This paper presents results of an experimental study on the effect of gap distance on propulsive characteristics of puller and pusher podded propulsors in straight-ahead and static azimuthing open-water conditions. The gap distance is the axial distance between the rotating (propeller) and stationary (pod) parts of a podded propulsor. The propeller thrust and torque, unit forces, and moments in the three-coordinate directions of a model podded unit were measured using a custom-designed pod dynamometer in various operating conditions. The model propulsor was tested at the gap distances of 0.3%, 1%, and 2% of propeller diameter for a range of advance coefficients combined with the range of static azimuthing angles from +20_ to 20_ with a 10_ increment. The tests were conducted both in puller and pusher configurations in the same loading and azimuthing conditions. In the puller configuration, the gap distance did not have any noticeable effect on propeller torque in straight course condition, but had an effect in azimuthing conditions. The propeller thrust and efficiency were also influenced by the change of gap distance, and the effects were more pronounced at high azimuthing angles and high advance coefficients. For pusher configuration, however, the gap distance did not affect the propeller performance characteristics in straight-ahead and azimuthing conditions. Both in straight course and azimuthing conditions, the unit thrust and efficiency were not influenced by the gap distance in either puller or pusher configurations. The gap distance had a noticeable effect on unit transverse force and steering moment both in puller and pusher configurations, and both in straight course

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