Journal of Navigation

Research Article

Application of Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulations to the Analysis of Bank Effects in Restricted Waters

D. C. Loa1 c1, Dong-Taur Sua1 and Jan-Ming Chena1

a1 (National Kaohsiung Marine University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan)


It is well known that vessels operating in the vicinity of a lateral bank experience a significant yaw moment and sway force. This bank effect has a major impact on the manoeuvring properties of the vessel and must therefore be properly understood to ensure the safe passage of the vessel through the restricted waterway. Accordingly, this study performs a series of simulations using commercial FLOW-3D® computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software and the KRISO 3600 TEU container ship model to examine the effects of the vessel speed and distance to bank on the magnitude and time-based variation of the yaw angle and sway force. The results show that for a given vessel speed, the yaw angle and sway force increase as the distance to bank reduces, while for a given distance between the ship and the bank, the yaw angle and sway force increase with an increasing vessel speed. In addition, it is shown that even when a vessel advances at a very low speed, it experiences a significant bank effect when operating in close vicinity to the bank. Overall, the results presented in this study confirm the feasibility of the CFD modelling approach as a means of obtaining detailed insights into the bank effect without the need for time-consuming and expensive ship trials.

Key Words:

  • Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD);
  • Bank Effects;
  • Sway Force;
  • Yaw Moment


c1 (E-mail: