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# CHAPTER 13 LAUNCHING and DOCKING

13.1 Launching 13.1.1 Introduction Large ships are built in docks and are launched down inclined and cambered ways one end, usually the stern enters the sea first. Because, the stern of the ship is more buoyant. Sliding ways are built around the ship, the gap seperating them from the fixed graund ways is filled by a layer of grease to which the weight of the ship is transferred from the building blocks before the launch. After the ship begins to enter the water, buoyancy builds up at the stern until it reaches a value sufficient to pivot the entire ship about the fore poppet. At that point the force on the fore poppet is very large and stability can be critical. The ship continues down the ways until it is floating freely or dropped off the end of the ways. If launched in a restricted area, its progress into the water is impeded by drags which are arranged so as gradually to bring the vessel to a stop before it strikes the far bank. In this procedure, what might go wrong? The grease might be too slippery or not slippery enough. It might be squeezed out by the pressure. Instead of the stern lifting, the ship might tip the wrong way about the end of the graundways and plunge. The fore foot might be damaged by dropping off the end of the ways or it may dig into the slip when the stern has lifted. The ship might be insufficiently strong locally or longitudinally or the ways may collapse. The breaking effects of the drags might be too much or too little. The ship might be unstable at some instant. Calculations are carried out before arranging the launch to investigate each one of these anxieties. An assessment must be made of the weight and center of gravity position at the time of launch (see Figure 1). As the ship enters the water , the waterline at various distances down the ways can be noted on the profile. The immersed sectional areas can be read off from the bonjean curves, and the buoyancy and its longitudinal center are computed (Figure 2). The ship will continue until the moment of weight about the fore poppet equals to the moment of buoyancy about the same point. The data are usually presented as a series of curves called the launching curves (Figure 3). Thus, a set of six curves is prepared to predict the behaviour of the ship during the launch in a safe condition.

buoyancy

Graund ways

Aft poppet

## Figure 1. Ship and ways geometry.

W Bon-Jean Curves G

## Figure 2. Bon-jean curves for the immersed sectional areas.

These curves plotted against distance of the travel down the slip and the important features of these curves, are as folows:  The weight (W) will be constant,  The buoyancy (FB) which increases as the ship travels down the ways,  The moment of weight about fore poppet (W.a) which is also constant,  The moment of buoyancy about fore poppet (FB.d),  The moment of weight about the after end of the ways (W.b),  The moment of buoyancy about after end of the ways (FB.c)  At the point at which the moment of buoyancy about the fore poppet equals the moment of weight about the fore poppet, the stern lifts.  The difference between the weight and buoyancy curves at the position of stern lift is the maximum force on the fore poppet.  The curve of moment of buoyancy about the after end of the ways must lie wholly above the curve of moment of weight; the least distance between the two curves of moment gives the least moment against tipping about the end of ways.  Crossing of the weight and buoyancy curves before the after end of ways, indicates that the fore poppet will not drop off the end of the ways.

Moments Moment of weight about f.p. Weight Max. Force On f.p. Moment of buoyancy about f.p. Buoyancy Least moment against tipping Moment of buoyancy about AEW Moment of weight about AEW Ship floats Stern lifts C.G over AEW Travel down slipway Forces

Figure 3. Typical launching curves. 13.1.2 Construction of launching curves Center of gravity position of the ship is estimated and then two moments of w eight curves produced, namely, moment of weight about fore poppet and moment of weight about after end of ways. Buoyancy and center of buoyancy at any position of travel is determined by placing the relevant waterline over profile of the ship with Bon-Jean curves drawn on and integrating in the usual fashion.

LBP

k
y x Sea level

f
x r

## Figure 4. Construction of launching ways.

In the above picture, let: = The initial slope of the keel. = Declivity of the ground ways, ie, slope of chord. LBP = Length between perpendicular. e = Distance of the fore poppet abaft the forward perpendicular. h = Initial height of the fore poppet above water. f = Camber of ways of length k. r = Radius of camber. The camber of an arc of a circle is given by,
f ! k2 8r ; f y!
2

k  2 x 2
8r

y!

k 2 k  2 x kx  ! x 8r 8r 2r

After travelling a distance x, the fore poppet is raised y above the chord and the keel has moved through an angle of x/r. The height of the fore poppet above the water is approximately as follows:
kx 2r On the other hand, the height of a point t above water abaft the fore poppet is, hF x y ! hF x x

x kx x h  F x  y  t E  ! h  F x  x  t E  2r r r If there is no camber, r is infinite. If t is equal to (-e), it will give the height of the keel at the fore poppet above water. If t is equal to (L-e), it gives the negative draft at the after perpendiculars. At all times, after stern lift, the moments of weight and buoyancy about the fore poppet must be equal. Buoyancy and moment of buoyancy are then calculated for several trims about the fore poppet ( see Figure 5). There is the correct trim where the curves of moment about fore poppet cut.

