
fouled, and when the ship accelerates. could be as follows: are described in detail in Chapter 3.
Under increased resistance, this in
volves that the propeller speed (rate of • For large highspeed ships like con Propeller performance in general at
revolution) has to be increased in order tainer vessels: P = c × V 4.5 increased ship resistance
to maintain the required ship speed. The difference between the abovemen
• For mediumsized, mediumspeed tioned light and heavy running propeller
The real slip ratio will be greater than ships like feeder container ships, curves may be explained by an exam
the apparent slip ratio because the real reefers, RoRo ships, etc.: P = c × V 4.0 ple, see Fig. 12, for a ship using, as ref
speed of advance VA of the propeller is, erence, 15 knots and 100% propulsion
as previously mentioned, less than the • For lowspeed ships like tankers and power when running with a clean hull in
ship’s speed V. bulk carriers, and small feeder con calm weather conditions. With 15% more
tainer ships, etc.: P = c × V 3.5 power, the corresponding ship speed
The real slip ratio SR, which gives a truer may increase from 15.0 to 15.6 knots.
picture of the propeller’s function, is: Propeller law for heavy running propeller
The propeller law, of course, can only As described in Chapter 3, and com
VA V × (1 − w ) be applied to identical ship running pared with the calm weather conditions,
SR =1− =1− conditions. When, for example, the it is normal to incorporate an extra
p× n p× n
ship’s hull after some time in service power margin, the socalled sea mar
has become fouled and thus become gin, which is often chosen to be 15%.
At quay trials where the ship’s speed is more rough, the wake field will be different This power margin corresponds to ex
V = 0, both slip ratios are 1.0. Incidentally, from that of the smooth ship (clean hull) tra resistance on the ship caused by
slip ratios are often given in percentages. valid at trial trip conditions. the weather conditions. However, for
very rough weather conditions the influ
Propeller law in general A ship with a fouled hull will, conse ence may be much greater, as de
As discussed in Chapter 1, the resis quently, be subject to extra resistance scribed in Chapter 1.
tance R for lower ship speeds is pro which will give rise to a “heavy propeller
portional to the square of the ship’s condition”, i.e. at the same propeller In Fig. 12a, the propulsion power is
speed V, i.e.: power, the rate of revolution will be lower. shown as a function of the ship speed.
When the resistance increases to a
R = c × V2 The propeller law now applies to an level which requires 15% extra power
other and “heavier” propeller curve to maintain a ship speed of 15 knots,
where c is a constant. The necessary than that applying to the clean hull, the operating point A will move towards
power requirement P is thus propor propeller curve, Ref. [3], page 243. point B.
tional to the speed V to the power of
three, thus: The same relative considerations apply In Fig. 12b the propulsion power is
when the ship is sailing in a heavy sea now shown as a function of the propeller
P = R × V = c × V3 against the current, a strong wind, and speed. As a first guess it will often be as
heavy waves, where also the heavy sumed that point A will move towards B’
For a ship equipped with a fixed pitch waves in tail wind may give rise to a because an unchanged propeller speed
propeller, i.e. a propeller with unchange heavier propeller running than when implies that, with unchanged pitch, the
able pitch, the ship speed V will be pro running in calm weather. On the other propeller will move through the water
portional to the rate of revolution n, thus: hand, if the ship is sailing in ballast at an unchanged speed.
condition, i.e. with a lower displace
P = c × n3 ment, the propeller law now applies to If the propeller was a corkscrew moving
a “lighter” propeller curve, i.e. at the through cork, this assumption would
which precisely expresses the propeller same propeller power, the propeller be correct. However, water is not solid
law, which states that “the necessary rate of revolution will be higher. as cork but will yield, and the propeller
power delivered to the propeller is pro will have a slip that will increase with in
portional to the rate of revolution to the As mentioned previously, for ships with creased thrust caused by increased
power of three”. a fixed pitch propeller, the propeller law hull resistance. Therefore, point A will
is extensively used at part load running. move towards B which, in fact, is very
Actual measurements show that the It is therefore also used in MAN B&W close to the propeller curve through A.
power and engine speed relationship Diesel’s engine layout and load diagrams Point B will now be positioned on a
for a given weather condition is fairly to specify the engine’s operational propeller curve which is slightly heavy
reasonable, whereas the power and curves for light running conditions (i.e. running compared with the clean hull
ship speed relationship is often seen clean hull and calm weather) and heavy and calm weather propeller curve.
with a higher power than three. A rea running conditions (i.e. for fouled hull

Power 12.3 knots 15.0 knots
15.0 knots 15.0 knots Power
100% power 100% power
115% power 115% power
Slip B Slip
B´ D´ D A Power

15.6 knots
115% power 15.6 knots Propeller
15% 15% 115% power curve for
Sea Sea fouled hull
margin margin and heavy
Propeller curve
for clean hull and
calm weather
Propeller curve for clean 10.0 knots
Propeller curve for clean 50% power
hull and calm weather hull and calm weather

12.3 knots
15.0 knots 50% power
15.0 knots 100% power C
100% power HR HR = Heavy running
A A LR LR = Light running
Ship speed Propeller speed Propeller speed
(Logarithmic scales) (Logarithmic scales) (Logarithmic scales)

Fig. 12a: Ship speed performance at 15% Fig. 12b: Propeller speed performance at Fig. 12c: Propeller speed performance at
sea margin 15% sea margin large extra ship resistance

Sometimes, for instance when the hull a ducted propeller, the opposite effect can be up to 78% heavier running
is fouled and the ship is sailing in heavy is obtained. than in calm weather, i.e. at the same
seas in a head wind, the increase in propeller power, the rate of revolution
resistance may be much greater, cor Heavy waves and sea and wind against may be 78% lower. An example valid
responding to an extra power demand When sailing in heavy sea against, with for a smaller container ship is shown in
of the magnitude of 100% or even higher. heavy wave resistance, the propeller Fig. 13. The service data is measured
An example is shown in Fig. 12c.

