The Hamburg Ship Model Basin

Setting the Standard in Ship Optimisation

Video 100 years

HSVA – Setting standards in ship optimisation
for more than 100 years

For a century, the private and independent Hamburg Ship Model Basin HSVA has been at the forefront of hydrodynamic research. HSVA has influenced and led developments of testing technology, methods, standardisation and numerical procedures to solve complex problems.

Today, HSVA is also a service and consulting company for industrial customers worldwide. Highly skilled staff is trained to interact with customers to optimise products and procedures quickly with high precision. HSVA skills are acknowledged in other areas as well such as the aircraft industry. Its leading role in national and international research programs makes HSVA a most competent partner in science and services around the field of hydrodynamics and related areas.

EU-Project Flooding Accident Response (FLARE) started on June 1, 2019

FLARE project logo

The number of cruise ship passengers is increasing on worldwide basis and in the European waters the RoPaX ships deliver a very significant contribution to the human and cargo mobility inside the European Union. The design and construction of such passenger ships is an important market for the European maritime industry.

For more information read here.

HSVA at the Hull Performance & Insight Conference

From 6-8 May the 4th edition of the Hull Performance & Insight Conference (HullPIC) took place in the picturesque medieval town of Gubbio, Italy. A total of 34 papers were presented, dealing with hull performance monitoring from the service providers’ and ship owners’ perspectives, effects of hull and propeller roughness and fouling, technological and operational measures for improved ship performance and many more. The conference was well-attended, giving shipping companies, coating manufacturers and providers of equipment and services the opportunity to discuss the latest trends in technology and analysis, the practicality of the ISO 19030 rules and other aspects of ship performance.

HSVA presented a paper entitled “From Bow to Stern: Hydrodynamic Measures for Increased Hull Performance”. Four technologies for drag reduction and performance enhancement to be applied in different hull regions were highlighted (see figure): compliant coatings, riblet coatings, air lubrication and the so-called Boundary-Layer Alignment Device (BLAD). These technologies were successfully investigated and optimised at HSVA in the past using the company’s excellent experimental facilities and numerical capabilities. HSVA is constantly interested in refining and applying these technologies – please contact us for additional information, collaboration options or simply a copy of our HullPIC paper.



Open Water Designed Ship enters Ice in HSVA’s Large Ice Model Basin!

A study to investigate and understand the basic processes of sea-ice interaction with ships of open-water or moderate icebreaking shape has started in June 2018 at HSVA. Now in March 2019 the first related ice model tests were performed. The objective is to identify the governing interaction processes and to find correlations between parameters, especially those between the hull geometry, ice properties and motion characteristics of a vessel. Solely for this purpose a special model was built where the bow and stern part of the model were physically separated and equipped with load cells to capture locally isolated ice loads. Also special separate load segments were installed in the bow and shoulder areas to further differentiate zones of potentially high loads.

 ONR research sketch

Further ice model tests series are to come later in the year. These really special model tests are accompanied by theoretical investigations with aims as follows - relating to ships actually not designed for ice:

  • improve principal understanding of the hull-ice interaction process, ice failure and the components contributing to the ice resistance
  • find methods to evaluate the ice performance (ice resistance, attainable speed) as well as the factors of major influence
  • enhance quantity and quality of ship-ice interaction observations
  • provide a database of results obtained under controlled conditions

 ONR Ice Tank Tests

The study is supported by the Office of Naval Research (ONR). For more information read here

ROLF Learns Paddling and Splashing

ROFL learns paddling

ROLF is the principal seakeeping code used by HSVA to simulate large roll motions... (read more)

HSVA joins IWSA - International Windship Association

HSVA has recently become a member of the International Windship Association (IWSA).
The International Windship Association (IWSA) facilitates and promotes wind propulsion for commercial shipping worldwide and brings together all parties in the development of a wind-ship sector to shape industry and government attitudes and policies.

HSVA as a provider of hydrodynamic expertise and services joins forces with other industry partners in order to push technology development in the fields of wind propulsion and wind-assisted propulsion. In order to realistically meet the IMO emission reduction goals, alternative non-fossil fuels are one compelling element. Alongside an indirect utilization of renewable energy sources, e.g. via Power-to-X technologies, the direct use of wind power provides great opportunities to make shipping more sustainable and environmental-friendly.

HSVA provides the expertise and the equipment for experimental testing (EFD), numerical analysis (CFD) and full scale performance measurements in the fields of maritime hydrodynamics as well as aerodynamics.


