The propulsion system is one of the most complicated systems in a ship and its performance greatly depends on the selection of the main engine. Also, the propulsion system occupies a large portion of the total shipbuilding cost, as well as a large portion of the annual operating cost in fuel consumption. Selecting the right propulsion system is an important factor consideration for shipowners and designers. In the preliminary stage of ship design, the main engine is selected by a design expert and this usually is a difficult task for a novice designer. With the help of a design support system, efficiency in selecting the right engine can be increased. In this study, a knowledge-based system for engine selection which can be used in the preliminary design stage for a merchant ship has been developed. The knowledge base is constructed using heuristic knowledge acquired from design experts. Two databases of engine catalogs and of existing ships are also constructed. Various performance prediction modules of the domain of naval architecture are integrated with the knowledge bases and databases. To enhance the user interface, a graphical user interface (GUI) built upon the Motif widgets is adapted.

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