The hull form and propulsion are essential for a successful ship. During the first 70 years of last century vessels for ice operation were developed mainly with trial and error method. Also when one design was found useful, it was duplicated to the next generation of ships. It was only in the mid 1950ies as the first model basing for developing ships for ice operation in Leningrad, USSR, started to take steps towards more scientific approach. In the late 1960ies after oil had been found in Alaska and the 100000 DWT tanker SS Manhattan had done its first voyage in the Canadian Arctic in 1969, the question rose, whether this could be modeled in smaller scale. SS Manhattan was the actual initialization for developing ice model tests to become a useful tool in modern shipbuilding. Since 1969 the testing methods and practices have changed and developed together with feedback from full-scale ship performance tests to be rather reliable tool to help the decision making process when we are talking about projects worth tens and hundred million dollars.

This paper talks about different aspects of icebreaking and steps taken to develop vessels using ice model tests. Both hull form and propulsion development are discussed.

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