On 10 December 2014, the MSC New York arrived in the Port of Antwerp. With a length of 399 m and a beam of 54 m, it is the largest ship ever to pass through the Berendrecht lock, which in itself is the largest lock in the world at present. The arrival was preceded by a study executed at Flanders Hydraulics Research in cooperation with the Flemish pilotage and the Common Nautical Authority.
For this accessibility study, a sophisticated mathematical model was developed that takes both bank and lock effects into account. Simulations were then carried out in order to set the conditions for the trial run of 9 – 10 December 2014. The simulations were carried out for three scenarios, including lock entry and exit. A third scenario was the passing of the bend of Bath for the validation of the newly developed mathematical model. From these simulations, the maximum allowable wind conditions and required tug assistance were obtained.
This study illustrates how ship manoeuvring simulators driven by accurate mathematical models can play an important role in investigating and training new manoeuvres. Safe execution and completion in practice is the ultimate objective of these studies.