What is meaning of UKC or Under Keel Clearance?

Safety under keel clearance (SUKC)

The under keel clearance is a vertical distance between the deepest underwater point of the ship’s hull and the water area bottom or ground. That clearance should be sufficient to allow ship’s floatability in most unfavourable hydrological and meteorological conditions.

The safe under keel clearance should enable the ship to manoeuvre within an area so that no damage to the hull occurs that might happen due to the hull impact on the ground.

  • A risk of an accident exists when the under keel clearance is insufficient.
  • When determining the optimized UKC we have to reconcile contradictory interests of maritime administration and port authorities.


1 Comment

  • Dear Suman, what is the minimum UKC for a small VLCC (eg. 324m length, 56m beam) operating in UK territorial waters and ports? Thanks.

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