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Publication Title | PROBLEMS OF HANDLING SHIPS EQUIPPED WITH AZIPOD PROPULSION SYSTEMS March 2013

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PRACE NAUKOWE POLITECHNIKI WARSZAWSKIEJ

z. 95

Transport 2013

Lech Kobyli ski

Foundation for Safety of Navigation and Environment Protection

PROBLEMS OF HANDLING SHIPS EQUIPPED WITH AZIPOD PROPULSION SYSTEMS

The manuscript delivered, March 2013

Abstract: Large ships, mainly large cruise vessels, built during last two decades are quite often equipped with revolutionary propulsion devices known under the name AZIPODs. There are many reasons for choosing AZIPODs as main propulsion units, the main reason being excellent manoeuvring characteristics achieved. However in case of large propulsion units, having power of 15-25 MW, used for propulsion there are also some disadvantages and limitations, the last mainly related to operational factors. Handling of ships equipped with AZIPODS is different from handling conventional ships and in certain manoeuvring situations safety of the ship and of the propulsion units might be endangered.. Therefore some limitations imposed on handling procedures are necessary and it is essential that pilots and masters of ships fitted with AZIPODs must be specially trained. Keywords: ship manoeuvrability, podded propulsion, handling of ships with Azipods

1. INTRODUCTION

During recent times the new type of vessel has been introduced to the world shipping fleet in large numbers. This type is passenger cruise vessel. Statistics of ships in operation and on order reveals that more than 750 ships of different size that could be defined as cruise ships are recently in operation, more than about 50 of them are large ships of more than 250 metres in length and carrying sometimes as much as 6000 passengers.

According to the definition cruise ship is usually a very large passenger ship that makes a roundtrip with several en route stops and takes passengers only at the port where trip begins and ends. This is not very strict definition but it makes clear that the passengers are holidaymakers and the main purpose of the ship is not to make fast trip but rather to assure pleasure spending time visiting several interesting places. This is fast developing business and the number of very large cruise ships in operation since the last decade of the last century is increasing rapidly. This is really type of ship of XXI century. Typical large cruise ship is shown in fig. 1.

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