• International Journal of Technology (IJTech)
  • Vol 12, No 2 (2021)

Twin-Rudder-System Configurations’ Impact on Ferry Ships’ Course-Keeping Ability under Windy Conditions

Twin-Rudder-System Configurations’ Impact on Ferry Ships’ Course-Keeping Ability under Windy Conditions

Title: Twin-Rudder-System Configurations’ Impact on Ferry Ships’ Course-Keeping Ability under Windy Conditions

Correction for this article:

Corrigendum to: Twin-Rudder-System Configurations’ Impact on Ferry Ships’ Course-Keeping Ability under Windy Conditions
Published at: 26 Jan 2023
Andi Haris Muhammad, Daeng Paroka, Sabaruddin Rahman, Mohammad Rizal Firmansyah

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Cite this article as:
Muhammad, A.H., Paroka, D., Rahman, S., Firmansyah, M.R., 2021. Twin-Rudder-System Configurations’ Impact on Ferry Ships’ Course-Keeping Ability under Windy Conditions. International Journal of Technology. Volume 12(2), pp. 432-443

Andi Haris Muhammad Departement of Marine Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Hasanuddin University, Gowa 92171, Indonesia
Daeng Paroka Departement of Ocean Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Hasanuddin University, Gowa 92171, Indonesia
Sabaruddin Rahman Departement of Ocean Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Hasanuddin University, Gowa 92171, Indonesia
Mohammad Rizal Firmansyah Departement of Naval Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Hasanuddin University, Gowa 92171, Indonesia
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Twin-Rudder-System Configurations’ Impact on Ferry Ships’ Course-Keeping Ability under Windy Conditions

Ship course-keeping plays a vital role in navigation safety, especially when a ship is operating under windy conditions. A method to control ship movements through rudder-system configuration is necessary to stabilize a ship’s course. This paper describes the twin-rudder-system configuration design’s impact on a ship’s course-keeping ability under windy conditions. A time-domain simulation using the MATLAB-Simulink program was developed for this purpose. A proportional integral derivative (PID) controller was used to adjust the ship‘s heading angle according to the desired path. Several parameters—such as relative wind velocity and directions—were accounted for in the simulation. The result shows that, at a wind direction of 88o, the ship’s course-keeping speed decreased; however, increasing wind velocity caused a large deviation in the ship’s heading angle. Meanwhile, the ship‘s course-keeping speed increased with rising windspeed directions of 219o. The ship’s course-keeping time, at around 219o under the simulation’s wind direction, was 11.84% lower than during a previous sea-trial. A possible reason for this difference is that the simulation excluded waves and currents.

Course-keeping; Proportional integral derivative controller; Ship-tracking; Simulation


Course-keeping quality is significant in ship navigation due to time-saving and reduced fuel consumption (Prpic-Orsic et al., 2016). To achieve quality ship course-keeping and generate accurate heading angles, a controller that considers ship hydrodynamics—including both internal and external disturbance parameters—should be installed (Lee et al, 2009). Keeping a ferry ship on course differs from sea-going ships due to navigation environments and ship particulars (Prpic-Orsic et al., 2016). The navigation environment’s complexity, and especially wind-load forces and moment, makes ferry ships with large superstructures more susceptible to marine accidents (Fujiwara and Ueno, 2006). Many studies have related wind effects to ship maneuvering; wind’s load-force and moment have significantly affected transversal and lateral projections of windage areas due to ships’ large superstructures, as well as wind velocities and directions relative to ships (Fujiwara and Ueno, 2006).  Paroka et al. (2016)  simulated  wind’s  effect  on  ferry  ships’  maneuvering, explaining that ship-speed changes caused by wind highly depend on wind velocity and direction. When the wind blows from the bow direction and passes to the ship's starboard (0 to 100o), ship speed tends to decrease. The corresponding decrease in ship speed is insignificant when the wind blows from a starboard direction and passes to the ship’s stern (100 to 180o). Meanwhile, when the wind blows from the side of a ship (20 to 140o), it tends to change the ship’s direction. A ship’s directional deviations due to wind vary by ship type, and a steering response is required. Ohtsu et al. (1996) reported that a wind blowing from starboard-bow quarters (45o) made a ship’s steering becomes less sensitive, but steering became more sensitive when the wind came from the port-stern quarters (135o). Increasing a ship’s speed as wind directions change is crucial (Ohtsu et al., 1996; Paroka et al., 2016). The information informing this behavior is essential to improve ships’ course-keeping quality—especially when ships must take appropriate action to handle wind disturbances. The improving quality of a ship’s course-keeping ability in windy conditions is strongly influenced by steering responses to wind-blowing loads through an appropriately configured rudder system design (Hasegawa et al., 2006). Steering control plays an essential role in responding to external forces to a ship’s yaw motion stability and course-keeping ability during maneuvers (Paroka, 2020).

