In the international regulation framework, the energy-efficient operation of ships is becoming standard. In this respect, restrictions on new construction appear to encourage improvement to existing vessels often equipped with outdated technologies. One of the relevant aspects of propulsion plant design and fleet management is the propulsion need to accomplish the design requirements in a wide set of sea states or in conflicting operative conditions (e.g., laden/ballast, sailing/trawling), requiring very different performances. A preliminary assessment of the energy efficiency of the ship system is then crucial for optimizing both the operating costs and the impact on the sea environment. A new efficiency assessment method that includes engine fuel consumption evaluated by ad hoc statistic regressions and ship resistance in calm water and in waves computed by a 3-D boundary element method is proposed. An application to a hard-chine 18 m trawler is proposed as part of a wider decision support system or weather routing algorithm
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