High-speed craft are in high demand in the maritime industry, for example, in maintenance operations for offshore structures, for search and rescue, for patrolling operations, or as leisure craft to deliver speed and excitement. Design and operation of high-speed craft are often governed by the hydrodynamic phenomena of slamming, which occur when the craft impact the wave surface. Slamming loads affect the high-speed craft system; the crew, the structure and various sub-systems and limit the operation. To meet the ever-increasing demands on safety, economy and reduced environmental impact, there is a need to develop more efficient high-speed craft. This progression is however limited by the prevailing semi-empirical design methods for high-speed planing craft structures. These methods provide only a basic description of the involved physics, and their validity has been questioned.
This thesis contributes to improving the conditions for designing efficient highspeed craft by focusing on two key topics: evaluation and development of the prevailing design methods for high-speed craft structures, and development towards structural design based on first principles modeling of the slamming process. In particular a methodological framework that enables detailed studies of the slamming phenomena using numerical simulations and experimental measurements is synthesized and evaluated. The methodological framework involves modeling of the wave environment, the craft hydromechanics and structural mechanics, and statistical characterization of the response processes. The framework forms the foundation for an extensive evaluation and development of the prevailing semi-empirical design methods for high-speed planing craft. Through the work presented in this thesis the framework is also shown to be a viable approach in the introduction of simulation-based design methods based on first principles modeling of the involved physics. Summarizing, the presented methods and results provide important steppingstones towards designing more efficient high-speed planing craft.