In this example, where 100% power

BHP Shaft power
will give a ship speed of 15.0 knots, 21,000
point A, a ship speed of, for instance, Heavy Ap
12.3 knots at clean hull and in calm running 10% pare
weather conditions, point C, will require C 6% nt s
Extremely bad weather 6% 2% lip
about 50% propulsion power but, at B 18,000 2%
Average weather 3%
the abovementioned heavy running A
conditions, it might only be possible to Extremely good weather 0%
obtain the 12.3 knots by 100% propulsion 15,000
power, i.e. for 100% power going from
point A to D. Running point D may now
be placed relatively far to the left of point
A, i.e. very heavy running. Such a situ 12,000
ation must be considered when laying
out the main engine in relation to the C
layout of the propeller, as described in 9,000 13 B
Clean hull and draught D 16 A
Chapter 3. DMEAN = 6.50 m Sh
s 19
DF = 5.25 m kn pee
A scewed propeller (with bent blade DA = 7.75 m ots d
6,000 22
tips) is more sensitive to heavy running 76 80 84 88 92 96 100 r/min
than a normal propeller, because the Source: Lloyd's Register Propeller speed
propeller is able to absorb a higher
torque in heavy running conditions. For
Fig. 13: Service data over a period of a year returned from a single screw container ship

Shallow waters
Shaft power SMCR: 13,000 kW x 105 r/min When sailing in shallow waters, the re
% SMCR Wind velocity : 2.5 m/s Head wind
sidual resistance of the ship may be in
105 Wave height : 4 m creased and, in the same way as when
the ship accelerates, the propeller will
Tail wind
be subjected to a larger load than dur
SMCR *22.0 ing free sailing, and the propeller will be
100 7 heavy running.
5 22.3 *
1 Influence of displacement
95 4 ve
" When the ship is sailing in the loaded
c ur Propeller design condition, the ship’s displacement vol
le light running Heavy ume may, for example, be 10% higher
op running or lower than for the displacement valid
90 " pr 20.5
e 21.8 for the average loaded condition. This,
g in * * 20.5 *
of course, has an influence on the ship’s
21.5 resistance, and the required propeller
21.1 * power, but only a minor influence on
85 20.8*
* 3 the propeller curve.
rc *21.2 On the other hand, when the ship is
e lle 21.1 *
sailing in the ballast condition, the dis
op ve
80 Pr ur placement volume, compared to the
l er loaded condition, can be much lower,
el and the corresponding propeller curve
Pr may apply to, for example, a 2% “lighter”
propeller curve, i.e. for the same power
96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 % SMCR to the propeller, the rate of revolution
will be 2% higher.
(Logarithmic scales) Propeller/engine speed
Parameters causing heavy running
Together with the previously described
operating parameters which cause a
Fig. 14: Measured relationship between power, propeller and ship speed during seatrial of heavy running propeller, the parame
a reefer ship ters summarised below may give an in
dication of the risk/sensitivity of getting
a heavy running propeller when sailing
in heavy weather and rough seas:
over a period of one year and only measurements indicate approx. 1.5%
includes the influence of weather con heavy running when sailing in head 1 Relatively small ships (<70,000 dwt)
ditions! The measuring points have wind out, compared with when sailing such as reefers and small container
been reduced to three average weather in tail wind on return. ships are sensitive whereas large ships,
conditions and show, for extremely bad such as large tankers and container
weather conditions, an average heavy Ship acceleration ships, are less sensitive because the
running of 6%, and therefore, in prac When the ship accelerates, the propel waves are relatively small compared
tice, the heavy running has proved to ler will be subjected to an even larger to the ship size.
be even greater. load than during free sailing. The power
required for the propeller, therefore, will 2 Small ships (Lpp < 135 m ≈ 20,000 dwt)
In order to avoid slamming of the ship, be relatively higher than for free sailing, have low directional stability and,
and thereby damage to the stem and and the engine’s operating point will be therefore, require frequent rudder
racing of the propeller, the ship speed heavy running, as it takes some time corrections, which increase the ship
will normally be reduced by the navigat before the propeller speed has reached resistance (a selfcontrolled rudder
ing officer on watch. its new and higher level. An example will reduce such resistance).
with two different accelerations, for an
Another measured example is shown engine without electronic governor and 3 Highspeed ships
in Fig. 14, and is valid for a reefer ship scavenge air pressure limiter, is shown are more sensitive than lowspeed
during its sea trial. Even though the in Fig. 15. The load diagram and scav ships because the waves will act on
wind velocity is relatively low, only 2.5 enge air pressure limiter are described in the fastgoing ship with a relatively
m/s, and the wave height is 4 m, the Chapter 3.

Engine shaft power, % A power will be needed but, of course,
this will be higher for running in heavy
A 100% reference point weather with increased resistance on
110 M Specified engine MCR the ship.
O Optimising point A=M
Direction of propeller rotation (side thrust)
O When a ship is sailing, the propeller
90 blades bite more in their lowermost po
sition than in their uppermost position.
The resulting sidethrust effect is larger
the more shallow the water is as, for
mep example, during harbour manoeuvres.
70 110%
Therefore, a clockwise (looking from aft
100% to fore) rotating propeller will tend to
push the ship’s stern in the starboard
60 90% direction, i.e. pushing the ship’s stem
to port, during normal ahead running.
80% This has to be counteracted by the
50 70%
When reversing the propeller to astern
running as, for example, when berthing
60% alongside the quay, the sidethrust ef
fect is also reversed and becomes fur
40 ther pronounced as the ship’s speed
60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 105 decreases. Awareness of this behav
iour is very important in critical situa
(Logarithmic scales) Engine speed, % A
tions and during harbour manoeuvres.

