The Hamburg Ship Model Basin

Setting the Standard in Ship Optimisation

Video 100 years

HSVA – Setting standards in ship optimisation
for more than 100 years

For a century, the private and independent Hamburg Ship Model Basin HSVA has been at the forefront of hydrodynamic research. HSVA has influenced and led developments of testing technology, methods, standardisation and numerical procedures to solve complex problems.

Today, HSVA is also a service and consulting company for industrial customers worldwide. Highly skilled staff is trained to interact with customers to optimise products and procedures quickly with high precision. HSVA skills are acknowledged in other areas as well such as the aircraft industry. Its leading role in national and international research programs makes HSVA a most competent partner in science and services around the field of hydrodynamics and related areas.

Hydrodynamic Optimisation and Model Testing Campaign for the prototype of a full electric fast catamaran successfully completed – the Stavanger Demonstrator

 Under the EU H2020-funded TrAM project (2018-2022), a prototype of a fully electric passenger fast ferry has been developed. The Vessel undergoes detailed design and physical model testing, prior to its construction. The catamaran will start operation in Stavanger/Norway before the end of the TrAM project and be part of the city´s zero emissions urban transportation system.


tram fig 8

HOLISHIP Project Promotional Video on YouTube

holiship logo with text

The HOLISHIP Project has released its first public video ( ) as part of the comprehensive dissemination package. Key players explain the project’s objectives and achievements so far. Major technical and integration developments already led to a fully applicable “holistic design process” which is illustrated in form of the nine different application cases presented the project.


jm, 2020-05-05

Precautions Against COVID-19

Dear Clients and Partners,

In view of the actual situation with regard to the virus COVID-19, HSVA has precautions in place since couple of weeks (see information below) in addition to official measures taken in Germany to avoid further spread of the infection. Actual measures include suspension of business travels and meetings as well as active use of Home Office. All facilities are currently kept in operation and we do our utmost best to accomplish all projects according to the planned schedule and to your full satisfaction.

Coronavirus Measures (PDF)


HSVA goes new green ways in model manufacture and investigates ship safety in EU-project FLARE

The construction of the model of a damaged RoPaX ship for the EU research project FLARE (Flooding Accident Response) has started in HSVA.

flare model 2

Thin walled ship shell for ship damage stability tests.

The thin walled ship shell needed for damage stability studies, in which some internal compartments will be flooded, is manufactured of a new sustainable Natural Fiber Composite (NFC) instead of the classical Glass Fiber Reinforced Plastic (GFRP/GFK) often used in such models. The new material is more environ-mentally friendly in its production and disposal than classical GFRP, and is based on the use of natural fibers as reinforcement instead of the relatively heavy glass or expensive carbon. Also the ready-made ship shell is easier to cut and more pleasant to work with during the outfitting of the model in this case with the damage openings on the hull.

flare model 3

Raking damage at the bilge.


In the first phase of the coming model tests roll damping coefficients of damaged ships will be determined for use in numerical simulations of ship survival in seaways. Two damage shapes in different sizes will be tested:  A raking damage at the ship bilge due to accidental contact with a rock, like the one that sank the MV Costa Concordia, and a typical collision damage at the ship side as a result of a perpendicular collision too often seen in busy fairways having frequent crossing ferry traffic.


flare model 4

Collision damage at ship side.


flare model 1

Collision damage penetration at ship interior.

Further benchmark tests will follow. The 3D- printed parts of the model will be changed with relative ease to other ones as required by the test plan.

The use of sustainable raw materials, traditional wood, polylactic acid (PLA) made of corn starch and used in 3D-printing, bio-based epoxy resin and flax fiber in NFC models, allows the HSVA to manufacture composite models almost solely of sustainable materials, thus also reducing the carbon footprint about 70 per cent in comparison with a corresponding GFRP model.


The German National R&D project AERONAUT ( has successfully installed the prototype wind deflecting spoilers on board our operator partner's Jüngerhans vessel Pictor J. We are looking forward to operational data and experiences using this novel aerodynamic improvement and energy saving device.



Photos: Deflector spoilers after installation.

HSVA as part of MOSAiC - the biggest arctic expedition of all times!

In fall 2019 the biggest arctic expedition of all times – the MOSAiC Expedition1 led by the Alfred-Wegener-Institut2 - has started: Polarstern left Tromsø harbour to travel towards north, where it is frozen into the ice now for about one year drifting across the Arctic along with the natural ice drift. This is a high-tech repetition of the famous Fram Expedition 1893-1896. While Fridtjof Nansen’s original intention was to reach the North Pole, this expedition’s scope is to record interdisciplinary data during an entire annual cycle including the arctic winter. The data shall serve mankind to understand this sensitive region, also with respect to climate change. These days 20 nations, abt. 600 people on board and further 300 people at home are involved in this expedition. HSVA’s role in MOSAiC is to measure lateral ice pressure in the vicinity of Polarstern and to monitor the resulting loads on the vessel itself. Therefore, HSVA had contracted the Hamburg University of Technology to install strain gauges and temperature sensors on the steel structure of the vessel. Partners from Europe, USA and Asia install and maintain ice pressure panels in the ice on behalf of HSVA. The recorded data is expected to give insight in lateral ice pressure in the vicinity of structures, but it is also to be understood as the basis for all kinds of generic ice studies. HSVA’s work within MOSAiC is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (reference number 03SX365A).


MOSAiC field study

Newswave 2019 Issue 2 Available

FATICE Development of alternative model ice for ice crushing scenarios; Investigating Full Scale Correlation @ Sea; MOVE – Modeltests and Development of Numerical Methods for the Research Project ”HYKOPS“; Considerations on Vertical Stems; Lifting Spirits by Testing a Depressor; HSVA proudly congratulates Daniela Myland for PhD; Member of staff Christian Schroeder

cover_nw2-2019PDF file, size 2.8 MB available here.

Visit our NewsWave archive for previous issues

HSVA proudly congratulates its employee Daniela Myland for achieving her PhD degree!


Congratulations to Daniela Myland, Deputy Head of Arctic Technology Department, for achieving her PhD degree at NTNU with her thesis on “Experimental and Theoretical Investigations on the Ship Resistance in Level Ice”. The thesis focused on the resistance of icebreaking ships advancing continuously in level ice, whereby different aspects of the ice resistance were analysed on the basis of ice model tests. Newly developed methods and techniques were used in the course of the model tests and a semi-empirical resistance prediction method was improved with the gained insight. The work allows an enhanced analysis of the ice breaking process in model and full scale and can be seen as a basis for a refined ice resistance prediction in the future.