This paper presents results from an ongoing research project which aims at developing a numerical tool for route planning of container ships. The objective with the tool is to be able to schedule a route that causes minimum fatigue damage to a vessel before it leaves port. Therefore a new simple fatigue estimation model, only using encountered significant wave height, is proposed for predicting fatigue accumulation of a vessel during a voyage. The formulation of the model is developed based on narrow-band approximation. The significant response height hs, is shown to have a linear relationship with its encountered significant wave height Hs. The zero up-crossing response frequency fz, is represented as the corresponding encountered wave frequency and is expressed as a function of Hs. The capacity and accuracy of the model is illustrated by application on one container vessel’s fatigue damage accumulation, for different voyages, operating in the North Atlantic during 2008. For this vessel, all the necessary data needed in the fatigue model, and for verification of it, was obtained by measurements. The results from the proposed fatigue model are compared with the well-known and accurate rain-flow estimation. The conclusion is that the estimations made using the current fatigue model agree well with the rain-flow method for almost all of the voyages.

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