According to Ref. [5], page 153, the

Fig. 15: Load diagram – acceleration
real reason for the appearance of the
side thrust during reversing of the pro
peller is that the upper part of the pro
peller’s slip stream, which is rotative,
strikes the aftbody of the ship.
larger force than on the slowgoing 7 Sailing in shallow waters
ship. increases the hull resistance and re
Thus, also the pilot has to know pre
duces the ship’s directional stability.
cisely how the ship reacts in a given
4 Ships with a “flat” stem situation. It is therefore an unwritten
may be slowed down faster by waves 8 Ships with scewed propeller law that on a ship fitted with a fixed
than a ship with a “sharp” stem. are able to absorb a higher torque pitch propeller, the propeller is always
Thus an axeshaped upper bow may under heavy running conditions. designed for clockwise rotation when
better cut the waves and thereby sailing ahead. A direct coupled main
reduce the heavy running tendency. Manoeuvring speed engine, of course, will have the same
Below a certain ship speed, called the rotation.
5 Fouling of the hull and propeller manoeuvring speed, the manoeuvra
will increase both hull resistance and bility of the rudder is insufficient be In order to obtain the same sidethrust
propeller torque. Polishing the pro cause of a too low velocity of the water
effect, when reversing to astern, on
peller (especially the tips) as often as arriving at the rudder. It is rather difficult
to give an exact figure for an adequate ships fitted with a controllable pitch
possible (also when in water) has a
manoeuvring speed of the ship as the propeller, CPpropellers are designed
positive effect. The use of effective
antifouling paints will prevent fouling velocity of the water arriving at the rud for anticlockwise rotation when sailing
caused by living organisms. der depends on the propeller’s slip ahead.
6 Ship acceleration
will increase the propeller torque, Often a manoeuvring speed of the
and thus give a temporarily heavy magnitude of 3.54.5 knots is men
running propeller. tioned. According to the propeller law,
a correspondingly low propulsion

Propulsion and engine running
points see Fig. 17. On the other hand, some
Engine Layout and shipyards and/or propeller manufactur
Load Diagrams Propeller design point PD ers sometimes use a propeller design
Normally, estimations of the necessary point PD´ that incorporates all or part of
propeller power and speed are based the socalled sea margin described be
Power functions and logarithmic on theoretical calculations for loaded low.
scales ship, and often experimental tank tests,
both assuming optimum operating Fouled hull
As is wellknown, the effective brake conditions, i.e. a clean hull and good When the ship has been sailing for
power PB of a diesel engine is propor weather. The combination of speed some time, the hull and propeller be
tional to the mean effective pressure and power obtained may be called the come fouled and the hull’s resistance
(mep) pe and engine speed (rate of rev ship’s propeller design point PD placed will increase. Consequently, the ship
olution) n. When using c as a constant, on the light running propeller curve 6, speed will be reduced unless the engine
PB may then be expressed as follows: delivers more power to the propeller, i.e.
the propeller will be further loaded and
PB = c × pe × n will become heavy running HR.
y = ax + b Furthermore, newer highefficiency ship
or, in other words, for constant mep
the power is proportional to the speed: 2 types have a relatively high ship speed,
and a very smooth hull and propeller
surface (at sea trial) when the ship is
PB = c × n1 (for constant mep)
a delivered. This means that the inevitable
1 buildup of the surface roughness on
As already mentioned – when running the hull and propeller during sea service
with a fixed pitch propeller – the power after seatrial may result in a relatively
may, according to the propeller law, be b
heavier running propeller, compared
expressed as: with older ships born with a more rough
0 X hull surface.
P B = c × n3 (propeller law) 0 1 2
A. Straight lines in linear scales Heavy weather and sea margin used
Thus, for the above examples, the brake for layout of engine
power PB may be expressed as a func If, at the same time, the weather is
tion of the speed n to the power of i, i.e. y = log (PB)
y = log (PB) = log (c x ni ) bad, with head winds, the ship’s resis
i=0 tance may increase much more, and
PB = c × n
lead to even heavier running.
Fig. 16 shows the relationship between When determining the necessary en
the linear functions, y = ax + b, see (A), i=1 gine power, it is normal practice to add
using linear scales and the power func an extra power margin, the socalled
tions PB = c × n , see (B), using logarith
sea margin, which is traditionally about
mic scales. 15% of the propeller design PD power.
However, for large container ships,
The power functions will be linear when 2030% may sometimes be used.
using logarithmic scales, as:
i=3 x = log (n)
When determining the necessary en
log (PB) = i × log (n) + log (c) gine speed, for layout of the engine, it
PB = engine brake power
is recommended – compared with the
which is equivalent to: y = ax + b c = constant
clean hull and calm weather propeller
n = engine speed
curve 6 – to choose the heavier propel
Thus, propeller curves will be parallel to log(PB) = i x log(n) + log(c) ler curve 2, see Fig. 17, corresponding
PB = c x ni
lines having the inclination i = 3, and y = ax + b to curve 6 having a 37% higher rate of
lines with constant mep will be parallel revolution than curve 2, and in general
to lines with the inclination i = 1. B. Power function curves
in logarithmic scales with 5% as a good choice.
Therefore, in the layout and load diagrams Note that the chosen sea power mar
for diesel engines, as described in the gin does not equalise the chosen
following, logarithmic scales are used, Fig. 16: Relationship between linear functions heavy engine propeller curve.
making simple diagrams with straight using linear scales and power functions
lines. using logarithmic scales

