Glosten and MacGregor have been contracted to provide production engineering services and shell door solutions for a ro-ro passenger ferry under construction in Ketchikan, Alaska. The complex geometry of the bow loading door led Glosten to assess the structure using Finite Element Analysis (FEA). The results of the FEA were unexpected, but were verified by MacGregor. These results led MacGregor to revise the dimensions of securing devices. Subsequently, MacGregor performed a study to quantify the difference in reaction forces generated using the standard 2D method (rigid body assumption) and FEA. Accompanying this study was an investigation into existing regulations, specifically IACS and ABS, which showed that FEA is not always required. This paper aims to demonstrate the value of FEA in analyzing bow doors and makes a case for its inclusion in regulatory guidelines.

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