Impact of life-cycle considerations on internal ship layout for damage stability protection

Dracos Vassalos, Donald Paterson, Apostolos Papanikolaou

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Historically speaking, the primary driving force behind internal ship layout (mainly subdivision) has come in the form of rules and regulations. In such instances, change has occurred slowly, often in a reactive manner in the wake of accidents. However, the nature of internal layout that is favourable for operation, is often in conflict with that for safety and hence objectives pertaining to each generally lie in antithesis. This is particularly true for passenger ships, for which the extent of the hotel/accommodation arrangements is substantial, considering onboard habitability. For this reason, the rate of safety progression by introducing more stringent watertight subdivision requirements has often been slowed due to industry resistance on the grounds that their ability to operate a viable business would be impaired. This, in turn, is indicative of a greater problem relating to the efficiency and variety of existing design changes for flooding risk reduction and control. It would appear that there is an urgent need to start seeking alternative and more effective solutions, rather than continued sole reliance on conventional measures such as watertight subdivision. In order to achieve this aim, one must consider the vessel throughout its entire life cycle (design, operation, emergency response) and understand the essence of the trade-off between the regulatory and owner's requirements within each stage. This would involve consideration of the constraints and conflicting requirements that each stage brings to the decision-making process in relation to the optimal configuration of the internal ship space. Only then, can one hope to provide solutions capable of achieving this aim. The paper presents a framework to address this imbalance with specific applications on design, operation, and emergency response on a large passenger ship.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2022
EventSNAME 14th International Marine Design Conference - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 26 Jun 202230 Jun 2022


ConferenceSNAME 14th International Marine Design Conference


  • marine transportation
  • requirement
  • stability
  • ship
  • subdivision,
  • contingency planning
  • configuration
  • risk management
  • layout


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