the engine operating curve in service,
curve 2, whereas the light propeller
curve for clean hull and calm weather,
Power curve 6, may be valid for running con
ditions with new ships, and equal to
the layout/design curve of the propel
ler. Therefore, the light propeller curve
for clean hull and calm weather is said
to represent a “light running” LR pro
MP peller and will be related to the heavy
propeller curve for fouled hull and
Engine margin heavy weather condition by means of a
(10% of MP) light running factor fLR, which, for the
SP same power to the propeller, is defined
PD´ as the percentage increase of the rate
Sea margin of revolution n, compared to the rate of
(15% of PD) revolution for heavy running, i.e.
nlight − nheavy
fLR = ×100%
Engine margin
Besides the sea margin, a socalled
LR(5%) “engine margin” of some 1015% is
2 6 frequently added as an operational
Engine speed margin for the engine. The correspond
ing point is called the “specified MCR
for propulsion” MP, see Fig. 17, and
refers to the fact that the power for
2 Heavy propeller curve _ fouled hull and heavy weather point SP is 1015% lower than for
6 Light propeller curve _ clean hull and calm weather point MP, i.e. equal to 9085% of MP.
MP: Specified propulsion point
Specified MCR M
SP: Service propulsion point The engine’s specified MCR point M is
PD: Propeller design point the maximum rating required by the
yard or owner for continuous operation
PD´: Alternative propeller design point of the engine. Point M is identical to the
LR: Light running factor specified propulsion MCR point MP un
HR: Heavy running less a main engine driven shaft genera
tor is installed. In such a case, the extra
power demand of the shaft generator
must also be considered.
Fig. 17: Ship propulsion running points and engine layout
Light/heavy running, fouling and sea
margin are overlapping terms.
Continuous service propulsion point SP Continuous service rating S Light/heavy running of the propeller re
The resulting speed and power combi The continuous service rating is the fers to hull and propeller deterioration,
nation – when including heavy propeller power at which the engine, including and bad weather, and sea margin, i.e.
running and sea margin – is called the the sea margin, is assumed to operate, extra power to the propeller, refers to
“continuous service rating for propulsion” and point S is identical to the service the influence of the wind and the sea.
SP for fouled hull and heavy weather. propulsion point SP unless a main en
The heavy propeller curve, curve 2, for gine driven shaft generator is installed. Based on feedback from service, it
fouled hull and heavy weather will nor seems reasonable to design the pro
mally be used as the basis for the en Light running factor fLR peller for 37% light running. The de
gine operating curve in service, and the The heavy propeller curve for a fouled gree of light running must be decided
propeller curve for clean hull and calm hull and heavy weather, and if no shaft upon, based on experience from the
weather, curve 6, is said to represent a generator is installed may, as mentioned actual trade and hull design, but 5%
“light running” LR propeller. above, be used as the design basis for is often a good choice.

gine may be drawnin. The specified
MCR point M must be inside the limita
Engine shaft power, % A tion lines of the layout diagram; if it is
not, the propeller speed will have to be
A 100% reference point
changed or another main engine type
M Specified engine MCR A=M
100 must be chosen. Yet, in special cases,
O Optimising point 5
point M may be located to the right of
line L1L2, see “Optimising/Matching
90 O
Point” below.

80 Optimising point O
10 The “Optimising (MC)/Matching (ME)
110% point” O – or, better, the layout point of
70 the engine – is the rating at which the
8 4 1 6
100% engine (timing and) compression ratio
are adjusted, with consideration to the
60 90% 2 scavenge air pressure of the turbocharger.
80% As mentioned below, under “Load dia
3 gram”, the optimising point O (later on
50 70% in this paper also used in general
9 where matching point for ME engines
was the correct one) is placed on line 1
(layout curve of engine) of the load dia
40 gram, and the optimised power can be
60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 105 from 85 to 100% of point M‘s power.
Overload running will still be possible
Engine speed, % A (110% of M‘s power), as long as consid
Line 1: Propeller curve through optimising point (O) _ layout curve for engine eration to the scavenge air pressure has
Line 2: Heavy propeller curve _ fouled hull and heavy seas been taken.
Line 3: Speed limit
The optimising point O is to be placed
Line 4: Torque/speed limit inside the layout diagram. In fact, the
Line 5: Mean effective pressure limit specified MCR point M can be placed
Line 6: Light propeller curve _ clean hull and calm weather _ layout curve for propeller outside the layout diagram, but only by
Line 7: Power limit for continuous running
exceeding line L1L2, and, of course,
only provided that the optimising point
Line 8: Overload limit O is located inside the layout diagram.
Line 9: Sea trial speed limit
Line 10: Constant mean effective pressure (mep) lines It should be noted that MC/MCC en
gines without VIT (variable injection tim
ing) fuel pumps cannot be optimised at
partload. Therefore, these engines are
Fig. 18: Engine load diagram always optimised in point A, i.e. having
point M‘s power.

