Vessel speed trials – why are they so important?
The speed/power characteristics of ships have always been at the core of ship design. To prove contractually agreed values, speed trials are conducted by the yard prior to delivery of the ship to the owner. Further the speed trials deliver information to estimate the EEDI of the vessel and the better the performance – the better the EEDI.
The new vessel
The importance of a good performance at the speed trial has led to more focus on this from the yard and the owner. This focus has further led to a higher degree of utilization of model tests, not only including a propulsion performance test but also sea keeping, manoeuvring and wind tunnel tests.
The testing of a design before the actual speed trial leads to a higher degree of certainty of the efficiency of the design under all environmental conditions and therefore also leads to a higher degree of confidence of the performance of the vessel from the owner’s side.
This confidence can be used when the ship is delivered and inserted in the market. The actual fuel performance can be determined with high precision and the owner can describe the vessel very precise for a coming charterer. By doing this , the vessel can get better chartering agreements and ensure a higher income for the owner.
During the lifetime of the vessel, the owner should monitor the performance degradation over time to be sure to maintain the vessel properly and to maintain the performance towards the contract agreement in the charter party. By using an advanced system like the one VesOPS is providing, the owner will get the full benefit of a high performing vessel during its lifetime.
The existing vessel
With the agreement of the EEXI regulations from the 1. January 2023, existing vessel will meet regulations on their design and their CO2 emissions. All existing vessels will have their design assessed and many older vessels will need to have the main engine power reduced to reduce their CO2 emissions and to meet the regulations.
If an existing vessel does not have the information needed to assess the speed power relation that meets the regulations, the power limitation will be calculated by a statistical measure and therefore the power limitation will be of a higher magnitude. The high power limitation will then affect the speed that the vessel can operate in the market with which might lead to loss of contracts due to lack of speed performance.
To meet this issue, the owner has the possibility to perform in-service speed trials with the actual ship at the actual age. The in-service speed trials were agreed on by the last MEPC (78) and a well described procedure will be available from the IMO (Circular MEPC.1/Circ.902).
The trials are un-attended by class and is to be performed at two conditions – the reference condition and the EEXI condition. By doing this, the EEXI assessment can be done for the actual ship and the assessment will be more fair and most probably more beneficial with regards to a future power limitation of the main engine.
In VesOPS we can help you with all of this. We attend speed trials for new built vessels as we arrange and perform in-service speed trials for existing vessels. Make the most out of your fleets performance and contact us to learn more at firstname.lastname@example.org.