MARIN stands for cleaner, smarter and safer ships, and sustainable use of the seas. This demands maritime expertise and innovation. We have set a clear course in our strategy - Better Ships, Blue Oceans.

We do this by using advanced calculations and test facilities, full-scale measurements and simulators. And in cooperation with an extensive innovation and research network. MARIN (Maritime Research Institute Netherlands) was established in 1932, in Wageningen and now has a staff of almost 400.


Our history begins in 1873 when the first trials with model ships were done in the Netherlands. Bruno Tideman, Chief Marine Engineer and Ship Building Advisor carried out trials with a scale model of the navy cruiser Atjeh to determine the resistance and the required engine output.

In 1927 after an economic depression, the shipping sector improved and the first towing tanks were constructed. Various parties were involved including Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland, Koninklijke Rotterdamsche Lloyd, Koninklijke Paketvaart-Maatschappij and Nederlands-Indische Tankstoomboot-Maatschappij. These parties put up half of the money and the Netherlands Government provided the other 350,000 guilders.

In 1929, the Stichting Nederlandsch Scheepsbouwkundig Proefstation (NSP) was established which is the basis for the present MARIN.

Establishment of the Stichting Nederlandsch Scheepsbouwkundig Proefstation in 1929.
Establishment of the Stichting Nederlandsch Scheepsbouwkundig Proefstation in 1929.

In April 1932, the testing station NSP was established. The towing tank (the present deepwater tank) was filled and the first towing trials were carried out. At that time, the station had only one towing tank, a model-making workshop, and an instrumentation workplace. There were no employees.

In 1932, NSP had orders worth 25,000 guilders (11,360 euros), which was not too bad considering the cost of the work was 30,000 guilders. Things went well in the following years. In 1938, NSP had a staff of 36 and the office space had to be expanded. The increasing demand for ship model trials warranted the construction of a large cavitation tunnel in 1941 for investigations on propeller cavitation.

The next extension came in 1952 when the deep-water tank was increased from 160 to 252 m and the drawing office greatly enlarged.

The first model trials in the deep-water basin in 1932.
The first model trials in the deepwater basin in 1932.

In the 1950s and 1960s, further extensions were made to meet the high demand for specialised test facilities. The first was the seakeeping basin (1956) to investigate ship behaviour in waves. Then, the shallow water basin (also known as the inland waterway basin) was constructed (1958) for tugs, inland waterway vessels, and cargo vessels in shallow water.

In 1965, the high-speed tank and wave and current basin were constructed. In the high-speed basin (now the concept basin), trials were carried out on ships or appendages at high speeds. In the wave and current basin (now the offshore basin) winds, currents and waves are simulated for offshore research. For instance, the behaviour of structures during complex operations at sea, such as oil and gas production, and dredging activities.

For manoeuvring research and because of the increasingly complex relationship between crew and ship, NSP built a manoeuvring simulator in 1970. In 1972, the institute expanded with a depressurised towing tank in Ede to investigate problems caused by propeller cavitation.

Model making workshop in the 1930s.
Model making workshop in the 1930s.

In 1980, NSP combined with the NMI (Nederlands Maritiem Instituut in Rotterdam) to form the present Maritime Research Institute Netherlands, MARIN. In 1986, a maritime traffic control simulator was constructed to train controllers.

In 2000 and 2001, MARIN underwent large-scale modernisation. The original seakeeping tank and wave and current basin were replaced with a new seakeeping and manoeuvring basin and a new offshore basin. The depressurised tank was renovated.

MARIN continues to modernise and to expand. The depressurised towing tank has been converted to a depressurised wave basin for research in waves at low pressure. With technical innovations, the high-speed tank has now been transformed for use as the concept basin to test new, innovative concepts.

Over 85 years, MARIN has expanded to become a major and key institute in the marine sector. We are proud of our achievements and we are pleased to show you what we do.

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