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The Masthead
By Martin Monteverde, Naval Architect, Buenos Aires
question that often arises for Orca3D users is whether
or not the “Static” and “Running” Trim of a fast planing
craft are somewhat “geometrically” related to each other.
The quick answer is “No,” but it is worth studying the ques-
tion more closely to understand the answer.
Static Trim
Whether it’s about a slow displacement vessel or the fastest
planing “Hot Rod” boat, the “Trim” angle, as reported by Or-
ca3D when performing a hydrostatic analysis, is related to a
Static” condition of the hull only. That is, throughout the
analysis performed the hull is considered to be “at rest,” or
in physics terms, “in static equilibrium.” No dynamic effects
i.e., speed/acceleration-related forces) are taken into ac-
count under this type of hydrostatic analysis.
More specifically, when performing a “Free-Float” hydro-
static analysis in Orca3D, the reported “Trim” angle corre-
sponds to the longitudinal (i.e., Fore-Aft) hull orientation in
D space that results from the balance of the simple system
of forces considered by this analysis, that consists of two
forces only. These are the “Weight” of the craft, acting
through its “CG” (Center of Gravity), and the “Buoyancy”
force that acts through the “CB” (Center of Buoyancy
As we all know from basic engineering mechanics, for any
structure” (i.e., our craft, yacht, or vessel) to be in a “static
equilibrium” condition, it has to be verified that the net sum
of all acting forces must be zero (i.e., the net resultant force
is zero), and also that the moment is zero. This is known as
pure” static analysis.
Orca3D, through its built-in algorithms, is capable of finding
the final hull orientation in 3D space, after finding the solu-
tion to this both “simple” and “complex” problem.
Given a hull geometry for analysis, once a craft’s weight and
CG are specified by the user, the software solves the system
of equations for static equilibrium with the hull free to trim,
heel, and translate vertically, until an orientation is found
that results in an immersed volume, and its corresponding
buoyancy force, that counteracts (i.e., is equal and opposite
to) the craft’s weight.
Furthermore, the resulting solution is such that the relative
position between the CG, which is “fixed” to the craft, and
the CB that results from the “immersed geometry” is such
that no net moment will result from this situation. In other
words, this also means that Weight and Buoyancy forces are
also acting through the same line of action, or that their di-
rections are mutually coincident.
Figure 1 illustrates a typical situation before performing a
Free-Float” hydrostatic analysis. That is, the boat’s geome-
try is modeled with reference to a known “Baseline” (usually
a horizontal, or the “x” axis line
The boat’s weight and CG
are known by the designer’s preliminary estimations, and a
preliminary” Design Waterline is drawn, usually parallel to
the Reference Line at a height (or Draft) that produces a
displacement (buoyancy force) that equals the boat’s
Notice that in this condition what usually happens is that,
even when the boat’s weight and displacement for the given
preliminary Design Waterline are equal, both forces are not
aligned, since, as we can see in Figure 1, there is a horizon-
Sept. 2012 Page 17
Planing Craft Analysis:
Static vs. Dynamic Trim
Though focused on trim considerations as handled in Orca3D, this article provides an excellent overview of the
fundamental concepts involved in planing-boat trim. — Ed.
The CB, or Center of Buoyancy, is the centroid of the wetted volume.
Here we refer to a “vector” sum.
Continued next page