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Journal of Ship Technology, Vol. 5, No.

2, July 2009, pp 34-38

Angela P. Boiko
Admiral Makarov National University of Shipbuilding,
9, Geroyev Stalingrada avenue,
Nikolaev, Ukraine

Alexander V. Bondarenko, Ph.D

Associate Professor
Faculty of Naval Architecture
Admiral Makarov National University of Shipbuilding
9, Geroyev Stalingrada avenue,
Nikolaev, Ukraine

Calculation of Weight of a SWATH Ship in Preliminary

Design Stages
Angela P. Boiko and Alexander V. Bondarenko
The review of existing calculated formulas for definition of components of displacement of small
waterplane area twin hull (SWATH) ships has been carried out. The approached dependences
for calculation of weight of SWATH ship in preliminary design stages are described in the paper.
Keywords: weight, SWATH, lightship weight, hull weight, outfit weight, machinery weight.




One of the initial requirements for designing a Small

Waterplane Area Twin Hull (SWATH) ship is the
tentative estimation of its weight, based on summation of
weight groups. This weight estimation is crucial, since
the process of estimation of weight groups is also
necessary for carrying out many ship-building
calculations and also for estimation of economic
efficiency of the SWATH ship. Accuracy of definition of
weight groups is especially important for SWATH,
because ships of this type are very sensitive to change of
displacement and draft (owing to their small waterplane
Literature review of various studies [1 to 8] on the
calculation of weights of SWATH ships reveals that at
present, it is difficult to estimate weight groups for
SWATH ships with accuracy suitable for preliminary
design phases.
Therefore the purpose of this paper is to develop
simplified expressions for calculation of weight of
SWATH ship as a first approximation, based on external
conditions of area of operation and requirements of
Classification societies.



According to the traditional approach accepted in ship

design, displacement of SWATH ship can be presented
as follows:



lightship weight, ton

DWT deadweight, ton

Dividing the lightship weight into groups can be carried
out in various ways depending on the design objective
and the phase of the design. In the preliminary design
phase, calculation of lightship weight of SWATH ship
may be estimated by summing the following
WLS = WHull + WSup + WM + WOut + WSM



weight of hull, tons


weight of superstructure, tons


weight of machinery, tons


weight of outfit, tons


weight margin, tons.

Journal of Ship Technology

Vol. 5, No. 2, July 2009

It is advisable to consider the weight of superstructure as

a separate component, since in most cases on a SWATH,
the material of the superstructure differs from the
material of the hull.
The most crucial component is the weight of the hull.
According to statistics for SWATH ship, the weight of
hull amounts to 50 to 60 % of the lightship weight.
In the formula offered by the authors to estimate the hull
weight, the method stated in [6] is taken as basis.
According to this method, the weight of hull of SWATH
ship is determined based on the thickness of structural
elements, which is based on the operating pressure and
requirements of the Classification society:
Wh = (1 + C0) (1+Ci) Wsi


C0 = 0.085 Coefficient considering weight of additional
elements (7% for painting and welding material, 1.5 %
for margin);
Ci Coefficient considering weight of elements of the
supporting framing, taken as 26% to 42 % (depending on
material and framing system);
Wsi weight of structural elements of the hull, tons.
The hull of a Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull ship may
be subdivided into the following structural elements:

lower hulls, struts, sponsons, cross structure, internal

decks and platforms, longitudinal and transverse
The weight of these structural elements may be
determined by the following expression:

Wsi = 0.001 Sitiqi



where Si the area of ith element of the hull,

qi density of material of ith element of the hull,
ti thickness of an ith element of the hull, given by:

ti = ks p / ss


where s frame-spacing, m;
ss allowable stress, MPa;
k material factor according to specific Classification
P maximum design load, determined for various
structural elements of the hull according to requirements
of a Classification society.
It is necessary to note that the value of maximum design
load (P) depends on requirements of the particular
Classification society. Figure 1 shows the variation in
calculations of maximum design load for the upper
(weather) deck, calculated as per requirements of various
Classification societies.

Pwd, kPa









0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7

Distance f rom FP (fract ion)




Fig. 1 : Distribution of pressure on upper (weather) deck over length of a vessel: CCS Chinese Classification
Society; GL Germanischer Lloyd; RS Russian Maritime Register
Vol. 5, No. 2, July 2009

Journal of Ship Technology


As an example, Figure 2 shows the scheme of pressure

distribution due to the sea on the basic components of
the hull, obtained by calculations for the passenger
SWATH ship "Princess Maxima", as per Chinese
Classification Society requirements [9].

The weight of machinery is estimated depending on type

of propulsion system using formulas based on processing
of statistical data [5] (Table 2).
Table 2 : Relations for weight of machinery
installation of various types
Type of propulsion system


Gas turbine

WM = 0.0080SHPP

High-speed diesel

WM = 0.0094SHPP

Medium-speed diesel

WM = 0.0152SHPP


WM = 0.663SHPP0.679


WM = 0.794SHPP0.610

where SHPP design shaft horsepower, kW.

