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Flare , as a naval architecture concept, is the outward projection of the bow of a
ship. Flare serves several purposes, the most apparent of which is to deflect
heavy seas away from the ship. It also increases reserve buoyancy at the bow,
which assists in ascending upwards from a plunge into heavy seas. The deeper
the ship descends into seawater, the larger the cross-sectional waterplane
becomes, thus slowing the downward descent of the bow. Unfortunately for
tugs, their duties require bow configurations suited for notching into barges or
nudging the sides of ships. From an engineering standpoint, such duty is at
odds with heavy flaring.

Naval architects and marine engineers understand the relationship of reserve
buoyancy and hull form, especially when it becomes a matter of how many tons
of green water a ship's focs'le deck can shed in the several seconds before
bracing for the next plunge. The video above shows how this phenomenon
works in severe conditions in the North Sea. The quantity of water swirling
around on the forward deck is in the order of tons, not hundreds of pounds. It is
evident that a less-robust ship would not survive such severe service.

Bad Weather 21-2-2007 - Click here for funny video clips