Stability Test

A stability test is one of the most subtle, complicated, and underestimated tasks in naval architecture.  It requires a large labor effort, scouring every part of the ship to tally up every weight item.  You need elaborate coordination and planning:  dock crew, crane operators, vessel crew, and the engineers all working together. 


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Tasks in a Stability Test

The full test includes a wide array of tasks:

  • Stability test procedure
  • Light ship survey
  • Incline experiment
  • Freeboard measurements
  • Weight movements
  • Data quality control
  • Stability test report
  • Submission of test report for review
  • Support for issuing temporary stability letter

Plan adequate time for everything.  Contact your engineer and start the process 2-3 months before your planned test date.

The most important question after all the effort of a stability test:  What are the results?  At DMS, we understand your needs.  You get preliminary results on the day of the test.  We email a copy of the preliminary results to you and the test witness (USCG or class society) before the day is done.  No more waiting.

How can we provide such fast service?  We log all our data on computers at the time of the test.  This allows us to immediately complete all the calculations.  No more wasted days transcribing paper notes into a computer file.  After the test, it only takes a few days to perform quality checks on the results and issue the final test report.  Now that’s fast.

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Relevant Ship Science Articles

Practical Stability Test: Naval Architect’s Guide

Every naval architect learns the theory of how to perform a stability test. But a well executed stability test employs very little theory, and a great deal of practical experience. This guide imparts some of that hard earned experience to make your next stability test go well.

Stability Test Theory

What science could possibly link moving a few weights on deck with calculating the light ship weight? Armed with knowledge, we carefully exploit physics to achieve high quality science without the fancy equipment. Today I explain some of the theory behind the stability test.

Practical Stability Test: Chief Engineer’s Guide

A stability test requires extensive work to prepare the vessel. Where do you go to find that work list? This guide should give you some advanced warning of what to expect. It covers all the practical matters for a Chief Engineer to prepare for their next stability test.

Practical Stability Test: Master’s Guide

Smooth stability tests require planning, and practicality. As the vessel Master, you want to prepare for this thing that completely disrupts vessel operations. But you are a busy person, and engineers are very long winded. Instead, this guide provides a brief overview, focusing on the major elements that concern you with a stability test.

Practical Stability Test: Owner’s Guide

What are the practical steps necessary to execute a stability test? How to avoid the pitfalls? Who do you call to arrange everything? This guide gives advice to the vessel owner on how to prepare for a stability test, from start to finish. Instead of theory, we focus on the logistics and coordination.