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Naval Architecture & Ocean Engineering
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EN400: Principles of Ship Performance

Catalog Description

EN400: Principles of Ship Performance (3-2-4)

This course is an introduction to the applied science of ship systems. The course describes ships and submarines and how they remain afloat from a design and application perspective. Included are topics in hydrostatics, ship stability and operability, materials, fluid dynamics and propulsion. [fall, spring]


Course notes have been compiled and are available below online and printed at the USNA bookstore.


Numerous references are used to supplement the course notes.


Detailed course objectives are listed at the beginning of each chapter of the course notes.  Student learning outcomes include:

  1. Apply the concepts of Static Equilibrium and Archimedes’ Principle to the operation of a ship.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to assess the stability condition of a ship.  Predict the effect of planned shipboard evolutions on ship stability.
  3. Understand the significance of damage to a ship which has compromised its watertight integrity.  Use hydrostatics to make intelligent and safe choices to maintain a ship afloat and upright.
  4. Understand the structural arrangement of a ship, including the choice of materials and the stresses developed by loads encountered in its operating environment.
  5. Understand the different components that make up a ship’s resistance and the manner in which the propulsion plant transmits its power to overcome those forces.
  6. Understand factors affecting the seakeeping and maneuverability of ships in a seaway.


NS100, SP211, 3/C Cruise

Class Topics

Topics listed by chapter, below.

Computer Usage

Basic computer usage, such as use of word-processing and spreadsheet software, is expected for completion of various homework assignments and laboratory write-ups.

Laboratory Projects

Numerous laboratory projects related to coursework are performed throughout the semester.

Course Notes

Course Policy (Instructors May Augment With Their Own Policy)

Click to Download 10MB File of Course Notes
(Notes, Labs, Appendices, Ship Data)

Notes Lab Additional Resources
Ch 1: Engineering Fundamentals

1: HW Solutions

1: PPT Slides

Ch 2: Hull Form & Geometry

1: Numerical Integration & Excel Template

2: Archimedes & Center of Flotation

2: HW Solutions

2: PPT Slides

Ch 3: Hydrostatics 3: Inclining Experiment

3: HW Solutions

3: PPT Slides

Ch 4: Stability

4: Righting Arm - Shifts in the Center of Gravity

5: Free Surface Effect & Damage Stability

4: HW Solutions

4: PPT Slides

Ch 5: Properties of Naval Materials 6: Materials & Materials Testing

5: HW Solutions

5: PPT Slides

Ch 6: Ship Structures

6: HW Solutions

6: PPT Slides

Ch 7: Resistance and Powering of Ships

7: Hull Resistance & Effective Horsepower

8: Propellers    Photo: Set-up of Propeller Lab    Video: Tip Cavitation    Video: Sheet Cavitation

7: HW Solutions

7: PPT Slides

Ch 8: Seakeeping 9: Seakeeping    Video: Roll with High Frequency Forcing Function    Video: Roll with Resonant Frequency Forcing Function

8: HW Solutions

8: PPT Slides

Ch 9: Ship Maneuverability

9: HW Solutions

9: PPT Slides

Ch 10: Submarines & Submersibles

10: HW Solutions

10: PPT Slides

10: YP Craft Practical Application    Photo: YP Structural Framing

Appendices and Ships Data:

Appendix A: Water Density Appendix B: Water Kinematic Viscosity Appendix C: Geometric Shapes


FFG-7 Class Frigate


DDG-51 Class Destroyer


LCS Littoral Combat Ship


CVN Aircraft Carrier


AOE-6 Class Supply Ship


YP Yard Patrol Craft


27-B-1 Hydro Lab Model

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