Hydrodynamic lifting bodies operating in close proximity to the free surface can experience adverse effects such as dynamic load fluctuations and ventilation. Operating in waves may amplify the effects by providing external excitation to a lifting body’s structure. Hence, the objective of this work was to explore the effects of proximity to the free surface and the influence of waves on the dynamic hydroelastic response of a surface-piercing strut. The results showed that the natural frequencies decreased with increasing submergence, and the relative change was mode dependent. In addition, the natural frequencies increased in fully ventilated flow compared to fully wetted flow due to reduction in added mass when water was replaced by gas on the suction side. At a submerged aspect ratio of two, significant dynamic load fluctuations and vibratory response were observed due to coalescence of the second and third resonant frequencies. In waves, the dynamic hydroelastic response was impacted by wave excitation at the encountered wave frequency, as indicated the frequency response spectrum.
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