Wave Assisted Berthing


Motor cars that can park them selves are a reality but soon it may be possible to get superyachts safely onto the dock without Captain input simply by harnessing the power of waves

According to recently conducted research undertaken at the Australian National University (ANU), it is possible to move superyachts through a crowded harbour and bring them stern to on the dock just as long as you can generate the right type of waves.

Their concept involves creating a tractor beam that can accurately move objects through water

By precisely manipulating the size and frequency of three-dimensional waves created by a wave generator, they were able to keep the ball in place, move it away from the generator, or even towards it – in the case of the latter, the ball was actually moving against the waves that were traveling out from the generator.

The system produces complex 3D waves that generate their own currents, allowing a target to be pulled through the water simply by adjusting the waves’ frequencies and sizes.

The idea may not be useful when handling large passenger ships and tankers in open seas, but the team sees the idea as controlling smaller craft in more confined water very feasible.

Among their suggested uses are:

  • Manoeuvring boats in and out of docks and harbours
  • Contain oil spills without using barriers
  • Retrieving drifting watercraft
  • Assisting swimmers caught up in rip tides

The invention could be used to simulate challenging sea conditions, for use by designers and Naval Architects during tank testing stages of superyacht design

The wave tank experiments can be seen in a video on YouTube.