Moment of W about f.p. Correct trim Moment of FB about f.p. Buoyancy %1 %2 %3 %4 %5 Trim

## Figure 5. Trim calculation.

13.1.3 Pressure on the ground ways Typically, the declivity of the ground ways is 1 in 20 and the camber a half a metre in a ground ways length of 300 m from fore poppet to after end. The radius correponding to this camber is 22500 m. Originally, camber was probably meant to offset the sinkage of the slip as the ships weight grew. It has another important effect in rotating the ship to dip the stern deeply into the water. This increases the buoyancy force and causes an earlier stern lift than would be the case without camber. Furthermore, it increases the moment against tipping but also inreases the load on the fore poppet. The total load on the ground ways is the difference between weight and buoyancy (WFB). Dividing by the length in contact gives a mean load per unit length and dividing by the width of ways gives a mean pressure. The mean pressure, Pm !
W  FB lW bW

## And, the mean pressure on the keel, Pm !

W  FB lW The maximum load on the ground ways is the initial one W before stern lift. On the other hand, after stern lift, the total load on ways is (W-FB) and moment of ways load about fore poppet is (W.a-FB.d).

r W

lW

Pfp

Pap

Figure 6. Pressure distribution on the ground ways. The curve of load per unit length is a trapezoid because of an uneven weight distribution of the ship. If the length of ways in contact is lW at any instant and the load per unit length at the fore poppet and after end of ways are Pfp and Pap respectively. Pfp and Pap can be calculated according to the center of gravity of ship as follows: The mean pressure on the keel,
!

W lW

and also Pm !

Pfp  Pap 2

## Then, W  FB ! 0.5 v lW v fp  Pap P

Solving the above equations for Pfp and Pap, Pfp ! Pap ! 4 6 v  FB  2 v a  FB d W W lW lW 6 lW
2

v a  FB d  W

2 v  FB W lW

Or, let be r the distance of the center of pressure distribution about fore poppet; r! lW Pfp  2 Pap v 3 Pfp  Pap 3Pm v lW  2r tons / m 2 lW 3Pm v 2 r  lW tons / m 2 lW

## And, Pfp ! Pm  Pap ! Pm 

This is a satisfactory solution while Pfp and Pap are positive and the load per unit length can be represented by a trapezium. W a  FB d 2 When lW , Pfp becomes negative and when is greater than W  FB 3 W a  FB d 1 is less than lW , Pap becomes negative. There can not be a negative load so far W  FB 3 these conditions, the trapezoidal presumption is not permissible. It is assumed, instead, that the distribution is triangular (Figure 7). Apart from the assumption of linear variation in pressure the above method of calculation assumes the ship and slipway to be rigid. It has been suggested that the simple method predicts ways end pressures which are unrealistically low and a more rigorous treatment allowing for ship elasticity, flexibility of the ways and the effects of bottom panel deflection may be wise. Pressure may be reduced by champfering the ends of the ways and may be physically limited by using deformable packing or collapsible cushions.

d !

1 2 1 2 lW v Pfp  lW v ap  Pfp P 2 3

Pap

W a  FB d W  FB

W 2  FB 2 lW Pap ! W W 3 3lW  FB  3 a  FB d
2

3?lW 

W a  FB d A
W  FB
Pfp

W a  FB d W  FB Pfp !

