This paper proposes a numerical model for analyzing the course stability of a towed ship in uniform and constant wind. The effects of an unstable towed ship and a stable towed ship were recorded using numerical analysis at various angles and velocities of wind. The stability investigation of the ship towing system was discussed using the linear analysis, where a tug's motion was assumed to be given. When the tug and the towed ship's motions were coupled through a towline as a proper model of the ship towing system, their dynamic interactions during towing was then captured using towing trajectories and analyzed using nonlinear time-domain simulation. With increasing wind velocity, the simulation results revealed that the towing instability of the unstable towed ship was recovered in the range of beam to quartering winds; however, the towing stability of the stable towed ship in head and following winds gradually degraded. It should be noted that this towing instability might have resulted in the impulsive towline tension and could led to serious towing accident e.g. towline breakage or collisions. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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