Load diagram
Engine layout diagram which is optimum for the ship and the
operating profile. Please note that the Definitions
An engine’s layout diagram is limited by lowest specific fuel oil consumption for The load diagram (Fig. 18) defines the
two constant mean effective pressure a given optimising point O will be ob power and speed limits for continuous
(mep) lines L1L3 and L2L4, and by two tained at 70% and 80% of point O’s as well as overload operation of an in
constant engine speed lines L1L2 and power, for electronically (ME) and me stalled engine which has an optimising
L3L4, see Fig. 17. The L1 point refers to chanically (MC) controlled engines, point O and a specified MCR point M
the engine’s nominal maximum contin respectively. that conforms to the ship’s specification.
uous rating. Within the layout area
there is full freedom to select the en Based on the propulsion and engine Point A is a 100% speed and power
gines specified MCR point M and rele running points, as previously found, the reference point of the load diagram,
vant optimising point O, see below, layout diagram of a relevant main en and is defined as the point on the pro

peller curve (line 1) – the layout curve of 105% of A, however, maximum 105% Line 5:
the engine – through the optimising point of L1. During sea trial conditions the Represents the maximum mean effec
O, having the specified MCR power. maximum speed may be extended to tive pressure level (mep) which can be
107% of A, see line 9. accepted for continuous operation.
Normally, point M is equal to point A,
but in special cases, for example if a The above limits may, in general, be Line 7:
shaft generator is installed, point M extended to 105% and, during sea trial Represents the maximum power for
may be placed to the right of point A conditions, to 107% of the nominal L1 continuous operation.
on line 7. The service points of the in speed of the engine, provided the tor
stalled engine incorporate the engine sional vibration conditions permit. Line 10:
power required for ship propulsion and Represents the mean effective pressure
for the shaft generator, if installed. The overspeed setpoint is 109% of (mep) lines. Line 5 is equal to the 100%
the speed in A, however, it may be mepline. The meplines are also an
During shoptest running, the engine will moved to 109% of the nominal speed expression of the corresponding fuel
always operate along curve 1, with in L1, provided that torsional vibration index of the engine.
point A as 100% MCR. If CPpropeller conditions permit.
and constant speed operation is re Limits for overload operation
quired, the delivery test may be fin Running at low load above 100% of The overload service range is limited as
ished with a constant speed test. the nominal L1 speed of the engine is, follows, see Fig. 18:
however, to be avoided for extended
Limits to continuous operation periods. Line 8:
The continuous service range is limited Represents the overload operation limi
by the four lines 4, 5, 7 and 3 (9), see Line 4: tations.
Fig. 18: Represents the limit at which an ample
air supply is available for combustion and The area between lines 4, 5, 7 and the
Line 3 and line 9 imposes a limitation on the maximum dashed line 8 in Fig. 18 is available for
Line 3 represents the maximum accept combination of torque and speed. overload running for limited periods
able speed for continuous operation, i.e. only (1 hour per 12 hours).

M: Specified MCR of engine M: Specified MCR of engine

S: Continuous service rating of engine S: Continuous service rating of engine
O: Optimising point of engine O: Optimising point of engine
A: Reference point of load diagram A: Reference point of load diagram
3.3% A 5% A
A=M=MP 5
O 4
S=SP Power 1 2 6

2 6 A=M
1 5
O 5% L1

Propulsion and
engine service curve 4 1 6
for heavy running 2

Engine speed
Point A of load diagram
Line 1: Propeller curve through optimising point (O)
Propulsion and engine service
Line 7: Constant power line through specified MCR (M)
curve for heavy running
Engine speed
Point A: Intersection between lines 1 and 7

Fig. 19a: Example 1 with FPP – engine layout without SG (normal case) Fig. 19b: Example 1 with FPP – load diagram without SG (normal case)

Electronic governor with load limitation pressure limiter is to ensure that the ship and clean hull, the propeller/engine
In order to safeguard the diesel engine engine is not being overfuelled during may run along or close to the propeller
against thermal and mechanical overload, acceleration, as for example during design curve 6.
the approved electronic governors include manoeuvring.
the following two limiter functions: After some time in operation, the ship’s
The scavenge air pressure limiter hull and propeller will become fouled,
• Torque limiter algorithm compares the calculated resulting in heavier running of the pro
The purpose of the torque limiter is fuel pump index and measured peller, i.e. the propeller curve will move
to ensure that the limitation lines of scavenge air pressure with a refer to the left from line 6 towards line 2, and
the load diagram are always observed. ence limiter curve giving the maxi extra power will be required for propulsion
The torque limiter algorithm compares mum allowable fuel pump index at a in order to maintain the ship speed.
the calculated fuel pump index (fuel given scavenge air pressure. If the
amount) and the actually measured calculated fuel pump index is above At calm weather conditions the extent
engine speed with a reference limiter this curve, the resulting fuel pump of heavy running of the propeller will
curve giving the maximum allowable index will be reduced correspondingly. indicate the need for cleaning the hull
fuel pump index at a given engine and, possibly, polishing the propeller.
speed. If the calculated fuel pump The reference limiter curve is to be
index is above this curve, the result adjusted to ensure that sufficient air The area between lines 4 and 1 is avail
ing fuel pump index will be reduced will always be available for a good able for operation in shallow water,
correspondingly. combustion process. heavy weather and during acceleration,
i.e. for nonsteady operation without
The reference limiter curve is to be Recommendation any actual time limitation.
adjusted so that it corresponds to the Continuous operation without a time
limitation lines of the load diagram. limitation is allowed only within the area
limited by lines 4, 5, 7 and 3 of the
• Scavenge air pressure limiter load diagram. For fixed pitch propeller
The purpose of the scavenge air operation in calm weather with loaded

M: Specified MCR of engine M: Specified MCR of engine

S: Continuous service rating of engine S: Continuous service rating of engine
O: Optimising point of engine O: Optimising point of engine
A: Reference point of load diagram A: Reference point of load diagram

5 3.3% A 5% A
A 1 2 6
7 Power
A 7
5 M
1 2 6 O 5% L1

Propulsion and
4 1 2 6
engine service curve
for heavy running 3
Engine speed
Point A of load diagram
Line 1: Propeller curve through optimising point (O) Propulsion and engine service
curve for heavy running
Line 7: Constant power line through specified MCR (M)
Point A: Intersection between lines 1 and 7 Engine speed

