Wake Minimizing Hull Designs
Weight is a major factor in wake creation, so many of these designs are lightweight. Of course, it is impossible to completely eliminate wake. Some boats will inevitably have a large wake, such as particularly large or fast boats. Any minimization of wake saves fuel and increases safe operation speed, however.
Catamaran Ferries - A low-wake Design
This boat, designed by All American Marine and Teknicraft Design, is an example of the newly popular catamaran style for large ferries. It is lightweight, with a hull constructed out of aluminum. The cabin and hydrofoil, meanwhile, are constructed out of a sturdy, lightweight composite material. The low wake wash contributes to a very high fuel efficiency. In fact, tests have shown that the boat achieves the same efficiency at speeds between 17 and 29 knots. The 83 foot boat is also large enough to accommodate 150 passengers. At a speed of 22 knots, the boat burns 75.1 gallons of fuel per hour. Compare that to the fuel usage of a typical 90 foot composite boat with the same 150 passengers: 150 gallons per hour! The difference comes from engine usage: this boat uses only 49.5% of its engine power at 22 knots, while the heavier boat uses 80%.
Image: Flickr - Benjamin Nagel - Stena Explorer
Pentamaran Hull Design
The pentaran is an exciting new design that works on the same principles as the catamaran. However, it has extra stabilizing outriggers, which enable increased speed. This hull design is patented by Nigel Gee, who is working with ADX Express, a business consortium, to bring the technology to fruition. The pentamaran is long and thin, and very fast: the 280 meter design is expected to average 38 knots, with a top speed of 41 knots. Because the boat "pierces through the waves," in the words of designer Gee, it is not strongly affected by adverse weather conditions. Despite its high speed, the boat is expected to maintain a high fuel efficiency. Future applications may bring pentamaran technology to yachts and passenger ferries.
Twin Interceptor hull form
This hull form is designed to decrease wake and allow boats to cut through waves, rather than pushing through them. This hull is particularly popular in naval boats. One widely-used design is the Blade Runner twin intercepter hull, which is developed by Bentley Marine. In addition to reducing fuel consumption, this design helps control pitch and roll motions. The hull is designed with a narrow entry profile, which helps reduce drag and wake creation.