Physical modeling applied in evaluation of the safety and efficiency of vessel mooring plans

ABSTRACT For cargo handling to be carried out safely and efficiently, port terminals should provide favorable conditions of shelter, thus avoiding excessive movement of moored vessels and mitigating strengths on mooring lines. However, terminals in which the influence of waves, winds or currents provide adverse conditions to keep a vessel moored need to pay attention to the mooring arrangement of the vessels, through studies that guarantee the effectiveness of the system. In this context, small-scale hydraulic physical models are the most accurate tool for simulation of mooring lines plans of vessels, since they can accurately reproduce all the complexity of the hydrodynamics and its interaction with the vessel. This manuscript presents the technique of physical modeling in vessel mooring studies and its application in a case study made for Ponta da Madeira Port Terminal. In a scale model 1:170 was carried out a comparison of two proposed mooring arrangements for the Valemax class bulk carrier, the results of which allowed to define a safe alternative that made the berthing operation feasible during almost 100% of the time.