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Will a bilge keel improve rolling at sea?

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by Francois, Sep 2, 2006.

  1. Francois

    Francois New Member

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    Hi all.I am at present doing the woodwork on a 80 ft powerboat .The hull is steel and has an alluminium superstructure from deck level to the flybridge .And as you know in boatyards the word goes round that now the designer wants to add a bildge keel.I think he is worried of heavy rolling:confused:

    Do you think this will work ? BTW ,I have done many projects before and its the first time that I have encounterd that. Looks like bad planing to me .Thanks.

    Francois
  2. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    Yes, bilge keels will prevent rolling.
  3. Garry Hartshorn

    Garry Hartshorn Senior Member

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    Best and simplest form of passive stabilization, and it works at anchor as well.
  4. Francois

    Francois New Member

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    Thanks AMG .Looks like I will be able to go out there without rolling and getting sick ;)

    Francois
  5. Francois

    Francois New Member

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    Garry, thats why I prefer my workbench:) .Yes on completion of projects I have been on a few offshore trials ,some rock some dont :D

    Francois
  6. Innomare

    Innomare Senior Member

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    Francois,

    Bilge keels do help a lot, especially while sailing. However, you want to have them positioned in the right place, or they can create a lot of drag. When positioned right, the added drag is minimal.


    There are two ways to find out how they should be positioned:

    a) a "streamline visualisation run" in tanktesting. Wet dots of paint become long lines following the stream lines on the hull. Instead of paint, sometimes tiny ropes are used wich are attached at one side. Pictures are then taken during the run.
    b) a CFD calculation (computational fluid dynamics). This has the advantage that you know the flowlines of the stream not just at the hull surface but also at a distance from it. If you have a 3D-model but are not doing tanktesting, this would also be the cheaper option.

    For some pictures of what I mean, have a look at: http://www.marin.nl/Onderzoeksprojecten/Resistance_and_Flow_research.html

    While not too common on yachts (don't know why that is), bilge keels are fitted to almost every other ocean-going (displacement) vessel. They don't prevent rolling, but you get some reduction. They also increase the directional stability of the hull.

    One other important point to take into account: the welding of the bilge keel to the hull should be relatively weak. If you hit something with the bilge keel, you want it to come off, not to tear your hull open.

    Good luck!

    Bruno

    Naval Architect
  7. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    I think the reason we don´t see bilge keels on yachts is that they interfere with the active stabilizer fins. On a trawler design I have made the active fins as a part of the bilge keels, thus redirecting the flow in the middle of the keels which may be a good solution. Can´t find the drawing now, but it is posted here somewhere...:eek:

    And I agree, the keels do not "prevent rolling", but I used this word as opposed to "improve rolling" as in the headline...:)
  8. Innomare

    Innomare Senior Member

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    Hi Lars,

    I didn't mean to pick on your words. I just don't want to be in the situation where somebody has bilge keels installed on their boat and is surprised to find that it's still rolling and they are still getting seasick (and then sueing me for claiming otherwise).
    To say it simple: if you want an appartement, don't buy a boat ;)
  9. MYCaptainChris

    MYCaptainChris Senior Member

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    passive

    I suggested passive stabilization in our last refit, but the finances wouldn't cover it. I already have active stabs and I planned to run two passives on each side of the hull, aft and forward of the active but on the same plane. How will this affect the active stabs? Should I consider one longer passive each side below the lines of the active?

    chris
  10. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    Your idea is in essence what I had in the old design I just found. The moving part is also attached to a bar connecting the two fixed keels as a protection and to make all of it more stable. I think it should work really well if installed at the right positions...

    Attached Files:

  11. Francois

    Francois New Member

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    Thanks guys for the responses .Some really great info there.
    Bruno ,I will read through it now as it looks very interesting.Just got back from work ;)

    Lars,I can see in the picture that it shows the positioning of the keels and that will depend on the hull shape and length of the vessel.

    Francois
  12. MYCaptainChris

    MYCaptainChris Senior Member

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    interesting

    in the image the passive appear to run a little deeper than the active, is that what you would suggest? My idea wasn't to encase them the way you have but I could see how this would work well. They passive I'd planned to be about half as deep as the active.
    Would you keep the passive straight or curve them to the shape of the hull?
  13. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    These bilge keels are angled outwards about 30 degrees from the centre and must remain straight when you look at them from the front so they don´t act as rudders. As you probably know it can be hard enough to get your rudder(s) or rather the autopilote and the active stabilizers to work nicely together.

    The moving fin is enclosed to not catch fishing gear so easy and this whole setup is also fine where you want to dock at ebbtide.

    The shaft for the fin is a little forward, off centered.

    For a pure yacht such as yours, I think bilge keels half as deep as your fins is a good start. It will not be so expensive to modify later if you so wish.
  14. MYCaptainChris

    MYCaptainChris Senior Member

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    thanks

    thanks for the info, now lets see what happens with the budget for the next refit.
  15. Billy1119

    Billy1119 Senior Member

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    When implementing both passive and active stabilization methods into one hull, wouldn't the passive effectively reduce the effectiveness of the active stabilization? Sure, I see that it could/would help as well because the active likely wouldn't have to work as hard because the boat wouldn't roll as easily, but at the same time it'd have to work harder to fight against the passive?

    Point being, it seems to me you would need to carefully calculate the size and effectiveness of the passive/active combo so as not to eliminate the effectiveness of one or the other. Maybe I'm wrong and they pretty much always work together, helping each other out. Thoughts?

    On a side note, I like the enclosure of the active stabilizers, if nothing else, as a way to protect the fin from getting ripped off if the captain were to, uh, get off course. :)
  16. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    You are right Bill and this is also what I said in post nr 7. This combination has to be tested out carefully, but on small and not too fast yachts I think they can be good since the yacht will maintain a pretty straight course which isn´t always the case with the active fins. Especially in following seas they can have problems and sometimes cause more rolling than if you shut them down. This has to do with how you trim the autopilot so the rudder speed and angle doesn´t accellerate the rolling...
  17. Billy1119

    Billy1119 Senior Member

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    Understood. Thanks for the input. Now that I re-read your post, I realize this is what you were talking about.

    Maybe a little off topic, but I was talking with someone a while ago about utilizing trim tabs (modified versions, of course) as a form of stabilization while underway on higher speed vessels. This, of course, would have adverse effects on the autopilot and what not, but I suspect it could be compensated for. This way you could have a fairly simplistic (okay, well, more so than typical systems) method of stabilization with fairly low costs without any hull protrusions. Sure, it probably wouldn't be as effective, but may help out. On the other hand, maybe it'd be better just to utilize a gyro stabilization system if you couldn't deal with the hull protrusions... I haven't put a lot of thought into this, so there may be a big hole (never a good thing on a boat) in the idea, but thought I'd mention it and try and get some feedback.
  18. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    You are right again. There are stabilized trimtabs for fast boats already...:)
  19. Billy1119

    Billy1119 Senior Member

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    Well, I must be smarter than I thought I was (a joke, of course. I'm really very humble. No, really, I am) ;). So, how effective are they and have they been applied to yachts? If yes, what was the outcome?
  20. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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