NKK Corp. has developed an ax-shaped bow that allows a reported 20 to 30 percent reduction in ships' sea margin compared with conventional bows. The company will fit the new bow to a 172,000-dwt Capesize bulk carrier which is currently under construction at the yard's Tsu Works, being built for Mitsui OSK Lines.
As ship operators increasingly demand more efficient operation, particularly under rough conditions, NKK decided to focus on how to reduce a ship's resistance on the bow above the still water surface. In 1996, teaming with Osaka University marine engineering researchers, the company developed a sharp-edged bow, which proved effective in cutting through waves and reducing sea margin.
NKK has continued model tests of the Ax-Bow with partial funding from the Ship & Ocean Foundation, and confirmed that the Ax-Bow can reduce a ship's sea margin by 20 to 30 percent. The bulk carrier is to be delivered in June, 2001.