Fig. 20a: Example 2 with FPP – engine layout without SG (special case) Fig. 20b: Example 2 with FPP – load diagram without SG (special case)

The recommended use of a relatively In this respect the choice of the optimi Example 2:
high light running factor for design of sing point O has a significant influence. Special running conditions, without
the propeller will involve that a relatively shaft generator
higher propeller speed will be used for Examples with fixed pitch propeller
layout design of the propeller. This, in When the ship accelerates, the propel
turn, may involve a minor reduction of Example 1: ler will be subjected to an even larger
the propeller efficiency, and may possi Normal running conditions, without load than during free sailing. The same
bly cause the propeller manufacturer to shaft generator applies when the ship is subjected to
abstain from using a large light running an extra resistance as, for example,
margin. However, this reduction of the Normally, the optimising point O, and when sailing against heavy wind and
propeller efficiency caused by the large thereby the engine layout curve 1, will sea with large wave resistance.
light running factor is actually relatively be selected on the engine service
insignificant compared with the improved curve 2 (for heavy running), as shown In both cases, the engine’s operating
engine performance obtained when in Fig. 19a. point will be to the left of the normal
sailing in heavy weather and/or with operating curve, as the propeller will
fouled hull and propeller. Point A is then found at the intersection run heavily.
between propeller curve 1 (2) and the
Use of layout and load constant power curve through M, line In order to avoid exceeding the
diagrams  examples 7. In this case, point A will be equal to lefthand limitation line 4 of the load
point M. diagram, it may, in certain cases, be
In the following, four different examples necessary to limit the acceleration
based on fixed pitch propeller (FPP) Once point A has been found in the and/or the propulsion power.
and one example based on controllable layout diagram, the load diagram can
pitch propeller (CPP) are given in order be drawn, as shown in Fig. 19b, and If the expected trade pattern of the
to illustrate the flexibility of the layout hence the actual load limitation lines ship is to be in an area with frequently
and load diagrams. of the diesel engine may be found. appearing heavy wind and sea and

M: Specified MCR of engine M: Specified MCR of engine

S: Continuous service rating of engine S: Continuous service rating of engine
O: Optimising point of engine O: Optimising point of engine
A: Reference point of load diagram A: Reference point of load diagram

Power A=M 7 7
O SG 5
S 3.3% A 5% A
Power 1 2 6
SP 7

O 5% L1


1 2 6 MP


4 1 2 6

Propulsion curve

for heavy running



Engine service curve

for heavy running
Engine speed
Point A of load diagram
Line 1: Propeller curve through optimising point (O) Propulsion curve
Engine service curve for heavy running
Line 7: Constant power line through specified MCR (M)
for heavy running Engine speed
Point A: Intersection between lines 1 and 7

Fig. 21a: Example 3 with FPP – engine layout with SG (normal case) Fig. 21b: Example 3 with FPP – load diagram with SG (normal case)

large wave resistance, it can, therefore, for the shaft generator’s electrical One solution could be to choose a
be an advantage to design/move the power production. diesel engine with an extra cylinder,
load diagram more towards the left. but another and cheaper solution is to
In Fig. 21a, the engine service curve reduce the electrical power production
The latter can be done by moving the shown for heavy running incorporates of the shaft generator when running in
engine’s optimising point O – and thus this extra power. the upper propulsion power range.
the propeller curve 1 through the opti
mising point – towards the left. How The optimising point O, and thereby the If choosing the latter solution, the re
ever, this will be at the expense of a engine layout curve 1, will normally be quired specified MCR power of the en
slightly increased specific fuel oil con chosen on the propeller curve (~ en gine can be reduced from point M’ to
sumption. gine service curve) through point M. point M as shown in Fig. 22a. Therefore,
when running in the upper propulsion
An example is shown in Figs. 20a and Point A is then found in the same way power range, a diesel generator has to
20b. As will be seen in Fig. 20b, and as in example 1, and the load diagram take over all or part of the electrical
compared with the normal case shown can be drawn as shown in Fig. 21b. power production.
in Example 1 (Fig. 19b), the lefthand
limitation line 4 is moved to the left, giv Example 4: However, such a situation will seldom
ing a wider margin between lines 2 and Special case, with shaft generator occur, as ships rather infrequently op
4, i.e. a larger light running factor has erate in the upper propulsion power
been used in this example. Also in this special case, a shaft gener range. In the example, the optimising
ator is installed but, unlike in Example point O has been chosen equal to
Example 3: 3, now the specified MCR for propul point S, and line 1 may be found.
Normal case, with shaft generator sion MP is placed at the top of the lay
out diagram, see Fig. 22a. This involves Point A, having the highest possible
In this example a shaft generator (SG) that the intended specified MCR of the power, is then found at the intersection
is installed, and therefore the service engine (Point M’) will be placed outside of line L1L3 with line 1, see Fig. 22a,
power of the engine also has to incor the top of the layout diagram. and the corresponding load diagram is
porate the extra shaft power required

M: Specified MCR of engine M: Specified MCR of engine

S: Continuous service rating of engine M´ S: Continuous service rating of engine
O: Optimising point of engine A O: Optimising point of engine
A: Reference point of load diagram 7 A: Reference point of load diagram
Power 3.3% A 5% A
A 7
4 5 M

Power 1 2 6

1 2 6 SG MP

5% L1



4 1 2 6

Propulsion curve for heavy running


Engine service curve

for heavy running Engine speed

Point A and M of load diagram Propulsion curve

Line 1: Propeller curve through optimising point (O) for heavy running
Point A: Intersection between line 1 and line L1  L3
Point M: Located on constant power line 7 through point A Engine service curve
and at MP’s speed for heavy running Engine speed

