The SPLASH free-surface potential flow panel code computer program is presented. The 3D flow theory and its numerical implementation are discussed. Some more conventional applications are reviewed, for steady flow past solid bodies, and for classical linearized free-surface flow. New free-surface capabilities are also described, notably, steady nonlinear solutions, and novel unsteady partially­nonlinear solutions in the frequency domain.

The inviscid flow method treats both free-surface waves and lifting surfaces. The calculations yield predictions for complex interactions at heel and yaw such as wave drag due to lift, the effect of the free­surface on lift and lift-induced drag, and unsteady motions and forces in oblique or following seas. These are in addition to the usual predictions for the simpler effects considered separately, for example double-body lift and induced drag, and upright steady wave resistance or added resistance in head seas. For prediction of total resistance, the use of computed variable wetted areas and wetted lengths in a standard semi-empirical, handbook-type "viscous stripping" algorithm provides a more accurate estimation of viscous drag than is possible otherwise.

Results from a variety of IACC and IMS yacht design studies, including comparisons with experimental data, support the conclusion that the free­surface panel code can be used for reliable and accurate prediction of sailboat performance.

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