High speed planing craft (HSC) are used in a wide variety of marine applications, such as search and rescue, defense and surveillance, recreation, and as support and supply vessels to the offshore industry. Their design, improvement, and optimization mainly depend on a deep understanding of the dynamic interaction between the vehicle and the surrounding environment. Traditionally, measuring the dynamic behavior and response of the HSC due to waves has been performed in towing tanks, where measurements are recorded under ideal conditions. To get a more realistic idea of the performance of HSC, we aim to perform free-running tests in the Gulf of Mexico at the Texas A&M Galveston campus. The aim of the free running tests is to measure the behavior of the model under real-life conditions, such as realistic incident waves, wind, current speeds, and variable water depth regions. Designing such an experiment far from lab facilities is especially challenging. In this paper, a detailed step-by-step HSC experiment design workflow is presented to tackle the open sea testing challenges. The paper presents a design of a free running model to be built during the spring of 2021, which includes the basic geometric parameters selection, stability study, drag force prediction, required propulsion system's power estimation, manufacturing techniques, and sensors' data acquisition system design.

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