Fig. 22a: Example 4 with FPP – engine layout with SG (special case) Fig. 22b: Example 4 with FPP – load diagram with SG (special case)

drawn in Fig. 22b. Point M is found on Therefore, it is recommended to use a applied for engines with CPP running
line 7 at MP’s speed. light running combinator curve (the dotted on a combinator curve.
curve), as shown in Fig. 23, to obtain an
Example with controllable pitch propeller increased operating margin for the diesel The optimising point O for engines with
engine in heavy weather to the load limits VIT can be chosen on the propeller curve
Example 5: indicated by curves 4 and 5. 1 through point A = M with an optimised
With or without shaft generator power from 85 to 100% of the specified
Layout diagram – with shaft generator MCR as mentioned before in the section
Layout diagram – without shaft generator The hatched area in Fig. 23 shows the dealing with optimising point O.
If a controllable pitch propeller (CPP) recommended speed range between
is applied, the combinator curve (of 100% and 96.7% of the specified MCR Load diagram
the propeller with optimum propeller speed for an engine with shaft generator Therefore, when the engine’s specified
efficiency) will normally be selected for running at constant speed. MCR point M has been chosen including
loaded ship including sea margin. engine margin, sea margin and the
The service point S can be located at power for a shaft generator, if installed,
For a given propeller speed, the com any point within the hatched area. point M can be used as point A of the
binator curve may have a given propeller load diagram, which can then be drawn.
pitch, and this means that, like for a fixed The procedure shown in Examples 3
pitch propeller, the propeller may be and 4 for engines with FPP can also be The position of the combinator curve
heavy running in heavy weather. ensures the maximum load range
within the permitted speed range for
engine operation, and it still leaves a
reasonable margin to the load limits
indicated by curves 4 and 5.
M: Specified MCR of engine
S: Continuous service rating of engine
O: Optimising point of engine Influence on engine running of
A: Reference point of load diagram different types of ship resistance
– plant with FPpropeller
3.3%A 5%A
7 In order to give a brief summary regard
ing the influence on the fixed pitch
5 propeller running and main engine opera
4 tion of different types of ship resistance,
an arbitrary example has been chosen,
1 see the load diagram in Fig. 24.
7 The influence of the different types of
resistance is illustrated by means of
O 5%L 1
S corresponding service points for propul
sion having the same propulsion power,
4 1 using as basis the propeller design
point PD, plus 15% extra power.

3 Propeller design point PD

The propeller will, as previously described,
Recommended range normally be designed according to a
for shaft generator specified ship speed V valid for loaded
operation with ship with clean hull and calm weather
constant speed conditions. The corresponding engine
speed and power combination is
Min Max shown as point PD on propeller curve
Combinator curve speed speed 6 in the load diagram, Fig. 24.
for loaded ship
and incl. sea margin Engine speed Increased ship speed, point S0
If the engine power is increased by, for
example, 15%, and the loaded ship is
still operating with a clean hull and in
Fig. 23: Example 5 with CPP – with or without shaft generator calm weather, point S0, the ship speed

V and engine speed n will increase in Point S0 will be placed on the same resistance from heavy seas, an extra
accordance with the propeller law (more propeller curve as point PD. power of, for example, 15% is needed
or less valid for the normal speed range): in order to maintain the ship speed V
Sea running with clean hull and 15% (15% sea margin).
V S 0 = V × 3 .5 115
. = 1041
. ×V sea margin, point S2
Conversely, if still operating with loaded As the ship speed VS2 = V, and if the
nS 0 = n × 3 .0 115
. = 1048
. ×n
ship and clean hull, but now with extra propeller had no slip, it would be expected
that the engine (propeller) speed would
also be constant. However, as the water
does yield, i.e. the propeller has a slip,
the engine speed will increase and the
PD: Propeller design point, clean hull and calm weather running point S2 will be placed on a
Continuous service rating for propulsion with propeller curve 6.2 very close to S0, on
a power equal to 90% specified MCR, based on: propeller curve 6. Propeller curve 6.2
will possibly represent an approximate
S0: Clean hull and calm weather, loaded ship 0.5% heavier running propeller than
S1: Clean hull and calm weather, ballast (trial) curve 6.
S2: Clean hull and 15% sea margin, loaded ship Depending on the ship type and size,
SP: Fouled hull and heavy weather, loaded ship the heavy running factor of 0.5% may
be slightly higher or lower.
S3: Very heavy sea and wave resistance
For a resistance corresponding to
Engine shaft power % of A about 30% extra power (30% sea mar
gin), the corresponding relative heavy
100% ref. point (A)
110 running factor will be about 1%.
Specified MCR (M)
105 Sea running with fouled hull, and
A=M heavy weather, point SP
100 7
5 When, after some time in service, the
95 ship’s hull has been fouled, and thus
S0 becomes more rough, the wake field
S1 will be different from that of a smooth
S2 ship (clean hull).
S3 A ship with a fouled hull will, conse
8 4 1 6
quently, be subject to an extra resis
2 PD tance which, due to the changed
3 9 wake field, will give rise to a heavier
75 running propeller than experienced
6.3 6.2 6.1 during bad weather conditions alone.
70 When also incorporating some aver
80 85 90 95 100 105 110 age influence of heavy weather, the
propeller curve for loaded ship will
Engine speed, % of A move to the left, see propeller curve
2 in the load diagram in Fig. 24. This
Line 1: Propeller curve through point A=M, layout curve for engine propeller curve, denoted fouled hull
Line 2: Heavy propeller curve, fouled hull and heavy weather, loaded ship and heavy weather for a loaded ship,
is about 5% heavy running compared
Line 6: Light propeller curve, clean hull and calm weather, to the clean hull and calm weather
loaded ship, layout curve for propeller propeller curve 6.
Line 6.1: Propeller curve, clean hull and calm weather, ballast (trial)
In order to maintain an ample air
Line 6.2: Propeller curve, clean hull and 15% sea margin, loaded ship
supply for the diesel engine’s com
Line 6.3: Propeller curve, very heavy sea and wave resistance bustion, which imposes a limitation
on the maximum combination of
torque and speed, see curve 4 of the
load diagram, it is normal practice to
Fig. 24: Influence of different types of ship resistance on the continuous service rating match the diesel engine and turbo

