GHS Tutorials

GHS stands for General HydroStatics.  It is a widely popular piece of software used for hydrostatic analysis in the marine community.  

The allure of GHS is its flexibility.  It gives the user complete custom control over their analysis.  However, this flexibility also lends to a high learning curve.  These tutorials give you a leg up on the competition.

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There are many things you can do with GHS; it evolved to become a combination of an analysis program and its own programming language, specific to hydrostatic analysis.  Examples include:

  • Draft and basic hydrostatic values (displacement, LCB, VCB, LCF, KMT, KML, etc.)
  • Intact stability analysis (rules implementation and evaluation)
  • Damage stability analysis (damage combinations)
  • Max VCG searches, for intact or damage stability
  • Floodable lengths
  • Many more

Why GHS Tutorials

The allure of GHS is its flexibility.  It gives the user complete custom control over their analysis.  However, this flexibility also lends to a high learning curve.  Creative Systems (makers of GHS) do offer training in GHS.  But often, this does not help new engineers.  There are many reasons why new engineers don’t get training.  Perhaps the company can not afford it at the moment.  Or maybe the class is not available for 6 months, and project work must continue.

Too often, engineers have learned GHS simply by reading through the reference manual.  Reference manuals do not provide the structure and layered introduction necessary for training in new software.

Too help out all new GHS users, DMS provided a series of video tutorials, which introduce the main elements of GHS.  This will not cover all the features of GHS, but it will provide 90% of everything you should know for basic project work.  All the tutorials include videos and homework files that let you practice your skill sets.

The tutorials are divided into several categories and each video covers a specific subject.  They are intended for people to work through them sequentially.  Click on the links below for each category.

Contact Creative Systems

If you want more information about official training, you can contact Creative Systems, the creators of GHS.

Phone:          +1 360 385 6212
Post:             P.O. Box 1910, Port Townsend, WA 98368 USA



100 Introduction to GHS

Introduces the tutorial series and provides an overview of what these tutorials will cover.

200 Model Creation

Provides a variety of strategies for model creation.  Explains how GHS organizes vessel models.  Provides detailed explanation of creating a vessel in Part Maker.

300 Output Control

How to format your output from GHS.  Includes basic report generation and formatting.  Also explains the powerful tool of condition graphics, which create visual representations of the vessel.

400 Basic Hydrostatics

Basic hydrostatics for the vessel.  How to set vessel conditions, including draft and trim, adding weight, loading tanks, etc.  Also covers the status command, and its many options.  Completes with the GHS command and all the information covered in its standard hydrostatic table.

500 Intact Stability Analysis

Introduces the limits command to apply regulatory limits.  Covers generation and use of the GZ curve.  Explains the various types of heeling moments possible in GHS.  Provides detailed explanation of how to code the IMO severe wind and roll criteria.  Finishes with the MaxVCG command.

600 Damage Stability Analysis

Explains how to damage compartments.  Proceeds to cover deterministic damage stability (specifying individual damage cases.)  And explains the wizard for probabilistic damage stability.  Finishes with floodable lengths.

700 Structural Analysis

Covers longitudinal strength analysis.  Explains basic longitudinal strength command, how to specify frame locations, adding limits to longitudinal strength, and applying waves for quasi-static analysis of longitudinal strength.

800 GHS Scripting

How to automate GHS and combine features to create powerful macros.  This is where the true advantage of GHS shows.  Includes macros, variables.  And shows how to use macros to create loops and exit conditions.  Introduces keyboard shortcuts and templates.

900 Special Features

Covers any special features not previously covered.  Currently that includes grounding.

Meet the Author

These tutorials are published by Nicholas Barczak and represent his knowledge and experience with GHS.  He has worked with GHS for over seven years in a variety of applications including:

  • Barges
  • Fishing vessels
  • Work vessels
  • Ferries
  • Passenger vessels
  • Research vessels
  • Heavy lift transport vessels
  • Small military vessels (under 6.0 m)
  • Specialty vessels
  • Numerous concept designs

Analyses included:

  • Hydrostatics
  • Initial concept evaluation
  • Floodable lengths
  • Longitudinal strength
  • Intact stability analysis (USCG, IMO CCG)
  • Damage stability analysis (USCG, IMO, CCG)
  • Numerous specialty applications.

There is still plenty I can learn about GHS.  But I believe I have used it enough to learn its strengths and weaknesses.


The tutorials, videos, and associated downloads are published under the creative commons license.  They may be redistribution without permission, provided credit is given to the original author. believe I have used it enough to learn its strengths and weaknesses.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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