HydroComp NavCad has been the gold-standard for resistance and propulsion prediction for nearly three decades. A significant new upgrade is now available for the NavCad “power user” wanting to employ a greater level of analytical capability. Offered as an optional “Premium Edition” upgrade, these special new capabilities are a significant addition to the existing hydrodynamic analysis features in the standard NavCad.

NavCad will now be available in the well-known Standard Edition and the new Premium Edition. The Premium Edition will include these new significant capabilities:

  1. Scripting (macro) API. An easy-to-use scripting language provides convenient batch processing capability.
  2. Connect as resistance & propulsion solver. Run NavCad from third-party software as a calculation engine (i.e., coupled solver), such as from your own spreadsheets or simulation tools, or from partner CFD, hull design or loading software. Read the recent technical paper about the use of NavCad Premium scripting connected to a third-party design tool for an optimizing AUV project.
  3. Operating modes analysis. A comprehensive duty-cycle operating modes analysis module predicts total fuel consumption, engine load metrics, and key performance indicators for a variety of different user-defined operating mode definitions (e.g., Transit, Towing, Idle). View this technical paper for a deeper overview.
  4. Wave-theory resistance prediction. Longitudinal distributions of sectional area, waterplane, and area centroid are used to predict residuary resistance using a novel implementation of wave-theory code. Validation studies indicate exceptional quality and behavior for a broad range of hull types.
  5. Floating network license. All Premium Edition licenses will include (or be upgraded to) a “one concurrent user” floating Workgroup License.

RDSO (Rapid Design Space Optimization)Rapid Design Space Optimization (RDSO) with HydroComp NavCad Premium allows a naval architect to focus CFD resources on high-value computations and avoid irrelevant time and expense. Click here to learn more!

Webinar Series – Finding ship efficiency with HydroComp NavCad hydrodynamic analysis software

Click here to watch this online training…
Series Overview
This three-part webinar series will present a non-invasive, easily-adopted, and cost-effective procedure to help ship operators (or their consultants) assess hull and propeller performance, and find efficiency in their fleet. Using the new and innovative Premium Edition of the industry-standard NavCad ship powering software, participants will learn the quick and simple steps to create a baseline model, calculate Key Performance Indicators of fuel and energy consumption, and evaluate the potential performance benefits of retrofit or maintenance activities.

Webinar – Features of NavCad Premium

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In this webinar, Don MacPherson demonstrates some of the new premium tools including the operating modes analysis, scripting, wave-theory resistance prediction, multi-fuel engine operation, and much, much more! Watch the webinar here!.

Pricing and options

Request a quotation from HydroComp for pricing and licensing options.

NavCad Premium Edition Q&A

The following are a few Q&A topics of interest about the new NavCad Premium Edition. Additional documentation is available by contacting HydroComp.


Q: How does NavCad Premium Edition differ from NavCad Standard Edition?
A: NavCad Standard is just the current form of NavCad (2014 and prior) renamed. There is no reduction in NavCad’s capabilities with NavCad Standard. NavCad Premium is the Standard Edition supplemented with new “power user” modules and a floating Workgroup License upgrade.

Q: We currently have a license for NavCad. Do I need to purchase another license to obtain NavCad Premium?
A: No. Your existing license is a Standard Edition, and you can upgrade to the Premium Edition.

Q: Will I be upgraded to the Premium Edition with my MSU subscription?
A: No. The Premium Edition requires a license upgrade.

Q: Can I purchase individual pieces of the NavCad Premium Edition upgrade?
A; Sorry, but no. There are only two purchase options for NavCad – Standard and Premium.

Scripting (macro) API

Q: What is the scripting API?
A: This is an application programming interface (API) that allows you to run NavCad Premium calculations in script (or macro) form. Think of it as a mini programming language that provides an alternative to the NavCad interface. The syntax of the language is very similar to well-known script and macro languages, such as VB Script.