The weight of the outfit and supply for a passenger ship
depends not only on the size of the vessel, but also on
the number of passengers and volume of the
superstructure. Therefore, for calculation of weight of
the outfit and supply it is possible to use the following

Fig. 2 : Scheme of distribution of

pressure on the hull

Wout = gOut (LOABOAD)2/3 + POutVSup ,

The area of structural elements of hull Si of the SWATH

ship can be calculated by empirical expressions [6]. But
it is more convenient nowadays to use modern
developments in the field of CAD systems to create a
parametric model of the SWATH hull. This allows more
precise determination of values of Si and considerably
reduces errors of calculation.
Weight of a superstructure may be approximately
obtained by the formula:
Wstr = gStr Vsup ,


where Vsup volume of a superstructure, m . Values of

specific weight of superstructure (gStr) are specified in
Table 1.
Table 1 : Values of specific weight (gStr) for
superstructures of various materials
Aluminum alloys

0.012 to 0.014


0.007 to 0.008



Value of gStr



LOA length overall, m;
BOA beam, m,
Ddepth, m; gOut = 0,055 . . . 0,060 ; POut = 0,015 . . . 0,016
According to world practice, the margin of displacement
for SWATH ship is accepted at a rate of 2 to 3 % of full
load displacement. Deadweight of SWATH (in tons) can
be calculated as:
DWT = WP + WF + WF.w + WCrew + WStore ,


where WP payload, t, WF fuel weight, t; WF.w fresh

water weight, t; WCrew crew and luggage weight, t;
WStore weight of provisions, supply, t.
The weight of payload is determined depending on
purpose of a vessel. For example, for the passenger ship
the weight of payload can be roughly estimated by
following expression
WP = PPas . NPas / 1000 ,
where PPas weight of one passenger and luggage, kg;
NPas the number of passengers.
Calculation of fuel weight (in tons) is carried out by the

Journal of Ship Technology

Vol. 5, No. 2, July 2009

WF = 1,15 (WF.M + WF.C + WF.G) ,

where WF.M fuel weight for the main (cruising) engines;

WF.C fuel weight for augmented engines (it is
considered for the naval vessel or high-speed passenger
ships with propulsion of type CODAG); WF.G fuel
weight for a diesel engine-generator.

SWATH ship with sufficient accuracy. These would offer

a reliable starting point in the process of preliminary
design, based on inputs from concept design and the
specific requirements of Classification Society standards.
Further research in this area may be directed towards
perfection of a design procedure which includes factors
considering weight of the auxiliaries.

Weight of fuel for the main engines [5]:




Astahov, A. P., Peshterjanu, A. N., Plenkin, J.,

Shmagin, N. G., "Specific weight of the hull steel
of small SWATH ships", Sudostroenie, No. 8, pp.
79, 1984.


Ivanitskij, K. F., Kamenetskij, J. ., Tantsjura, A.

G., Shostak, V. P., "Research of characteristics of
semi-submerged transport ships", Collected
papers of NKI, Nikolaev, Vol. 116, pp. 6671,


Tantsjura, A.G., "Specific weight of the hull steel

of semi-submerged ships", Collected papers of
NKI, Nikolaev, Vol. 128, pp. 132139, 1977.


Tantsjura, A.G., "Mathematical model of a small

waterplane area twin hull (SWATH ) ship for
optimization of its characteristics", Collected
papers of NKI, Nikolaev, Vol. 154, pp. 4453,


"Gewichtsabschtzung von SWATH-Schiffen im
Vorentwurf", Schiff & Hafen, No. 8, ss. 5053,


Dubrovskiy, V. A., Matveev, K., Sutulo, S. Small

Waterplane Area Ships, Fair Lawn, Backbone
Publishing Co., 2007.


Nethercote, W.C., Schmitke, R. T., "A Concept

Exploration Model for SWATH Ships", The Naval
Architect, Vol. 124, No. 5, pp. 113130, 1982.


Stevens, R. M., "New Dimensions for Naval

Catamarans", David Taylor Naval Ship R&D
Center DTNSRDC Rpt 3830, May, 1972.


Guidelines for Construction of Small Waterplane

Area Twin Hull Craft, China Classification
Society, 2004


WF.M =




where RM range at cruising speed, miles; SHPp power

of the main engines (cruising power), kW; VS cruising
speed (economical speed), knots; SFCM specific fuel
consumption of the main engines, g/(kW-hr) can be
taken as per [5].
It is similarly possible to write an expression for
calculation of fuel weight for augmented engines [5]:

WF.G =



where RC range at maximum speed, miles; SHPPC

power of augmented engines, kW; VC maximum speed,
knots; SFCC specific fuel consumption augmented
engines, g/(kW-hr) it is defined under the formulas
brought above depending on type of engines.
Weight of fuel for generator systems [5]:
WF.G =





where SHPPG = 0,25 (1,002 D0,924) power of a diesel

engine-generators, kW; SFC G specific fuel
consumption a diesel engine-generators, g/(kW-hr). As a
first approximation, this can be taken as 210 g/(kW-hr).
Other components of deadweight; WF.w, WCrew , WStore may
be calculated as per working specifications and sanitary
rules depending on quantity of people onboard and
durations of sailing (endurance).


The expressions presented can be used by the design

organization for tentative estimation of weight of

Vol. 5, No. 2, July 2009

Journal of Ship Technology


Angela BOIKO is a lecturer of naval architecture at the Admiral Makarov National University of Shipbuilding,
Nikolaev/Ukraine. She graduated from Admiral Makarov National University of Shipbuilding, Ukraine, receiving her
MSc degree in 1993. Her research interests include SWATH ship design, simulation modeling, optimization, genetic
algorithms and their application in ship design.
Alexander BONDARENKO, PhD, is currently Associate Professor at the Faculty of Naval Architecture Admiral
Makarov National University of Shipbuilding (Nikolaev/Ukraine). He graduated from Admiral Makarov National
University of Shipbuilding, Ukraine, receiving his MSc degree in 1994 and PhD degree in 2002 in naval architecture,
with specialisation in design of tankers. His currently research interests include SWATH and multi-hull ship design,
simulation modeling, optimization, genetic algorithms and their application in ship design, and the development of
advanced ship design methodologies.

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Journal of Ship Technology

Vol. 5, No. 2, July 2009