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Research Reports

Ferry Wake Study

Description: Wave heights were measured for three classes of vessels operated by the Washington State Ferries system on Puget Sound, Washington. Variation of wave height with distance from the sailing line was determined for each vessel class over a range of speeds. Instrumentation and testing procedures used are described. Various wave measuring technologies are discussed, and it is concluded that the spar-buoy wave-staffs used were most appropriate for the measurement sought.


  • Date Published: June, 1985
  • Publication Number: WA-RD 70.1
  • Last Modified: August 23, 2007
  • Authors: Ronald E. Nece, Michael R. McCaslin, D.R. Christensen.
  • Originator: Washington State Transportation Center (TRAC)
  • # of Pages: 93 p., 1,586 KB (PDF)
  • Subject: Distance, Ferries, Field tests, Hydrologic phenomena, Instrumentation, Measurement, Ships, Speed, Wakes, Water transportation, Water waves, Wave height, Wave measurement.
  • Keywords: Wave measurement, ship wave (wake), vessel wave (wake), Puget Sound (Wash.)
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This abstract was last modified April 29, 2008