The classical formulae for oil skimmer capacity consider inertia but neglects viscosity. The current paper includes viscous losses and distinguishes between inertial, intermediate and viscid regimes. The distinction is based on a dimensionless number; called the Goose number.

Experiments have been performed using viscous gear-oil floating on tap water. Measured skimmer rates corresponded reasonably to numerical estimates, and to the analytical approximation valid within the viscid regime. Classical formulae were found to be valid within the inertial regime, but were much off for the experimental conditions considered.

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