General information

MoorMotions is a nonlinear time-domain code for calculating wave-induced motions of moored ships, together with mooring line and fender loads. It is developed by Dr Tim Gourlay at Perth Hydro and used for our ship hydrodynamics consulting.




MoorMotions uses a time-stepping method to calculate 6-DoF accelerations, velocities and displacements of each ship, using a fourth-order Runge-Kutta solver. It is written in MATLAB.


In 2015, full-scale trials were undertaken to measure wave-induced motions of inbound and outbound bulk carriers at the Port of Geraldton. The GNSS equipment was left recording while the ships were loading. After the motions in the channel were analyzed, a side project began to analyze the ship motions at the berth.

As it turned out, the ship motions at the berth were as interesting as the ship motions in the channel. The code MoorMotions was written to convert measured ship surge, sway and yaw into mooring line and fender loads.

The code was extended to take ship wave loads as input for open berths. For complex harbours, a coupled ship-and-harbour model was developed in WAMIT to provide wave loads. For side-by-side or tandem motions, the MoorMotions code was extended to take 12-DoF coupled outputs from WAMIT.

Published validation articles

Dynamic mooring analysis of 6-buoy spead-moored ships at Cape Cuvier

The effect of fender energy dissipation on moored ship wave-induced motions

Calculation of second-order wave loads for side-by-side LNG carriers

Some recent developments in dynamic mooring analysis for ships

A coupled ship and harbour model for dynamic mooring analysis in Geraldton Harbour

Comparison of WAMIT and MoorMotions with model tests for a tanker moored at an open berth

Comparison of WAMIT v7.3 with Marin model tests for side-by-side LNG carriers in waves

ShoreTension trials and application to cruise ships in Port of Geraldton

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