Q: Is the scripting easy to use?
A: The organization of the command syntax uses a simple object hierarchy: Object > Data or Instruction > Parameter argument(s). For example, the script command to set a vessel’s length on waterline to 78.05 meters is simply: Hull.LengthWL 78.05 m

Q: How do I run my scripts?
A: They can be run from within a NavCad session in a scripting process window, or via connection with third-party programs. (See below.)

Connect as resistance & propulsion solver

Q: What is a solver?
A: Solver (or coupled solver) is a term frequently used for an external calculation engine. In other words, you can run NavCad Premium in a “silent mode” from other software, such as from your own spreadsheets or simulation tools.

Q: Can I use this feature with my own programs?
A: Absolutely. A tutorial example of a simple Excel-NavCad coupling is included. It will show you how to prepare an Excel VBA application to configure and run NavCad Premium in “server mode”, and to communicate data and results between Excel and NavCad.

Q: Can I connect NavCad Premium Edition to other commercial software?
A: We are working with partner companies to provide this capability. The first implementation of this connectivity was with CAESES by Friendship Systems AG.

Operating modes analysis

Q: Can I conduct optimization studies with the operating modes analysis module?
A: Not directly from within NavCad Premium. However, in combination with the scripting and solver connectivity, you would be able to use an optimizing software tool as a driver for such a study.

Q: What types of vessel operation can be evaluated?
A: Virtually any service that is supported by the propulsion analysis in NavCad can be modeled in the operating modes analysis (e.g., free-run, towing). In addition, special service types are available as explicit options, such as engine idle and proportional towpull. Vessel acceleration is currently not included as an operating mode analysis service.

Q: Can I configure transit variations in wind and waves?
A: Not at this time. Currently you can only set up a single environment configuration that is common for all modes. Future development for this module will include variation of environment data.

Wave-theory resistance prediction

Q: What is resistance prediction by wave-theory?
A: HydroComp’s “Prismatic Wave Drag” (PWD) computation is a resistance prediction method that can be used in place of a parametric prediction method. Inspired by thin-ship wave-making theory, it is a prediction of wave-making drag where the hull form is described by the longitudinal distribution of the immersed volume. Careful prediction of form factor and frictional drag coefficients completes the computation of total bare-hull resistance.

Q: Is this CFD?
A: No. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a calculation that evaluates the interaction between fluids and boundaries. CFD is based on “finite differences” of velocity and pressure between physical locations, such as panels representing the wetted surface of a ship. The foundation for PWD is the immersed volume and not the wetted surface, and is focused solely on the quantitative prediction of ship resistance.

Q: How is the PWD prediction of wave-making drag different from other thin ship codes?
A: Most other thin ship calculations are based on the wetted surface (like CFD). For example, the well-known Michell integral calculation uses the longitudinal distribution of points on the wetted surface along a family of waterplane cuts. The HydroComp PWD calculation uses immersed volume. This approach mitigates some of the common problems with waterplane-cut methods that cannot handle sharp inflections and reverses in a waterplane (e.g., through a propeller pocket or a thruster tunnel). The PWD calculation has no such restrictions since it uses a definition of the volume rather than the surface. Further, the PWD calculation includes estimation of trim and sinkage effects, as well as the scalable prediction of viscous resistance, to insure a reliable prediction of the full-scale total bare-hull resistance.

Q: Is PWD limited to “thin” ships?
A: Thin ship codes are typically not expected to successfully predict resistance of full form ships. However, as part of the design mission for PWD, HydroComp has conducted an extensive investigation on ways to employ the code for vessels considered outside the scope of “thin ships” with good success. Validation documents are being prepared, and can be provided on request.

Floating network license

Q: We already have a NavCad Workgroup License. Does the Premium Edition give me another?
A: You only need the one Workgroup License configuration. If you already have a Workgroup License, your cost for the NavCad Premium upgrade is reduced via a credit for the existing Workgroup License.