Many efforts to improve ships’ maneuvering have been conducted using twin-rudder ship controllers. Yoshimura and Sakurai (1989) investigated the effect of a ship-fitted, twin-rudder, twin-propeller configuration on ships’ maneuvering. They found that a twin-rudder, twin-propeller configuration’s hydrodynamic characteristics did not differ significantly from the corresponding characteristics of a single-propeller, single-rudder ship. Khanfir et al. (2008) proposed predicting a mathematical model coefficient on ships’ maneuvering when fitted with a twin-propeller, twin-rudder configuration. Furthermore, Khanfir et al. (2011) conducted captive model tests and free-running tests with a single-propeller, twin-rudder ship and a twin-propeller, twin-rudder ship. These tests aimed to evaluate drift angles’ effect on rudder forces and the peculiar phenomena concerning a normal rudder force for twin-rudder ships.

Other parameters that affect ships’ maneuvering performance include the distance of spacing between single rudders in twin-rudder ships. Gim (2013) conducted a twin-rudder performance test in a circulating water channel using particle image velocimetry (PIV). He set the distance between two single rudders to 0.5–1.0 times the chord length of the rudder. He found that this spacing distance between rudders in twin-rudder configurations was also affected by interactions between rudders, and he also found that this critical distance should be less than 1.0 times the chord length of the rudder in order to decrease the turbulence flow and vortices. This result was similar to the findings of Chen et al. (2018), who used numerical simulation to confirming the excellent characteristics of twin-rudder ships compared to single-rudder ships. Chen et al. (2018) concluded that a ship fitted with a twin-rudder configuration would operate very well at 15o rudder angles. Additionally, the twin rudders’ effective performance stopped at a lateral spacing equal to 1.3 times the chord length of the rudder.

        These previous studies have shown that a rudder system’s configuration is the most crucial feature in achieving ship controllability goals. A rudder system must alter ship control to the desired heading angle, due to both internal and external disturbance parameters. The current paper focuses on applying the twin-rudder system to improve ferries’ course-keeping quality under windy conditions. By simulating fluctuating wind velocity and directions according to a ship’s operating route, quality course-keeping and accurate heading angles may be achieved, increasing the ship’s safety.


      This study has analyzed a twin-rudder-system configuration’s influence on a ship’s course-keeping ability under various wind speeds and directions through the MATLAB-Simulink computer-simulation program. The results indicated that applying a twin-rudder system to ferry ships’ to improve their course-keeping ability under windy conditions is very effective using a PID controller, reducing ship deviation and increasing ship speed by adjusting the ship's heading angle to the desired path. The track trajectory time in the ferry’s course-keeping highly depends on wind velocity and direction. When the wind blows from the starboard and portside to the stern (98 to 268o), a ship’s travel time tends to benefit compared to when the wind blows from the bow to the side. This research shows that the PID controller method can be applied to assist ships’ movements due to other environmental influences, such as waves and currents. However, ships’ course-keeping quality highly depends on the selected PID parameters.


    The authors would like to thank the Institute for Research and Community Service (LPPM) at Hasanuddin University. Unhas Basic Research supported this work under Grant No. 2006/UN4.1/KEP/2019. The authors would also like to thank the PT. (Persero) ASDP Indonesia Ferry Branch of Selayar and PT. (Persero) Biro Klasifikasi Indonesia (BKI) for their sea-trial and ship-data collection. The authors convey their gratitude to Mr. Muhammad Fahmi Kamil for his assistance during the study’s simulation.


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