Principles of steps technology - Advantages and disadvantages of a stepped hull compared to a conventional Deep - V hull
Steps are called the terraces along the transverse axis of the vessel.
The implementation of the steps technology in the boat building industry is a fairly old idea, as it started over 60 years ago.
The basic operating principle is based on the quantity of trapped air, thereby reducing the friction between the hull and the water and to the reduced friction caused by the wet parts of the hull - the steps reduce the wet parts and increase the waterline when the boat is planning!
Bearing in mind that each boat carries its own design philosophy, the purpose of using steps should be validated appropriately.
Proper design and installation of steps on a hull offers in general the following advantages:
- Top performance, compared to the performance of a similar boat with the same engines but without steps, thus lower consumption
- Capability to be sufficiently powered by lower horsepower engines
- Straight navigation without rising of the bow - a particularly important feature for windy seas with strong waves
- Smooth vibration dumping and comfort, gentle ride
The steps are difficult to be properly applied in a short hull, since their operation principle is connected to the boat's center of gravity; in small boats it can be significantly changed due to influence of loads variation, resulting in low boating efficiency.
In general, as disadvantages of steps implementation can be considered the following:
- complicated design and built
- high costs of research and development
- limitation of the hull length below which this technology can be sufficiently implemented