1 lW 3
2

3 a  FB d W W  FB

W 2  FB W 3 a  FB d

## Figure 7. Pressure distribution in triangular form.

13.1.4 Dynamics of launching The force accelerating the ship down the groundways is, at any instant, approximately in the following form: W  FB sin E  way friction  water resis tan ce  drag forces ! net force

force

## (W-F B)sin (W-F B)cos Fs (W-FB)

Ff

Figure 8. Forces acting on the ship and ground ways In the Figure 8, is the slope of the ways at the center of gravity of the ship. The coefficient of friction is usually less than 0.02 although, at the commencement, it can be slightly higher according to the temperature. The slope of the ways for small angles may be taken as sin = tan = and cos = 1. Water resistance is due to the hull friction, the creation of the stern wave and to the resistance of locked propellers, water brakes or masks etc. where fitted. In the above equation, the part of the water resistance, V is the velocity of travel and K is a constant determined from

similar water breaking devices. In the term of drag forces due to the chain drags, w is the weight of the chains and Q d 0.40-0.80 depending upon the state of the slipways. is For a particular ship, the effects of entrained water can be expressed as a fraction z of the buoyancy. The equation of motion of the ship, before it floats, is then :

## W  FB sin E  Q W  FB cos E  KFB 2 / 3V 2  Q d ! net w

force !

W  zFB
g

dV dt

This differential equation can not be solved mathematically because of the presence of FB. A component force diagram is shown in Figure 9. taking into account each of the factors at intervals of travel down the slip and a distance-time relationship estimated from it, by equating the net force to the mass times acceleration.

Ship of rest

Ship floats

Stern lifts

 FB W E
Q  FB W

KF B

2/3

V2

Force

Qd

After the ship has become waterborne, the first two components of the expression become zero. Integration of each component force-distance curve gives the work-done in overcoming that resistance. Velocity at any point of travel may therefore be checked by relating the kinetic energy at that point to the loss of potential energy minus work done in overcoming friction and resistance. 13.1.4.1 Dynamic calculations The force accelerating the ship down the groundways till entering the water is as follows: Fs ! W sin E  Q W cos E where W is the weight of the ship and Q is the coefficient of friction. As the slope of the ways is small, sin =tan and cos =1 may be taken. Then, movement is possible not until tan " Q .

Fs ! W tan

 Q W ! W tan

 Q

Net force

Distance Travelled

## Figure 9. Diagram of force components.

The equation of motion of the ship ignoring the water resistance and drag forces, before it is waterborn, is then; accelerating of the ship, a! F dV d 2 S ! 2 ! g s dt W dt or a ! g sin E  Q cosE m / s

## for small angles of slope

a ! g tan E  Q The velocity of the ship after t seconds is then; dV dS and a ! V ! dt dt V ! a v t ! g v t v tan E  Q m / s
S

and, V 2 ! 2 a v S V ! 2 a dS  C
0

13.1.5 Sideway launching When the ship is small or water front space is not a great premium, ships may be built on an even keel broadside on to the water and consigned to the water sideways. There are three common methods of sideways launching: i. The ship slides down the ways which are built well down under the water.

ii.

The ship tips or drops off the end of the ways into the water.

Here, for S=0, V=0 and the constant C=0 S 1 1 And, for t, dt ! dS t ! dS  V V 0

iii.

The ship is built on piles which are made to collapse by a sideways push to allow the ship to fall into the water.

In all of these methods, the ship takes to the water violently and may roll heavily -on entry, the ship may roll thirty degrees or more. Stability at large angles and watertightness are therefore important considerations. Waves may cause damage on adjacent shares. Conventional calculations are not performed. Declivity of ways is usually of the water of 1 in 8 in order to give a high speed of launch to clear the end of the ways.

13.2 Docking The repair and maintenance of the underwater hull, openings and sea connected systems of ships are often necessary to perform in drydock. The object of dry docking is to properly support the ship while it is out of the water. When a ship enters a drydock, it must have a positive initial GM. On entering the drydock the ship is lined up with its centerline vertically over the centerline of the keel blocks. As the water level falls after pumping out commences in the drydock, there is no effect on the ship`s stability so long as the ship is completely waterborne, but after the stern lands on the blocks the draft aft will decrease. This will continue until the ship takes the blocks overall throughout its length. The interval of time between the stern landing on the blocks and the ship taking the blocks overall is referred to as the `critical period`. During this period, part of the weight of the ship is being borne by the blocks, and this creates an upthrust at the stern. The upthrust causes a virtual lose of metacentric height and it is essential that positive effective metacentric height be maintained during the critical period. There are three distinct phases to drydocking: preperation, docking and undocking. An error during any phase may lead to catostrophe: ship tilting, hull structural damage etc.  Preperation is critical to the success of all phases. The dock master must carefully evaluate the type of ship to be docked and where to place the support on the ship.  Docking is a slow evaluation. The ship is carefully pushed or pulled into the dock by tugs, workboats and dockside lines. Once the ship is in the correct position over the blocks, pumping of the drydock can commence. Landing the ship on the blocks is a critical step and its carefully approached. As the ship lands(usually stern first), part of the ship is supported by the blocks(P) and part of the ship is supported by the buoyant force. This causes a virtual rise in the center of gravity and a decreased metacentric height.