charger etc. according to a propeller seldom loaded during sea trials and Influence of ship resistance on
curve 1 of the load diagram, equal to more often is sailing in ballast, the ac combinator curves – plant with
the heavy propeller curve 2. tual propeller curve 6.1 will be more CPpropeller
light running than curve 6.
Instead of point S2, therefore, point SP This case is rather similar with the FP
will normally be used for the engine lay For a power to the propeller equal to propeller case described above, and
out by referring this service propulsion 90% specified MCR, point S1 on the therefore only briefly described here.
rating to, for example, 90% of the engine’s load diagram, in Fig. 24, indicates an
specified MCR, which corresponds to example of such a running condition. In The CPpropeller will normally operate
choosing a 10% engine margin. order to be able to demonstrate opera on a given combinator curve, i.e. for a
tion at 100% power, if required, during given propeller speed the propeller
In other words, in the example the pro sea trial conditions, it may in some pitch is given (not valid for constant
peller’s design curve is about 5% light cases be necessary to exceed the pro propeller speed). This means that
running compared with the propeller peller speed restriction, line 3, which heavy running operation on a given
curve used for layout of the main engine. during trial conditions may be allowed propeller speed will result in a higher
to be extended to 107%, i.e. to line 9 power operation, as shown in the ex
Running in very heavy seas with of the load diagram. ample in Fig. 25.
heavy waves, point S3
When sailing in very heavy sea against,
with heavy waves, the propeller can be S=PD Propeller design point incl. sea margins, and continuous service rating of engine
78% heavier running (and even more)
than in calm weather, i.e. at the same Line 1 Propeller curve for layout of engine
propeller power, the rate of revolution Line 6 Combinator curve for propeller design, clean hull and 15% sea margin, loaded ship
may be 78% lower.
Line 6.1 Light combinator curve, fouled hull and calm weather, loaded ship
For a propeller power equal to 90% of Line 2 Heavy combinator curve, fouled hull and heavy weather, loaded ship
specified MCR, point S3 in the load
diagram in Fig. 24 shows an example Line 2.1 Very heavy combinator curve, very heavy sea and wave resistance
of such a running condition.
Engine shaft power % of A
In some cases in practice with strong
wind against, the heavy running has 110 100% ref. point (A)
proved to be even greater and even to Specified MCR (M)
be found to the left of the limitation line 105
4 of the load diagram. 100 7
In such situations, to avoid slamming of S=PD
the ship and thus damage to the stem 90
and racing of the propeller, the ship 85
speed will normally be reduced by the
navigating officers on watch. 80
8 4 1 6 3
Ship acceleration and operation in
shallow waters 70
When the ship accelerates and the
propeller is being subjected to a larger 65
load than during free sailing, the effect
on the propeller may be similar to that 60
illustrated by means of point S3 in the 2 6.1
load diagram, Fig. 24. In some cases in 2.1
practice, the influence of acceleration 55
on the heavy running has proved to be
even greater. The same conditions are 50
valid for running in shallow waters.
65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 105 110
Sea running at trial conditions, point S1 Engine speed, % of A
Normally, the clean hull propeller curve
6 will be referred to as the trial trip pro
peller curve. However, as the ship is
Fig. 25: Influence of ship resistance on combinator curves for CPpropeller

Closing Remarks References
In practice, the ship’s resistance will [1] Technical discussion with
frequently be checked against the results Keld Kofoed Nielsen,
obtained by testing a model of the ship Burmeister & Wain Shipyard,
in a towing tank. The experimental tank Copenhagen
test measurements are also used for
optimising the propeller and hull design. [2] Ship Resistance
H.E. Guldhammer and
When the ship’s necessary power re Sv. Aa. Harvald, 1974
quirement, including margins, and the
propeller’s speed (rate of revolution) [3] Resistance and Propulsion of Ships,
have been determined, the correct Sv. Aa. Harvald, 1983
main engine can then be selected, e.g.
with the help of MAN B&W Diesel’s [4] Paint supplier “International
computerbased engine selection Coatings Ltd.”, 2003
[5] Fartygspropellrar och Fartygs Framdrift,
In this connection the interaction between Jan Tornblad, KaMeWa Publication,
ship and main engine is extremely im 1985
portant, and the placing of the engine’s
load diagram, i.e. the choice of engine Furthermore, we recommend:
layout in relation to the engine’s (ship’s)
operational curve, must be made care [6] Prediction of Power of Ships
fully in order to achieve the optimum Sv. Aa. Harvald, 1977 and 1986
propulsion plant. In order to avoid over
loading of the main engine for excessive [7] Propulsion of SingleScrew Ships
running conditions, the installation of an Sv. Aa. Harvald & J.M. Hee, 1981
electronic governor with load control may
be useful.

If a main engine driven shaft generator –

producing electricity for the ship – is in
stalled, the interaction between ship and
main engine will be even more complex.
However, thanks to the flexibility of the
layout and load diagrams for the MAN
B&W engines, a suitable solution will
nearly always be readily at hand.