Voyage scenario simulation with Gulliver

How can my ship benefit from wind assistance? What is my service margin on a specific ship route? How can I optimise my ship design in terms of performance and safety? Voyage scenario simulations are extensively used nowadays to answer these questions in an early ship design phase. Jelle Wisse,

ombining numerical models that describe ship motions and forces with high resolution sea state and weather databases, make it possible to accurately simulate ship behaviour and performance for virtually every location and situation on the globe.


MARIN’s voyage scenario simulation tool ‘Gulliver’, named after Jonathan Swift’s well known Gulliver’s Travels, has already been available since 2001. During the last few years Gulliver has been modernised to meet today’s ship modelling standards. Figure 1 shows a schematic overview of Gulliver. For a specific location and time, Gulliver retrieves sea state and weather data from a weather database. It uses a Ship Motion Database with linear and quadratic transfer functions to calculate wave induced forces. Together with the wind and current forces, Gulliver solves the force equilibrium. It does so by adjusting the ship’s speed, drift angle, rudder angle and propeller RPM. After solving the equilibrium, the ship’s velocities and motions (in a 3-DOF system) are determined. If the ship motions exceed certain limits, the speed will be reduced to meet the limits. Finally, the speed is used to define a new location on the route.

Gulliver has a modular setup which makes it possible to configure and test different ship designs. For instance, the propulsion type can be changed from a conventional diesel engine to a hybrid propulsion model that combines wind assistance with a diesel engine.

Figure 1: Schematic overview of Gulliver

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