T T W P

W1L1 x

T W
G0

Gv

B0

B1

T T T FB ! W  P

The main purpose is to calculate the effective metacentric height for any instant during the drydocking process. Now consider a transverse section of the ship which has been inclined to a small angle by an external force. The weight of the ship (W) acts downwards through the center of gravity (G0 ). The force `P` acts upwards through the keel (K) and is equal to the weight being borne by the blocks. For equilibrium the force of buoyancy must now be

T T T T (W  P ) and will act upwards through the initial metacenter `M`. Their resultant force (W  P ) acting downwards through the virtual center of gravity `Gv` such that,

T T W v y ! P v x or , T T W v G0 Gv v sin J ! P v KG v v sin J
T T T W v G 0 G v ! P v KG v ! P v KG 0  G 0 G v T P v KG 0 G0 G v ! T T W P

## The virtual height of the center of gravity of the ship is then,

T T KG 0 v P KG 0 v W KG v ! KG 0  T T ! T X W P W P

## The virtual metacentric height of the grounded ship is,

T KG 0 v W Gv M ! KM  T T W P

The upward force at the keel due to docking or grounding causes a loss of stability. Therefore, the righting moment at inclination J before the application of P is T T T ( W G 0 M sin J ). After application, the righting moment is, W  P v G v M v sin J

 Undocking can be just a precarious as the docking phase if not done carefully. Additionally, the hull and its openings must be tested for watertight integrity before the ship is floated and leaves the dock. Undocking follows the some basic procedures as docking, but in reverse. 13.2.1 Features of floating docks     Features of principal concern of floating docks are, Load distribution between dock and ship Behaviour of blocks Strength of floating docks Stability

Basically, docking is the placing of an elastic ship with an uneven weight distribution on to an elastic set of blocks supported in turn by an elastic floating dock or a relatively rigid graving dock. Blocks will not be of an even height and are subject to crush, creep and instability. i) Load distribution: It is assumed that the load distribution along the blocks follows the weight distribuiton of the ship except at the after cut up and at any other gap. In a floating dock, the load distribution is further affected by the buoyancy distribution along the dock. The difference between the total buoyancy and ships weight plus weight of dock and contained water gives the net loading. Shearing force on a girder is obtained by integrating the shearing force along the length.

ii) Block behaviour: It is not surprising to find wide variation in the behaviour of a stack of wooden dock blocks, depending on defects, age, grain, moisture content and surface condition. Measurements of the loads in dock blocks have shown that a stack will take many times the load of its neighbour by being only a little higher. Great care is needed to ensure that blocks are all of even stiffness. The number of blocks to ensure a mean deflection of stacks of x is given as: Number of blocks=2*ships weight / x*block stiffness In general, the larger the ship, the closer the blocks are together and side blocks intruduced. iii) Strength of floating docks: Dock behaviour longitudinally, if the dock is made of steel, is checked continuously during lift by measuring the breakage. Reinforced concrete docks do not suffer much elastic distortion and breakage is not used as a measure of behaviour; instead, strict pumping patterns are imposed. The problem is analysed as an unevenly loaded beam on an elastic foundation for which programs are available. iv) Stability: Since a list developing before the ship is in contact with the blocks completely along the keel can be extremely dangerous and can dislodge the blocks. A floating dock is trimmed approximately to the trim of the ship. There is a critical stability condition when the ship is just clear of the water and the restoring waterplane for both ship and dock is provided only by the dock walls. In this conditions, it is normally demanded a minimum GM of 1.6 m. When the pontoon is lifted clear, the waterplane is much larger. Free surface effects in a floating dock are also large.