Stability investigation of a pontoon barge in wave basin Conference Paper uri icon


  • This paper addresses some noteworthy findings relating to particular hydrodynamic and hull features leading to the capsizing of a box-shaped pontoon barge in a wave basin. Experimental evidence suggests that these features may substantially influence the capsizing behavior of a shallow deck barge. Most significant are the influences of viscous damping and green water on deck. Both factors substantially shift the resonance frequency and delay barge motions relative to wave excitations. A shallow barge constantly experiences changes in its wetted hull shape that drastically change its stability characteristics in heavy seas. Whereas these subtle changes in resonance frequency and phase lag may be irrelevant to the stability of a large conventional hull, these same changes may lead to the dramatic loss of a pontoon barge with limited freeboard. Test observations raise concerns about the legitimacy of a stability assessment procedure based on potential theory. A proper means capable of capturing the relevant stability features is a necessary step in setting loadline criteria for pontoon barge. A watertight pontoon barge with reasonable reserve stability rarely capsizes. Yet, mishaps were demonstrated in a model basin for conditions of vessel metacentric height close to zero.

published proceedings

  • Proceedings of the International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference

author list (cited authors)

  • Huang, E. T., & Chen, H. C.

complete list of authors

  • Huang, ET||Chen, HC

publication date

  • January 2001