Planing craft operating at high speeds in waves can experience high, repetitive vertical accelerations. Due to the random, nonlinear nature of vertical accelerations, the data are best handled using statistical processes. Vertical acceleration criteria for planing craft design exist in a wide range of different statistical forms. Structural criteria currently require statistical averaging of extreme (Peak) value data. Other criteria such as habitability criteria consider the Root Mean Square (RMS) of the entire (Parent) data signal. Historically, Peak vertical accelerations were thought to fit the Exponential distribution as reported by Fridsma (1971). Design regression methods of Savitsky, Brown (1976) and Hoggard, Jones (1980) as well as classification standards adopted this conclusion. However, several published papers have raised doubt to the accuracy and validity of this Exponential distribution assumption. This paper examines the statistical behavior and distribution of Peak vertical accelerations data for planing craft in irregular waves to determine if the Exponential distribution is appropriate. This study is a continuation of research that initiated as a feasibility study of four (4) data sets as discussed in Grimsley (2009) and is now extended to an additional twenty-four (24) data sets collected from full-scale and model scale testing of different planing hulls.

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