Inclining experiment

  • The shipyard carries out Inclining experiment to obtain accurately the vertical height of the center of gravity above the keel(KG). 
  • A plumb line is suspended on the center line from a hatch coaming and allowed to move over a horizontal bed in the lower hold when a known weight w is shifted at its edges.
  • The length of the plumb line is I and the distance the plumb line is deflected is X. The GM is then subtracted from the KM calculate for the draft at the time of the experiment and does the line KG obtained. Once the KG has been obtained, that can easily be adjusted in the usual way for any changes of weight on board.
  • Light ship KG is provided onboard along with a statement setting up clearly items on board for that position of g.
  • It is usually stated for the Ship equipped ready for sea, with water in boiler but no bunkers (fresh or feed water) stores coolant effects.

For the experiment to be reliable you will have to ensure that 
  • There is no wind. If there is wind the ship should be head to wind.
  • There is sufficient slack in the mooring and the ship is clear of the quay so that it can list freely.
  • The draught and density forward, aft and amidships are carefully noted that so that W and KM can be accurately determined
  • The ship is upright at the beginning of the experiment.
  • Only people directly concerned with the test should be on board.
  • When the weights are shifted the people onboard should stand on the center-line.
  • The amount of weight shifted should result in ship listing to about 4 degrees.
  • There is no free surface of liquid in the ship. Boilers and tanks are either full or empty.
  • Bilges are empty.
  • There are no loose weights on board.


  • On completion of this explanation you will know the procedure of mandated by intact stability code on preparations and procedure for the conduct of the inclining test.
  • The ship is moored in deep, sheltered, quiet waters where she can be inclined freely without coming into contact with either the berth or the bottom.
  • Moorings should allow unrestricted movement but also provide proper restraint to the vessel.
  • Tanks are either pressed or emptied and stripped to minimize free surface effect.
  • Inclining should be carried out by shifting weights.
  • Ship should be upright with all the weights to be shifted in position.
  • Transferring ballast to list the vessel may be allowed if the administration grants permission.
  • Weight should not be of the type that can absorb water (e.g., pororus).
  • They should be sufficient to incline the vessel by 1°- 4° so that there is no change in the shape or size of the water plane of the ship during the test.
  • Pendulums are the preferred method of measuring inclination deflections.
  • U-tubes and Inclinometer/pendulum combination may be used with authorisation of the administration.

  • Pendulums should be positioned so as to allow deflections of upto 15 CM on either side for an inclination of 4 degrees.
  • Pendulums should be made of piano wire or  mono filament wire and be 4-6 meters in length.
  • Pendulum length is accurately measured and recorded.
  • 3 pendulums (min 2) are set up as in figure:
  • A trough filled with water is provided to dampen oscillations.
  • Deflection are measured by Engineering scales after the deflection is marked on the batten.
  • Before commencing the inclination the dock water density is measured with an accurate hydrometer.
  • Inclining weights are marked with their weight and position before being placed on board.
  • A set of 5 free-boards on either side or 6 draft (forward, Aft and Midships) are taken to obtain an accurate displacement from the hydro static tables.
  • Vessel is inspected to check that there are no items that could shift during the installation.
  • Weights are moved transversely in the same direction so that the vessels trim does not change.
  • 8 movements are made and deflections recorded. On completion of all movements of weights the ship should again be upright.
  • Movement of weight, deflection and the resultant value of tanĪ† (Deflection/Length of Pendulum) are recorded and plotted as follows for each movement.
  • A straight line passing through the center indicates a perfect inclination i.e.,
  • No free surface, bottom touching or wind.
  • Data is recorded in the presence of the authorized representative of the administration.

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