Wir möchten Sie recht herzlich einladen zum

5. HSVA - Reederseminar

Emissionsreduktion in der Schifffahrt – Beitrag von Entwurf und Hydrodynamik

Mittwoch, 20. März 2019 von 14:00 Uhr bis 20:00 Uhr

Weitere Informationen und Anmeldung...



A remote controlled HSVA ship model executing a complete turning circle in outdoor tests.

HSVA performed manoeuvring model tests outdoor with a freely moving ship model in December 2018! In this exceptional case it was important to be able to see the whole manoeuvres being executed.  The HSVA standard manoeuvring method using the Computerized Planar Motion Carriage (CPMC) yields accurate results in a very reliable manner, but does not enable to actually see the complete manoeuvre being executed by the models in the towing tank having a limited width, particularly when large diameter turning circles need to be executed.

The HSVA used this unique opportunity … (read more)

AIRCOAT Project Start + Kick-off

aircoat kickoff meeting 1

The European Commission granted this innovative project intending to develop a biomimetic hull coating that reduces the frictional resistance of ships.

AIRCOAT (Air Induced friction Reducing ship COATing) develops a passive air lubrication technology that utilises the biomimetic Salvinia effect. This effect enables trapping air while submerged in water. The project technologically implements this effect on a self-adhesive foil system. Applying a ship with such an AIRCOAT foil will produce a thin permanent air layer, which reduces the overall frictional resistance significantly while acting as a physical barrier between water and hull surface inhibiting the attachment of fouling and the release of biocide substances to the water.

The three-year project started on 1st of May 2018 and receives a total grant of 5.3 million Euro from the European Commission within the Horizon 2020 framework. The the kick-off took place on 7th – 8th of May 2018 in Brussels and was successfully presented on 6th of September 2018 in a Stakeholder Event at the SMM, the leading international maritime trade fair in Hamburg.

Read more here.

TrAM Project Kick-off in Stavanger

The H2020 Project – TrAM (Transport: Advanced and Modular) kicked off at Stavanger during a meeting on 12 – 14 September 2018. Organised by coordinator Rogaland County-Stavanger, the 13 project partners discussed details of the planned developments. The 14.7 M€ project will develop, design and build a modular, all electric fast passenger ferry to be operated in a commuter service in the Stavanger area. HSVA participates in the project as hydrodynamic development and consultation partner to assist shipyard and operators during definition and design of this challenging ferry project which combines emission free operation with latest modular production technologies. Based on the first stage developments for the Norwegian application case further evolutions for use in London (Thames Clipper) and Belgium (Waterwegen en Zeekanaal) will be created.

TrAM Team in Port

The TrAM project team in the port of Stavanger


TrAM underway in fjord

Fjellstrand shipyard seen from the sea

First Mayor at SMM 2018

In the aftermath of last week's world-renown trade fair SMM 2018 we would like to thank all our customers, partners and friends for the intensive and inspiring discussions and for the visit on our stand. You made the exhibition a great success for HSVA.

We are grateful for the visit of the First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Dr. Peter Tschentscher, with whom Dr. Janou Hennig, managing director at HSVA, enjoyed a very constructive exchange on today’s maritime business and future opportunities and challenges.

Latest Issue of NewsWave Available

The first issue of 2018 is now available as PDF. Content includes:

  • HSVA Assistance for Ice Performance Trials
  • Enhanced Experimental Technique for the Effective Determination of Ship Roll Damping
  • Not only for hub caps - the enhanced procedure for propulsion tests in HYKAT
  • Seven in One Sweep – Constantly Accelerated Resistance Test (CART)
  • Increasing Efficiency – Conversion of RoPax Ferry “Peter Pan”
  • FLIPPER in the water tunnel
  • The Horizon 2020 AIRCOAT project: A Biomimetic Hull Coating to revolutionise the ship coating sector?
  • The TrAM H2020 project (2018-2022) TrAM: Transport: Advanced and Modular
  • Double‐ended Ferries: Special Design Challenges and Solutions
  • Member of staff Daniela Myland

HSVA regularly reports on new projects and special developments in its Newsletter – “HSVA NewsWave”. A complete list of previously published NewsWave editions can be accessed here.

Resistance and Powering Demonstrator

HOLISHIP Platform: Web App using CAESES and nuShallo

As the first stage in the on-going project developments, a demonstration of the resistance & power prediction for a RoPax ferry is available.This demonstrator of the HOLISHIP platform combines the parametric design capabilities of CAESES with the potential-based resistance prediction of nuShallo.

Click on the screenshot, or follow this link to launch the web app. This is a live preview of CAESES running on a remote server.